I’ve always been fascinated by letter writing. A single piece of paper and a pen is all I ever really need. 

I was first introduced to it when I moved to Toronto at the age of six, after my parents separated. Day-to-day support came from my mom and her side of the family, whereas support from my father came from a far. My father wrote me a letter every day. Looking back, I never knew how much these letters meant, but I’ve come to see their importance. 

Since then, I’ve started writing on my own. In an effort to keep track of myself as I grow into adulthood, I write a self-reflective letter at the end of every year. Here’s this year’s letter… 

To my future self,

This year has made you strong. 2019 has been filled to the brim with emotions that cannot be compared to colours —such as yellow to happiness and blue to sad. What colour is proud? What about strong?

It would be a mistake to say that 2019 was only full of happy stuff  —it was most definitely not all rainbows and butterflies. January was horrible. January was the broken time of the year that needed more mending than a Band-Aid and Polysporin could do. February was fine, things started to get better. By the time March and April came around, things were speeding up. The days were brighter. There was a bounce in your step. May was a good month. You helped your friend celebrate her 21st birthday and started an internship downtown. Your days evolved into what became a new routine. June came around and so did your birthday. The air got warm and pants suddenly turned into shorts. You got the news that you would be leading a 22-day canoe trip with someone who you were friends with, yet someone you never knew would become such an important piece of your overall life. Bags were packed and all of the sudden the only thing that stood in your way was the ~4-hour car ride up to Algonquin Park where it would all start. July 1st was a hard day, yet it set the pace of the 21 days to come. Sitting in the tent with Kate, you both looked at each other and a million thoughts raced through your head. You were right to push through the hard days, things got better. July flew by, although some of the days felt too long. Looking back at July, it wasn’t long enough. 

“This year has made you strong. 2019 has been filled to the brim with emotions that cannot be compared to colours —such as yellow to happiness and blue to sad. What colour is proud? What about strong?”

August was another breath of fresh air, just at a different altitude. This time, the only thing that stood in your way was a plane ride. You returned to the West Coast, to what really felt like home. It was a different type of wilderness, which was accompanied by a different type of happiness. Summer came to a close and the days started to grow shorter. Another car ride was approaching to take you back to Kingston. With September came your daily routine. And just as fast as you adjusted to your daily routine, October showed up unannounced and knocking on your front door. All of the sudden things were reversed, and shorts turned into pants. Thanksgiving! So very much to be thankful for, 2019 had been an amazing year up until this point (and the streak would fortunately only continue). In November, your little sister, who isn’t so little anymore, turned 17. Within the blink of an eye, classes were over, you were writing exams. December showed up in the middle of the night, and when you woke up everything was covered in beautiful powder snow that sat comfortably on tree branches. The moment exams were done, you slept and then slept some more. You were well rested by the time the holidays were there. The holidays came and left, quite quickly and once again you found yourself packing your bags. 

The main take away from this year is that there is no “right” way to pack a bag and there are never too many kilometres that can stand between you and your happiness, wherever it might be. Even if you forget something, you’ll figure it out when you get there. Don’t sweat such little things. 

2020 sure has some big shoes to fill. 


The best version of myself 

Header Image Source: HerCampus
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