I woke up early this morning with an unusual peace surrounding me. I stood in the mirror and decided to put just a little bit of powder and mascara on compared to the typical fifteen minute makeup routine I lived by. To my surprise, it wasn't long until I was looking back at the eleven year old version of myself putting on brown mascara for the first time. Here, for the first time in a long time, time stood still. It felt like I was standing with my dearest friend from a distant memory. There was no one else but her and I, the world beneath us, and that moment to be lived - all things that I can't remember the last time I experienced them. So, when I saw this wide-eyed, smiling, and hopeful girl, I found myself saying these things to her:
This is only the beginning. And let me tell you, the more you look back on who were, the better the chances are of finding yourself again. Even if it's just in moments and memories, but in this moment, this memory, you are everything I want to be and what I can find myself becoming in this new chapter of my life. You are so incredibly bright and the amount of love you have in your heart will far surpass many of those you may ever meet - even if you ever feel this way, you keep on loving. You keep on smiling. You keep on exploring every avenue of your interests and don't you ever stop doing everything you do for you - You know what I mean. You're living each second as it passes and making the most it. You need to teach me how to do this. I can't remember the last time I laid down and looked at the stars without feeling there was some place I needed to be or something I needed to do.
Right now you're going through life enjoying who you are and just being so incredibly happy to be alive - all the while you have some people making fun of how chubby you might be, the pink and green braces you wear, your ridiculous vocabulary and strange sense of humor, and they pay attention to the fact that you have no idea what's cool and you don't exactly care. It's because you are this way that you don't realize until you're twenty years old that you were bullied a little bit. Guess what though. You're so sensationally beautiful, and I would ever change these days for the world. You know why? Because you never sacrifice who you are and the light God put inside of you to appease the darkness and cruelty of others. You love and respect everyone you meet, and you soak up their perspective the best you always can - don't you ever change this aspect of yourself.
A few years down the line you find yourself in a dark place. You are your own worst enemy and keep reliving the thought and nightmare that you are not enough. This couldn't ever be further from the truth. You're growing up in a small town with a big heart, mind and even bigger aspirations. You are exceeding so many expectations already, but you use this feeling and opportunity as motivation to find yourself. From this moment you try anything and everything, and you never let the idea of fear get in your way, because you're more afraid of being unhappy than of failure. Both things come into play throughout this life, and they make you into who you are - as you've discovered. You know though, as I said earlier, you did all of these things in pursuit of finding yourself with no intention of gaining anyone else's perspective on the matter. You did them because you enjoyed them, and quite frankly, you were pretty great at most everything, and it shaped you into who you are today - even if you may have hit a few unexpected road bumps along the way. As much as it's broken your heart, you realize that the friends that you've had won't stick forever and that they may have never had the best of intentions. You see that the love you're looking for may only come from your family, but you realize this all you really ever need, and if someone were to come along to give you that love, they'll become your family all in the same.
Your first year in college, you pursued something that would be realistic and also satisfied what you thought of as your dreams, only to find yourself searching for yourself even further. You did find the next step in your journey by meeting your first true love, having him teach you who you were to become, and then breaking your heart into a million different pieces shortly after. This is how you know people come into your life for a reason, even if it's not to stay. He taught you what the future could be by looking back into your past. Back to when you wrote and illustrated your own books, took so many pictures, stole your mom's camera only to record over your brother's basketball game with you singing Phantom of the Opera to yourself in your bedroom, and then also editing together little music videos that consisted of Harry Potter fan drawings that you posted on YouTube. You discovered who you were to become by uncovering the obvious from the past - back to when you did what you did because you loved it and it's how you wanted to spend your time.
Now, you've been living in Los Angeles for four years. You finished film school this last May and discovered that you wanted to spend your life writing as a screenwriter and author, just like you had when you were four years old. You quit the full-time job you thought you were supposed to have in order to achieve this dream, and Mary, you sure will. Truth is, every time you're feeling unsure of what move to make next at any point in your life, revisit that young girl you used to be.
Looking back to your past mostly holds a negative connotation, but to me, it's an affirmation. You're looking back to who you were when no one's opinion mattered and you were living life on your own terms. You did what made you happy without thinking twice about what others thought, and to me, that's what life is about. Why lead a life that creates an inner misery and indecisiveness, when the answers to who you truly are, are in your childhood.
So to my future self, the person who will continually be my motivation and hero, every time you're looking for a sign or guidance, look back to that picture of you in bed when you were four years old with a book over your head and passed out sleeping. Think of all of the stories you wrote and how they resonate with who you've become. Look back to that little girl who was smiling to the camera because with what small amount of time she had been living, she had life figured out.