Dear Future Self,
Remember when you used to draw a line on the wall as a kid to check how tall you were?
Yes, the good old days. The days when you’d be ecstatic to see that you grew by even just a centimeter. Even then, you realized that small progress was still progress.
Height’s easy to measure, though. I realized that’s harder to measure personal growth. And because of this realization, I took it upon myself to give you something to remind you of your growth and constant improvement.
You, more than anyone, would know that looking back on the past has always brought me more harm than good. As much as dwelling on the past has hurt me (or should I say us?) before, I promise you that this letter is the exception.
I don’t know if you remember that early morning you spent writing this on your iPhone, but if you don’t, I hope you’re still as open-minded as I am right now to take in the list of your past failures
Now before you think about traveling back in time just to personally throw a brick at me for doing this, hear me out: I’m not trying to bring you down. More than anything, I want you to realize how many struggles you have not only faced, but conquered. Sure, getting through them was tough, and you may have been ashamed of them in the past. But now that you can analyze them again in the future, I am confident that you’ll see that being faced with adversity made you stronger in every aspect of life: physically, emotionally, mentally, maybe even spiritually.
That’s something to be extremely grateful for.
And okay, I get that people usually write letters to their younger selves, but I decided to write to you. What would be the point of writing my past self a letter she would never get?
Besides, you know that I’ve always been the type to do something more unique anyway. I don’t know how far into the future you’re reading this, but I hope that at least that much hasn’t changed. So without further ado, here’s a list of failures and shortcomings at this point in my life so far:
- I didn’t get into a certain organization project because I was“too laid-back – the project head simply didn’t think I had the passion.
- I let jealousy get the best of me in junior high, and this caused me to lose one of the most important people I had at the time.
- I started rebelling against my parents just for the thrill of it. When I got caught, they lost all their trust in me, trust that I’m still trying to rebuild to this day.
- I lost so much confidence in myself because I allowed the opinions of others to get the best of me; I lost motivation in pretty much every aspect of life.
- I refused to let go of someone who ultimately brought me more harm than good. I wanted so badly to “keep the friendship” that I didn’t see how much of an emotional toll it was taking on me.
You’re probably facing a whole new set of problems right now, and I’m grateful for that. Why? Because this constant process of failure, improvement, and learning valuable lessons is the key to living a life that you’re genuinely proud of.
So whenever you feel like you’re not good enough, look back on these past failures. Look back on all you have gotten wrong, and realize how much you have gotten right because of them. Our failures do define us. Not in the sense that we should think less of ourselves because of them, but that they are what ultimately help us progress as a person.
We may not be physically able to mark our achievements and success as lines on a wall, but rest assured, we continue to grow each and every single day.
I don’t need time travel to know that you have developed into someone I’d be extremely proud to become.
Your Past Self.