Dear Me in three years,
I wish I could tell you and the world exactly what you're like, or exactly what you're doing. But the reality is, I have no clue. I have less than no clue.
I find that, because of this cluelessness, I'm living in a constant state of terror. Not really terror, I suppose, not the kind that leaves you frozen, but the kind of lurking dread that creeps underneath anything and everything you do. This pesky dread is all too familiar to me, and to you as well, I presume. It's what you felt when you transferred to Brown, and you rode all the way down to Providence thinking yourself into a corner, convinced that this would be no different from your freshman year, and that maybe something was wrong with you, that you were just incapable of being happy at college. In fact, it's the dread that has come with every change in your life, major or minor.
I've come to realize that this dread, this deep-seated fear of changing and moving on, is not going to just disappear. It's a fear of changing circumstances, but we both know that it's not really about the situation or the place. It comes from your intense love of people, and your fear of losing them. You have always been like that - even when you were a baby, you always wanted your mom to carry you, never giving her a moment of peace. Throughout your life, everything that you have loved doing, every activity, has been less about the activity itself and more about the people surrounding you. You love to dance, but in high school, you really loved going to dance class because you got to be with your best friends, your sisters, four or five nights a week. You love theatre, but the reason you kept coming back to Weston Drama Workshop every summer is the incredible and inspiring people that make up your family there.
It is communities and spaces like these that you have always loved, and at the same time, feared. You fear what you love because you don't want it to go away. That has always been your reality. I could sit here and say to you that I hope you, as a 25-year-old woman, have conquered my childish phobias. I know that you haven't. But I also know that I am strong, and I am smart, and when I become you, I will still be those things.
This letter is to remind myself, and you: everything that you've been afraid of in the past has turned out okay. You were terrified to transfer to Brown, but if you hadn't, you wouldn't have met Jordan or Ben or any of the other amazing people in your life. You wouldn't have sung on a New York street corner with your Jewish a cappella group, or lived with your sisters in AXO, or climbed to the top of a building at midnight. You were terrified to try your hand at summer theatre, but if you hadn't, you wouldn't have gotten to gray your hair and play an old woman, or sing and dance with a terrific cast in the middle of Barnes & Noble, or tap dance in a pirate outfit.
Though I am terrified to move on to whatever is next, and terrified to become you, I know when you read this, you'll say: "Becca, if you hadn't grown up some more, you wouldn't have done this, or met them, or accomplished that." You, at 25, know people that I haven't, and they have affected you. I know that for a fact, because people have always affected you intensely, and they always will. So in a way, I can't wait to be you. I can't wait to know them.
I think about you a lot. I wonder about you. I wonder if you still stay up all night, your thoughts racing a mile a minute. I wonder if you still talk to your sister in a baby voice, even though she's already officially an adult. I wonder if you still fight tooth and nail to keep people in your life, even when they don't always treat you very well. I wonder if all the people that I hold dear now, will still be in my life when I'm you.
I don't know these things, but I will. Change is inevitable, and change is good.