to my year-ago self

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This past week I’ve eaten a great deal of pumpkin loaf. ‘Tis the season? I think yes.

I’ve also done a lot of thinking this week. The kind of thinking that made some things click inside my often overwhelmed and confused brain (I’m going to attribute these revelations to all the pumpkin). Things about life. Things I wish I had really truly understood when I graduated a year and a half ago. Perhaps I needed all this time feeling “lost” to know that I’m not really lost at all. That seems to be a thing that happens. So, a note to me from me—a slightly wiser me:

Please, please stop obsessing over what you’ll become. It’s the living part, the climb (thank you, Miley Cyrus), that matters waaayyy more. And even that shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Every day should be some kind of fun, even if it’s just eating a bowl of cereal for dinner (to some that might seem depressing, but I find cereal quite fun). And if some days end up being no fun at all and actually suck, it’s most likely you got a lesson out of it. Remember during your entire elementary education when you’d come home from school and your parents would ask you what you learned that day? I found that question to be terribly annoying, but I’d argue that it’s even more valid in this grown-up life I’m trying to live. Learn something every day—about yourself or your cat or Alexander Hamilton.

Be honest with yourself—which seems to be way harder than it sounds because we constantly have a chorus of voices in our head telling us what we want or don’t want. None of those voices know what the hell they’re talking about. Shut them all up and listen to your gut because he’s always right. In order to get really good at that you’re going to have to realize that you’ve got absolutely nothing to prove to anyone, including your best friends, your grandmother, your favorite math teacher. Be your most wildly beautiful authentic self. It’s all you’ve got. Be that thing that makes you different—that spark of madness.

You’ll be scared to dive deep into your dreams; scared to quiet other peoples opinions. But it’s the only way you’ll grow. A rejection isn’t what it seems: it’s The Universe guiding you. It will continue to do so until you get the point, as long as you’re open. Trust It. Know that there are no mistakes. You can never lose what's truly yours. Breathe. Feel the sun. Love yourself. You’re your own best friend. Nourish your body and it will tell you everything you need to know.

A job alone isn’t going to fix things. Nor will moving across the country. Or finding a person. It’s what’s inside: your mindset, your way of living, that will give you what you need to blossom and be happy. So long as you find peace and joy with the star that you are, everything else will follow (rolled my eyes slightly at myself here, but I’m still behind every word).

And I have to say, these are things I’ve been preaching for years—pretty standard cliches. But it’s one thing to say it, and another thing to live it. To truly deep down believe and know that you’re doing everything right so long as you’re being you.

Thank you, pumpkin baked goods.

Kelsey Gleason