a letter to my future self

dear: slightly older/wiser, more well-traveled, hopefully less in debt version of Stefanie,

image via

when you look back on this time in your life, i hope you have a good laugh.

i hope you poke fun at the way you stressed and deliberated. the way you ached for an answer, tugged at the robe of Fate, begging it to feed you even the slightest hint as to whether you were making respectable decisions.

like whether you should sell your car or keep it in vain. i hope you feel silly for even thinking twice about it. isn't it nice not having to pay car insurance or remember to change the oil? it was good to you and at one time (sophomore year) it was home, but you never felt unique in that car and almost always mistook some other generic white 4-door for yours in the publix parking lot.

besides, you fly free. i hope you're taking advantage of it, even when you're broke and exhausted. you probably miss long road trips with miles of quiet road, but you'll have plenty of those when (if) you settle down. the wings are temporary.

and on leaving that certain person behind. that person who at one time seemed to define you. who through his eyes, molded the way you saw yourself, for good or ill... well, that wasn't completely your choice. it was his, and it was inevitable anyway. never feel guilty.

i hope you remember and treasure the moment you suddenly realized that your passions weren't compatible. few other moments made you feel so free. 

and remember how money was such an issue that september? news of stacking loan debt and tooth decay and impending island rent momentarily crippled you beyond what was reasonable. you borrowed for the very last time. because no amount money is worth feeling guilty and preventing your own happiness.

suspended in the transition, you became grumpy and restless. you were unhappy being stagnant and you took it out a little. remember not to let momentary upsets alter your perceptions. and always be grateful for how fortunate you've been.

just know that you were coming into your own and being oh so stubborn. but be thankful for that stubbornness, and let it persevere a little, because it may inevitably be responsible for the most gorgeous memories.

i know you'll have a good laugh about this little struggle one day, because you're already slightly enjoying it in some sick way--perhaps because you haven't felt a real vigorous emotion in a couple months, and perhaps because you know it will inevitably manifest itself into something so much richer.

and for god's sake stop trying to define yourself. you're an ever-evolving tadpole and you cannot be condensed into some shrewd sequence of concise phrases. nobody can. let your work define you.