Dear Future Claire,
Hey, it’s junior year you here. I don’t know where you are right now, or what you’re doing, but I know what I hope you’re doing and where I hope you are, and I know that I hope you’re happy.
This is already feeling sort of melancholic, but that’s kind of your whole personality wrapped up in one word. Or, bittersweet. That works too. Anyway, back to the point. See, one thing you lack is focus. You need to set a goal and stick to it, you need to look ahead at a solid point on the horizon and keep your eyes on it and keep going. I hope you’ve realized how to do this by now. If you’re still stuck, like me now, thinking you’ll do something and then just letting yourself down, then I wish you the best for the future. I hope you’re still career-driven and still know what you want out of life and still have strong, deep-set priorities. I hope you are self-aware enough to realize that your goals are simultaneously achievable and that you must work hard to make them a reality. You can’t start slacking now, no matter how far ahead or behind you are.
I hope you’re still passionate about things. Right now, I feel like I’m pretty passionate. And in terms of expressing that passion, I can do so both vocally and via writing. I hope you’ve maintained that, Future Claire. You can write and write and write and never stop and that’s something admirable, so don’t count yourself out. And I hope you’re still a feminist and still so politically attentive and passionate and still have developed opinions. I hope that, through stress and downfalls, you haven’t lost touch with what matters to you. You can do whatever you want, Claire, but don’t lose yourself in the depths of it all.
So there’s not really much room for self-reflection here; it’s more of an expectation-filled letter. And the thing with expectations is that they put pressure on you. This pressure can be good and can set you up for success — after all, you tend to work pretty well under pressure, Claire. Pressure can also make you crash and burn, and I don’t want you to crash and burn, Future Claire, so I’m going to tell you that all of my hopes for you that I’ve talked about are just that — hopes and goals. But hopes and goals change, and I’m sure that no matter where you are or what you’re doing with your life, you’re doing something great, so keep your head up and stay strong, girl.
Claire Gilliland, as of March 14, 2017.