Dear 10-year-old me,
Hi! It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch.
I want to apologize for being so unfair with you in general. You’re a good kid, and you do the best you can with what you have. I guess one problem we’ve carried for a long time is that we keep judging our past selves as if we had known what we know now. Sounds familiar? We don’t remember but mom and dad like to tell this story about us when we were four or five, and react so negatively when they would tell us about the things we did as toddlers. They said it was very cute. We said we were ashamed of our past. Already at 4 or 5! It’s ok, though, don’t beat yourself up about it. Life is about growing and learning, and what’s important is that you learn. It won’t always be fun, but it will always be worth it.
Recently one of your friends at school talked to you about pen pals and time capsules, and convinced you to join this thing where you receive a letter and the only thing you needed to do was make 5 copies and forward it to five other friends. Eventually the letter would travel around the world (is what she said). I know you love letters and you’ll end up saying yes, but you only intend to send a couple of them (I get it, stamps cost money you’re saving for a toy). You wonder if the chain will break and the project fail because of you, but you can relax. You still haven’t heard of it but there’s this thing called email, it’s going to get huge. In just two or three years you will be invited to do the exact same thing but through email instead of letters, and it will be awful. It will also die off eventually. So when the time comes, just enjoy having tried it, and nothing terrible happened just because you didn’t send the other three letters.
Letters will be a very important part of your life, by the way. I know they already are amongst your favorite things, but you have no idea just how big they will be. You will eventually have pen pals too, and real ones, not like the ones your friend told you about. They will become some of the strongest friendships you develop through the years.
Things are good in the future. You really helped with every small decision you have already made, and the ones to come. But I think I never properly thanked you for it, and I really should. You have dreams right now that will really shape who you become. Don’t be afraid. They are good dreams, and they lead to great things. Except for becoming a mad scientist, you manage to ticking off many items in your list of future accomplishments. So just keep doing what you’re doing. You’ll mess up here and there, but it will only make it more interesting. Remember to be a child.
I have judged you for too long in a way that I would never allow anyone to judge another person. It only makes it worse to think that you are only 10. You’re full of projects and hopes yet somehow you already carry a load of unnecessary fears and expectations of yourself. It was not fair, and I am doing my best to make it up to you. One thing I am working on right now is to tie old, loose ends. You deserve closure and the right to be a child in my memory. Neither of us gains anything from expecting you to behave like an adult (a flawless one, even), no matter what we have told ourselves.
I promise to write more often.
I love you,
Yourself in the future.