(I stumbled across this awesome site yesterday, and those brave, funny, touching letters are the inspiration for this post.)
You aren’t that far away, but now I’m as close to 30 as I am to you. (Totally freaky, right?) You seem much closer, and I have you to thank for that. You see, awkward 16-year-old me, you started keeping a regular journal that summer between sophomore and junior year. I have your daily thoughts and feelings and hopes to thumb through if I ever feel like I’m losing you. You’re funny, sweet, and confused. I like seeing the world through your eyes.
Luckily, my dear, you didn’t peak then. You’ll find boys to kiss. You’ll discover how badly honesty hurts and how much it helps. You’ll learn what it’s like to be completely accepted by a group of people. (It’s amazing. You’ll grow in so many ways, and our friends are really funny, interesting folks.) You’ll come to terms with that body of ours, even if I’m still working on total acceptance. I know you were often uncomfortable, wishing for smaller breasts, but you’ll grow into them. They still don’t define us.
I’m not running as much, but I do what I can. I keep healthy and eat way better than you ever did, so stop worrying. It still makes me happy to lace up my shoes and go out for a few miles. I think it’s because I feel closer to you when I do.
I’m still reading like a crazy person. Writing too! You laid a good foundation for me. You always liked to keep in touch, to write letters, and to care too hard. Good for you, honeybee. Some people are worth holding on to. Your family is only going to get cooler, by the way. Our little sister rocks, and she’s older than you now! Our parents are the best people I know. I know you have glimpses of thankfulness, but that’s nothing compared to the deep gratitude I feel now.
I don’t regret much. What we did in between you and me was really great. I couldn’t have asked for a better late high school/college experience, and soon we’ll be off to New York for the Columbia Publishing Course. When you were sixteen and spending your first summer in the city, taking classes at Barnard and starting your journal, you never imagined you’d end up exactly here. We’re living the dream.
PS. Thank goodness you’re growing out your bangs, but listen to your mom when she tells you to cut your hair. It’s way too long. Ah, well…You’ll figure that out on your own.