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.
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.
Your 24-year-old self
P.S. I am listening to Sigur Ros as I write this. Does that music still inspire you?