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34-Year-Old Me

Dear 34-year-old me,

I’m writing this to you 10 years in the past in the hope that you will remember the things that you know now and that you will have learned things that you can’t even imagine now. I’m writing to you in the hope that you have accomplished all of your goals and that you have a heap of new ones. I am writing to you to say hello, to remind you of who you were and to ask you if you like the person you are now. So, hello I suppose, and how are you?

I’m 24 right now. Photography is the biggest passion of my life. I hope it is still. I think about it every day and the greatest thrill is going out alone to shoot a self portrait, just me and my camera, worrying about nothing else in the world. Do you still do that? I hope so, it reminds me of who I am and what I love. I hope that you’re reading this with 10 times the amount of passion that I have now. I hope my passion keeps growing.

This is how I smile when I'm really, really happy - and I am. I hope you are still this happy. And I hope you remember the day this was taken.

I have so many goals that I want to achieve. There are so many places I want to go. I’d like to see the world, but not in the way that most people say they want to. I want to go places and sit in every open field I can find in each unique country and hear the wind talk to me. I did that recently on a road trip with Jessy. We went to Yosemite and I sat on a tire swing on the edge of a cliff for an hour with bees buzzing around my feet. Do you remember that? I wonder if I sound like a complete hippie to you. Oh well, I guess I sort of am. I am planning to travel across the world next year to teach workshops. Do you still teach workshops? I hope you can find people who want to learn from you.

I am about to enter quite a busy phase of my life, but I have a feeling that reading this later I will think that it wasn’t so crazy at all, and that I should have cherished how easy I had it. I try to remember to take nothing for granted. I hope you still take nothing for granted. I hope that you still get excited by the smallest things, and that tears come to your eyes at the smallest kind gestures. I recently asked a friend to describe me in three words. She said: passionate, determined, and creative. I sincerely hope that I still have a friend who will say those things to me, it was really nice to hear. My most negative trait is how judgmental I am. I hope that you have fixed that.

I’m living in a pretty small apartment right now, fixing to move to another, but this time in an area that I love. I wonder if you will look back on this new phase of my life fondly. I wonder if you still live in Los Angeles. I really hope to move out of here and into the middle of nowhere, hopefully in the next couple of years. I’d like a house where I can take photographs everyday with surroundings that inspire me. I’d like to have a creek of my own running through my yard where there are no park rangers to kick me out. I’d like to live in a modest house, but a house nonetheless.

I hope that your health is doing well. The biggest frustration for me right now is when I don’t feel well enough to go out shooting, so I hope you aren’t still feeling the pressures of Fibromyalgia and that you’re healthier now then you were then. A girl can hope! But much more than that, I hope that all of the people in your life are happy and healthy – you know who I’m talking about. I hope you’re taking care of them. I hope they know you love them.

Every day I look forward to getting online and talking to people that I’ve never met in real life. I hope that you still do that, and that you’ve met a lot of those people in real life! I hope you’re still sharing your pictures online. Today I shot a picture with glass Christmas ornaments. I’m not sure if I like it, but I spent 3 hours yesterday hot gluing them together. It was worth it just to have fun making the prop. Do you still make silly props that no one else understands but makes complete sense to you? I currently have a pretty big octopus and carousel horse hidden away somewhere here. I wonder what you did with them.

My number one goal right now is to publish a book – you know, professionally. I’ve been writing it everyday, I never stop. I hope to have it finished in December this year, and then I hope someone will read it. I hope you have been successful as a writer. I hope you have been successful as a photographer. Mostly I hope that you still measure success by how happy you are, and how hard you are pushing yourself. I hope you are still pushing and trying new things.

I hope that you still live in your own worlds, and that you are creating new ones every day.

With Passion,

Your 24-year-old self

P.S. I am listening to Sigur Ros as I write this. Does that music still inspire you?

{ 15 } Comments

  1. D | September 8, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    24-year-old me could fall in love with your 34-year-old you :D

  2. Gillian Gamble | September 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Brooke, this was so lovely to read. I can’t wait to find out what all these new, big and exciting things are and to see your career unfolding!
    Best wishes
    GIll, Scotland

  3. Marc Von Arx | September 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Write back! Please…

  4. Tori Austin | September 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m so grateful to have been introduced to you and your work through FRAMED. I love your “hippieness”. It’s refreshing and inspiring and so much more. Thanks so much for sharing your intimate thoughts. Your positive and meaningful words just turned around my day. Good luck in your book adventure :) I would totally read anything you create!

  5. Randi | September 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    You never stop amazing me Brooke, you’re a truly genuine person.

  6. Lindsey Afton Dufoe | September 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I love this.

  7. Elle Hanley | September 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    you. are so. AWESOME!

    this was a wonderful read as I’m sure you’ll agree with me when you read it again 10 years from now.

    and by the way. I’ll read your book my dear. :)

    cheers~

  8. Sara | September 9, 2011 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    You have a beautiful wisdom Brooke. We need more people like you in the world :) XX

  9. Laura Eliza | September 9, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    This is such a good idea, and was a wonderful read! Thanks for sharing! Your “hippieness” is awesome… I hope to become more and more like that as I grow older.

  10. Beata Rydén | September 9, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    This made me cry! I´m so inspired by how you follow your own path and sticks to your heart! I was also very happy to see the Sigur Ros video. It was very beautiful and I have actually been on the exact same hill on Iceland as in the video, and wandered up to the top. The only difference is that I didn´t fly away =)

  11. Maria | September 10, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Brook, I am so happy that you share with us all your thoughts and pieces from your personal life. This letter really inspired me. Thank you very much for sharing! And I can’t wait for your book! I would defenitely buy it and read!

  12. Ashleigh | September 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    This post was amazing! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me.

    Bien a toi,
    Ashleigh

  13. Katelyn Demidow | September 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Love this. Funny thing is, Saeglópur came on from my itunes right as I started reading this.

  14. Andrzej Kielbowicz | December 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I am your fan, Brooke:) Looking at you from the perspective of broken dreams in mid-fifties, I wish you a great life with so much passion and love like have it now, and do not allow anybody to break your dreams… You are great person and good photographer…
    from Victoria, BC with Love,
    Andrzej

  15. Carl Hensley | January 25, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve shared before that I, too, will be indebted to [Framed] for bringing you into my life.
    This letter to yourself is the most thought-provoking dialogue I’ve ever read. And yes, I’ve read some wonderful dialogues. It’s so great to be able to “meet” you and to be allowed a view into that which is you.
    My belated Christmas present to myself is to buy your Visions of Worlds book on Blurb.
    If I mailed it to you and provided postage would you sign it for me?

    With great appreciation regardless,
    Carl

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