I saw this floating around a lot not too long ago and thought “of course” because I had been thinking about doing this even before I knew it was a hashtag. If you don’t know, the #DearMe thing I guess was basically just encouraging people to write a message to their old self. I’m not sure why or how this whole thing started, I didn’t really look into it because it was something I already knew I wanted to do and why. I wanted to do it in order to put into perspective who I am now. For me.

3baby faced Joshlynn! (Michael Escobar Photography)

I kinda just jumped in. Like I said, I didn’t read up on the whole #DearMe thing so I wasn’t sure if there were any specific suggestions on what to do for that and I really wasn’t concerned with it. I just decided to go with what I originally wanted to do and write to my 19 year old self. 17 was a pivotal year for me,  alot happened that ended up keeping me caged and then chained for years. I actually just shook the final ones loose recently and I feel so renewed.

419 yr old Joshlynn

 At 19 I was two years in to what I have called “the biggest mistake of my life”. I was so confused and so out of touch with almost anything that resembled joy. Maybe I’ll get into that another time, but today I just wanted to share this letter because I have said so many times before that I wanted to use this space as a place of accountability for myself and I sincerely meant that. I want to hold myself accountable to remembering who it is I know I am, and not what some bad decisions from my past or even some people from it would have me believe.


I’m also going to admit that part of me feels totally confident in posting this because aside from a few a family members and close friends, no one will probably ever read in it’s entirety what is about to be the longest post ever.

Dear Joshlynn,

Girl. This is your future self. I know you’re probably a little freaked but relax. I know you don’t do that easily but just take a deep breath and read this.

Ok. So, I know you are fuxking terrified right now. You felt too scared to talk to anyone and then like no one would listen or talk to you in a way that didn’t make you feel under attack when you did.  So now you’re all alone in this place and you really kinda have no idea how you got here. You want to talk but you’re scared. You want to get out but you’re so deep in you feel that’s impossible. The anxiety you’ve caused yourself is like a sickness, I know. You feel like some things just happened and you’re so scared and so confused in this moment but somehow it’s all going to be okay in the end. I just want to tell you that you’re right, but not in the way you think.

In fact, I’m not even writing you to tell you to do anything differently, not that at this point you’d even listen to me if I did. Seriously, even though I’m from the future, I don’t know the laws behind all this so I’m not sure if changing what you do over the next few years changes anything about where I am now and that’s what I’m here to talk to you about-where I am now. Where you are now.

The reason I don’t care for you to do anything differently is for fear of changing what I know to be my life now and I don’t want that. Maybe I could have gotten here down another path, but I don’t know for sure and I wouldn’t want to take the risk. I love where I am and I don’t want anything to change- kinda. You see, things are definitely still confusing. Not the same things. Ok some of the same things-but you have come to that light at the end of the tunnel you thought you’d never even see. I know you  and I know you think that getting to that light means you (well, I) have it all figured out, everything is horses and rainbows now in your situation! But no. It’s not even close to what you’re envisioning. It’s better. That light was realizing that “figured out” isn’t a destination at all, it’s a journey. A sometimes difficult- but beautiful journey.

“OMGAHHHHH so cliché” right? Stop that! So what. Why can’t that be real? “It’s not a destination it’s a journey” sounds like fluff but it’s not. It doesn’t have to be. This journey is so rough that at times your feet will bleed. Sometimes you’ll walk across gravel or even glass – but then at other times it’s cool sand with the waves slipping over your feet on the most beautiful of days. You see, who you are now- me- I know how to find beauty in the struggle and gratitude for the times where the trip is a little easier to travel as opposed to always wanting more or better.

It’s true, I’m still working on feeling normal without being anxious all the time. Anxious was our normal for so many years. But I see now that horses and rainbows will show up for a while, then clouds will come back…then back out comes the sun…It continues on like this. For everyone. Right now you think that one day it will all just be better and life will be easier to live from there on out. Joshlynn- optimisim is a beautiful characteristic to have, I have it still, it’s just that now I realize there is no moment where life becomes easy to live for the rest of your time living it.

There are seasons of ups and downs that create something beautiful if you allow it.  I don’t expect to never see another dark day just because I’ve finally come through the miles of trudging through glass that I put myself- well- you, put me through (laugh. It’s okay for you to do that). But I choose now to embrace the journey in all aspects.

I guess if I was in fact going to tell you to do anything differently, or try to advise someone else in your situation or one similar, it would be to stop trying to make it work just to make it right. You feel like if you don’t figure out a way to get it all figured out, make it work, turn it in to horses and rainbows– you have will have wasted so much energy and time on someone who never truly had any value for you. The reality of the situation is, that last part is and will always be true regardless. Trust me, there are still instances happening in my lifetime that give that statement evidentiary support.

It’s a scary thing to have to face, all that wasted time. What you could have/would have done. But it has strengthened me- just bucking up and doing it, facing it. I read an awesome quote the other day by a guy you actually know of. I hadn’t read anything from him in a while but it said:

“You cannot conquer what you do not confront” (Kris Vallotton)

I’ve been using it non-stop lately. So that’s what I’m doing. That’s what I have been doing. I’m confronting all of this, what you’re going through now. I have been working on it for quite some time actually. I think the biggest part of that for me though is confronting you. 

The honest truth is that staying with someone who isn’t right for you doesn’t right any wrongs. It doesn’t make him care any more than you know he does (which we BOTH know is very little although you’re not ready to admit that). And it certainly doesn’t get you back any of your wasted time, it just steals more. It might not seem like much now but I promise you, it won’t all be for nothing if it doesn’t work with him. I have refused to let that be the case by confronting all of the mess left in my heart and committing to learning in whatever ways I can. You’re so young. You don’t realize how young you are and you won’t until you watch your 17year old sister trying to grow up too. It would be easy to place blame but that only perpetuates bitterness and I don’t have time for that. I have come into my own from learning and reflecting on you and what you’re going through and…what you will go through.

I’m still piecing alot together but I’m always going to be doing that I think because the finish line to this whole “life on earth” thing isn’t “easy livin’”… but you don’t have to worry with that if you’re too busy living your life to the fullest. So that’s what I’m trying to do. I think doing that means taking everything you experience in life whether it be by your own choices or not, and learning something that betters your character, something that might even help someone else later in life and always having a heart full of gratitude.

Yes, you are a giant high school wall poster cliché these days. But you’re happy. You have so much joy in your life and a fearlessness you’ve never known.

When I said I didn’t want anything to change, kinda– what I meant was that the only change I want to see in my (our) life is more forward progression.

Don’t worry, you progress right on through this.

So I guess you can see that you’re still long winded, over dramatic and can have a bad mouth from time to time but some things don’t change under any circumstances and that’s alright, I think.

I love you girl. I forgive you.

Forward I move…