Special shout-out to the MCS students who graduated this past week and now fully understand the embarrassment of reading their letters to self.
Let’s hope you never choose to share them on the internet.
Welcome back, my friends. In case you’ve only just given into my shameless self-promotion, let me break it down for you. For a class project, I wrote myself a series of letters for every year that I was in junior high and high school. Now I’ve decided to share these letters with you, on the internet, as a way of looking at who I used to be and how far I’ve come.
Here’s the good news: this time, I will refrain from talking about my dog. This week is all about(drumroll please): ANXIETY.
Joy and fun for all in this one, let me tell you.
But more on that later. For now, let’s talk about 2010 Meredith. She spent a lot of time watching Disney movies and then quoting them on social media. She doesn’t like the fact that she’s reached the point in her education where math class and science class are almost the same thing. She also either uses way too much punctuation, or was always way too excited. She still does not have a driver’s license(for reasons explained later in this post).
As for her handwriting, we’ve reached the point where she’s not sure if she likes printing or cursive, so she’s sort of combined the two. It kinda looks like I have multiple personalities. Which I might. The jury’s still out.
So let’s dive into this hot mess, shall we?
So, apparently, we are allowed to write down our mental concerns. My question is, why would you want to?
And here we are, starting with no intro and some distressing thoughts. I wish I could say this letter gets better, but it does not.
Yes, folks, it’s time for another letter to self.
Notice how I once referred to the reader as Meredith of 2013, but now I address a crowd. Did I have a premonition about how I would share this with others?
Another ten minutes gone in this thing we call life to speak to my future self just to see if my life will have changed.
And here’s what it gets worse.
Is my life interesting? No. Do I have a boyfriend? No.
That moment when your fifteen-year-old self sounds like your mother.
Any prospects? My lips are sealed.
Don’t be coy, 2010 Meredith. We all know this is a lie.
My mind is often preoccupied. I am constantly thinking about nonsense, myths, and other strange things. Why? I haven’t the slightest idea.
You’re not a special snowflake. That’s called being a writer. It will make you everything but money.
I think I must have a boredom complex of something. If that’s even plausible, which it’s probably not.
“Boredom complex.” Definitely gonna use that as an excuse from now on. As in, “um, I have a boredom complex? That’s why I can’t listen to you for more than thirty seconds at a time. Because you’re boring.”
I also think about houses and stuff. Especially about how I would change something to make it even more beautiful.
Still on that architecture path, remember.
WWMC? What would Meredith change?
Can’t wait for that one to catch on.
I wish I could really change things. But to me, it’s like impossible. Right now, it feels like goals are impossible, and so are all my ambitions.
To those of you who are really picking up on how different this tone is from the rest of my letters, allow me to elaborate on the sources of my “teen angst.”
Several things were going on in my life at this exact moment.
First of all, one of my best friends had recently transferred, so I was feeling a little abandoned. But I don’t think that was the real force behind my feelings, though it’d be easy to look back on these times and blame it on that.
The truth is, I think this is a moment in time when my anxiety really took ahold of me. I’m not afraid to tell you, whoever’s reading this, that though I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my life, that I didn’t really figure out what was “wrong” with me until my freshman year of college.
Nobody ever told me what anxiety felt like. Nobody ever let me know that when you make a mistake, and you feel like you want to die – that isn’t perfectionism, that’s not normal. And my anxiety didn’t look like what I saw in other people, or what I saw on TV. Mine was paralyzing, and it made me feel like I was going to be sick.
And a lot of it, for me, revolved around driving.
I didn’t get my license until I was almost 20, which is lame, I know. And believe me, I’ve gotten my share of teasing on the matter (do not feel bad if you’ve ever mentioned it to me. Frankly, it’s hilarious). But let me explain a little further.
When I talk about driving anxiety, know that it started small. I get in the driver’s seat; my heart starts to pound. My hands shake. Every stop, every turn I make has the potential of disaster. Sometimes, I even get panic attacks.
Now, I want you to know that for the most part, I’ve conquered this particular sphere of anxiety. It’s been almost two years since my last full-on panic attack, though if you find yourself driving behind an old woman in a bright red car-surprise! It’s probably me.
This is not the weird period of anxiety I’ve gone through in my life – that doesn’t come until my sophomore year of college. But in general, my anxiety is fairly mild. I have no formal diagnosis, I take no medication for it, I manage it all using breathing exercises and other coping mechanisms.
So far, so good.
All this to say that sometimes, when I look back on these high school days, there’s a temptation to romanticize who I was or the way I was feeling, but that’s not true. I still had the same problems then that I do now.
I just know how to look for them now.
And so, on August 31, 2010, fifteen days before I turn 16, I’m feeling very discouraged…
Ellipses and all. What a drama queen.
Don’t worry, folks. Next week won’t be so whiny, I promise.