Dear Next Year Cami,
It’s me, Last Year Cami. Happy 30th Birthday. I am writing to you the day after our 29th birthday and have been wanting to do this for some time now. It seems that you and I keep missing each other at this time of the year. We share a quick glance at parties or admire a photo with a ‘like’, but that’s not nearly enough. After all, you’re nothing without me and I’m worthless without you. So I’ve decided to take the time to write this letter hoping that you read it and somehow return the favor, or better yet, pay it forward. You’ll thank me when you’re older.
Our two favorite holidays have always been Birthdays and New Year’s Eve. They both celebrate the marking of a full orbit around the sun. One is focused on a single individual while the other is genuinely universal. On your birthday, you tend to look back on what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come. On New Years, you look forward to the future and what treasures the world has to offer. Since our day of birth is so close to the new year, it makes sense that you start the reflection phase at this particular time and ultimately reach a conclusion within 90 days. Whether or not we actively do anything about our findings, this process happens subconsciously and by some miracle, we haven’t taken any critical steps backward, yet.
Here we are now, in that sweet spot of birthday afterglow and right before the crisp excitement of next year. However, this year is a bit special since we’re entering the third freaking decade of our life and so many terrible, wonderful things happened to us in 2017 alone. Shall I recap? We moved back home, lost a parent, lost a baby, moved in, got married, had 3 surgeries, fell into depression, gave up meat (again), gained 30lbs, stopped doing drugs, started drinking again, started eating meat (again) and semi-retired from the job of your dreams that defined your existence for years. That sounds an awful lot like that thing people talk about, a “mid-life crisis”, but it doesn’t seem as hopeless or so foolhardy. In fact, everything that’s happened feels more like a necessary stage in our evolution. A molting of some sort. We’re shedding skin and that’s a nasty business. It’s definitely not pretty, but it’s necessary and feels much better when you do it.
I’m not sure how many times we’ve done this in our lifetime, but I know that this is the first time I am fully aware of it and willing to document this moment. Too many times we’ve allowed ourselves to neglect the opportunity to acknowledge each other and I’m saying, “Cut that shit out!” Let’s not be strangers that whisper to each other only in dreams. I want to know you. I want to be you. I want you to remember me. I want to see you accomplish our dreams and meet your darling children. I cherish you. I need you. I love you. It would be heartbreaking to let the second half of our life go on as it has been which is why I purged your blog and started this brand new one. It’s like the exhilarating feeling of writing on the first page of a new notebook. This blog is that page, but it doesn’t have to stop here. Think of it as a blank slate with no strings attached. No fancy template, strict schedule to keep up with or structured format to uphold.
I don’t expect you to write me a letter. I don’t expect much of anything, really. I only ask that whatever it is, you do it with all your heart. Leave something worth remembering. Use our imagination and turn up the creativity. Write a blog post. Draw a picture. Record a video. Paint a miniature. Tell a story. Plan a trip. Set a goal. Share a fear. Have a laugh. Be a hero. Be brave. Be strong. Be real. There are no rules. No right or wrong. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to do it. Do whatever it is you were born to do and share it with the world. I have faith in you and I cannot wait to fall in love with you all over again.