Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Letter to High School Erin

I was just over at Baby Rabies and read Jill's letter to her 25-year-old self as part of the blog hop started by Joanna at Raising Madison. Well, I am 25 so my letter to my letter to former self is aimed at myself at a bit of a younger age. But here goes nothing.

Dear High School Erin,

Hi. It's me, your 25-year-old self. Yeah, maybe that's creepy, but it's not creepier than the fact you wrote yourself an anonymous note to yourself in your yearbook last year to laugh about at age 50. So enjoy this simple letter from a wiser, much more mature (sorry, Er, but you have a lot to learn) you.

First of all, stop wearing glitter on your eyelids, do not wear those khaki overalls ever again, and throw out the purple eyeliner.

Secondly, STOP worrying about whether you will get a lead in the spring show. In the long run, it really does not matter (though you will get a great part and get your spring musical solo, by the way...). Seriously though, what people think of you as a high school performer really will not determine anything that matters to you when you are my age. Stop raising your eyebrows at me. I'm telling the truth.

Now, let's deal with your love life.

Stop crying over that on again off again relationship with you-know-who. He is not worth it, and in the end, he will screw you over. It's going to be fine-- you are going to meet a tall, handsome, intelligent boy who IS worth all that and much more in college (just like Mom says), and you'll fall madly in love. He'll love you for the right reasons, and you'll actually have yourself a real man. No, he won't be a real man because he bangs on drums, loves legos, drinks chocolate milk, and knows every Philadelphia Phillies statistic (though he will do all of those things). He'll be a real man because he speaks the truth, makes you feel beautiful, holds you to your promises, dreams and lives out those dreams with you, treats you with true respect, and 'puts a ring on it,' (you'll get that reference later). It will not be a fairytale, but it will be a love story that your future (hopefully we'll have some) great great grandchildren will love to hear. I will leave most of that story for you to discover, but I will hint that you pay attention to your male neighbors on the dorm floor freshman year. One of them is "the one." Oh, and you'll keep your last name. You are "one of those girls."

All right, here's to your health.

I know your current biggest health problem is that you just fell down the D hall stairs last week and about 50 high school peers watched you plummet superman-style to a broken elbow. Sorry about the cast (and embarrassment), but you will laugh really hard about this injury later.

Let's get to it, though. You've never felt secure about your weight. But I have to warn you, the worst is yet to come. You are going to get depressed. You are going to gain weight. You are going to almost drop out of college. But you'll beat it. And let's just be honest-- you're never going to have an easy time getting below certain weight numbers, but the greener and healthier you eat and the more you hike and move, you'll get closer to the weight you dream of being.

You are going to be told you might never have children because of polycystic ovary syndrome. But never say never. Expect someone great. And I can't speak to what is beyond my time, but expect and hope for even more. (In other words, at 25, you'll be on the road toward trying for number two.)

Now, onto friends and family.

I'm going to be frank here. Things will get worse before they get better. You are a ball of emotions right now, and you are so confused that even I, your older self, have a hard time deciphering just why you have such a hard time keeping your feelings in check when talking to Mom. But here's the light at the end of the tunnel: things will get better eventually. So much better. Mom is your best friend. She will do anything for you, and she will be there when you are at your darkest and when you are at your brightest. And so will your Dad and sisters.

In time, you will see how lucky you are to have THIS family because the cold hard fact is that lots of people do not have parents or siblings on which to rely. And you have both.

Hug Grandmom and Uncle Tadd a little tighter than you did the last time you saw them. I know you can't know what it feels like to lose your second mother and second father figures, but you will. And it will hurt. It will never stop hurting, but you will always carry them with you. They will inspire you to do challenging things, change your mind even when it is hardest, and cherish the most special moments of life in a way you didn't know you could.

And as for your future career...

Ha! Well, this is still a work in progress. You are a talented singer, but 'opera singer' is not a valid career for you. Neither is teaching. You are a writer, but that's a hard act in the 2000s. Keep writing, though-- it will lead you places.

We'll see where we go from here. Remember how your 6th grade Language Arts teacher said the most interesting people in the world do not know what they want to be even at the age of 40? Well, at this rate, that might be you. So enjoy the ride, girl.


And lastly, please, Erin. Know you are so beautiful. Your body is possibly the best it will ever be RIGHT now so be confident. And yes, your eyes are as pretty and green as you think they are. You're also as smart as you think you are, so don't do anything I wouldn't do!

Erin Cecilia
Your 25-year-old self.

P.S. Start paying attention to the fact you work at a Whole Foods! Going green, eating organic, using cloth diapers, and all that comes with that is going to be very familiar to you sooner or later.

P.P.S. Yes, you will live in NYC. Just for a year. But you will do it. So relax, you'll get there.


  1. This is probably one of my favorite letters. It is so well written and I love every part of it, but especially the part where you lived in NYC for a year. It was always my dream, but hasn't become a reality..... yet :)

  2. What a neat idea! As a fellow klutz (who fell in front of an entire audience...and judges in the middle of a play) and someone who also obsessed over lead roles, I can certainly identify!

    Visiting from SITS.