Have you ever written a letter to your younger self? If so, what did it say? If not, what would you have it say? I have done many team oriented exercises where you write a letter to your future self and then a certain number of days later it is put in the mail to you by someone else. What if instead you let yourself off the hook. What would you have told YOU at a younger age?
Here is my letter to my younger self:
“If you could know one thing, it would be to tell you to play harder. You will have so much to overcome through high school, college, and beyond that you will exemplify an adult at a much younger age. If I could do anything to get you through those years it would be to find any and every moment to play. You will find that solace in children, and when your arms are full with the softness, simplicity, and wonder of the babies you will take care of for others. You will play with them, but it is not the childlike abandon you need to find within yourself.
You look to art to find that solace, to find the answers to your questions, and as therapy for what you are not able to control. Let it all go. You will have so much to balance later in life, that you might find it hard to let go and play. What you learn now about play, about laughter, about love will help to get you through tougher times. Without your playful resilience, you may crack.
It will all be okay. Times will be tough. Through loss, sickness, love, you will take care of many, and few will know how to take care of you. Let them. Do not always feel you have to be the strong one. Do not always think that no one will come through for you. Trust that those in our life will be there when you ask. In the end, it will all be better than you can ever imagine.
Have fun, play hard, and live in the moment.”