Letter From Myself

This morning, I picked up 10 days worth of mail from the post office and was mildly disappointed at finding only three Christmas cards mixed in with the junk mail, bills, and magazines. So when I retrieved my mail this afternoon and caught a glimpse of a smaller envelope that couldn’t possibly contain another credit card offer or reminder that cable isn’t free, I felt a rush of excitement. Another Christmas card! And then I looked at the return address:

You, 1 Year Ago

Huh? And then I remembered. At a December or January church activity, we wrote letters to ourselves, gave them to the woman in charge, and she said she’d mail them to us at the beginning of 2008. I could not remember one bit of what I may have written, and I imagined all kinds of mushy affirmations and advice I had written for my 2008 self. I opened the envelope to read this:

Dear Julie–

WORK ON YOUR THESIS!!! You only have one semester left, and then you’ll graduate! And maybe move back to Omaha! But stay focused.


Once I recovered from the initial shock of how brief the letter was, and then recovered from the embarrassment of using so many exclamation marks, I became a little angry at my 2007 self for writing such a lame letter. I should know how dependent I am on encouragement and support, so you’d think I’d have included some of that in the letter. I also love re-reading schmaltzy, reminiscing-type letters, so I could have included some of that as well. But no, the 2007 me was apparently into tough love.

And that’s when I realized that tough love is exactly what I need right now. I’ve done very little work on my thesis, despite registering for thesis hours last semester. I’m frighteningly not scared enough about how tough it is going to be to write this, especially since all I have done is scattered research from news outlets and haven’t done enough of the necessary theory research.

So even though I was disappointed at the blunt letter I wrote to myself a year ago, it really is exactly what I needed. I suppose I know myself better than I think I do.

3 thoughts on “Letter From Myself

  1. ha! this is awesome. i think i’m going to make myself write a letter to my 2009 self. i’ll make my mother mail it or something. tough love. perfect. now get to work! hey – read 1 nephi 14 or 17. one of the two. i read it this morning – all about nephi being commanded to build a ship. might give some help. really good stuff.

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