a beautiful exercise, borrowed from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, is to write a letter from your this-age-self to your eighty-age-self. then reverse. third, if you’re feeling motivated, write a letter from your now-self to your eight-year-old-self. suggested extra credit: reread your letters and observe your sensations.
here is an example: my 8-to-24 letter, written April of 2011.
You are so big and beautiful now. I look up to you so much. I am glad you kept playing violin and that you still love reading. It makes me sad that you went though a long period of your life when you didn’t love yourself.
Keep remembering to play, have fun, and keep up your friendships. Play more board and card games. Try setting up a movie (Rocky & Bullwinkle) and pizza night again. Call Aaron more! Read children’s books because they are fun. Don’t worry about how you look all the time. Focus on your relationships with friends. Also with family. Don’t forget or disregard the influence your family has had on your life. Your good fortune and…extraordinary life situations are due in large part to the loving household you grew up in. Cherish those memories and be mindful of any connections that may present themselves between your current, 24-year-old life situation and your eight-year-old life situation.
Don’t be afraid to get hurt and be silly. You will never be too old for fun-for-fun’s sake. I love you and the woman you’ve grown up into.