Wrote this today, hope you like it! ♥ Also, please remember to pre-order a copy of my new book Lullabies, availableat all major bookstores. To get a special discount now, purchase online at Amazon, BN.com and The Book Depository. So much love to you all!xo Lang
russia’s lake baikal, the world’s oldest, largest and deepest freshwater lake, freezes over for half the year, creating the clear, turquoise ice seen in these photos by (click pic) alexey kharitonov, alexey trofimov, santorifoto, valery chernodedov and dmitriy sharov. (see also: more russia and lake baikal posts)
You’ve seen people on the Internet reading letters that they’ve written in the past. Usually, these letters were written during their childhood. This letter? Well, this letter is a bit different. You wrote this ~3 months before your 21st birthday… and not on your tenth or twelfth birthday. But that’s fine. What matters is that you accomplished this on your bucket list. And you have.
Hopefully, you can speak up for yourself and others when you need to. So many times have you closed your lips tight to prevent your true thoughts from slipping out. Simply because you were afraid that people will not like you… that people will judge you. When that person makes a racist joke, call him or her out for it. When someone says something derogatory that revolves around a woman’s body, don’t let him get away. When a question is posed, and if you know the answer, do not be afraid to speak the answer even if that means you’re boasting. Even if you are unsure of your answer, speak anyways. You will learn from your mistakes. Do not fear the judgment of others. Ultimately, you are your only judge. If you have not improved this fear of yours by the time you read this letter, your past self will judge you.
Have you gained the confidence that you’ve always wanted? In terms of appearance, you should not constantly check to see if you look alright whenever you come across anything that displays a reflection- whether it be a store window or a laptop screen on sleep mode. In terms of your abilities, you should believe that you are capable of achieving your goals. During the time that this letter is written, you have your MCAT books out. You are very discouraged because you are getting a lot of questions wrong on the practice passage books. You are questioning your capabilities and whether or not you will even get into med school. Whether you have a resident/fellow/doctor position or a profession in a different category, please believe that you are intelligent. Because you are.
There are different types of intelligence. Your intelligence type? For one, you can empathize with others well. At least, more so than the common population. You see things people don’t. I hope that you still have this ability. Whatever profession you become, please remember to treat everyone with respect. You shadowed three doctors so far, and you’ve admired how Dr. Saab interacted with his patients. He would sit on the trash can when there are no seats available in the clinic rooms. He would use colloquial words. I’m not sure if this was intentional, but it sure did make the patients feel comfortable. This is what you strive for. You strive to make a difference- positively. No matter where you are in life, please volunteer when you have the time. If you cannot volunteer, donate to a charity. Allow younger generations to learn from you. If you’re a doctor, let other people shadow you. If you become a teacher, have open office hours during lunch. Be willing to sacrifice lunch for patients… for students. Remember how you would not eat lunch to serve clients in APA Health Care? Well, don’t ever lose that hardworking mentality. Do your best to care, and remember to make others smile.
Speaking of which, do you still have a good sense of humor? Hopefully, you are making wittier jokes now. If anything, being funny and positive is more important than being wise. No matter what, do not forget how lucky you are to wake up every morning.
Work is important, but do not forget about your loved ones. Do you still keep in contact with Mom, Ellen, and Michelle? Because if you have not in awhile, you better do that right after reading this letter. If you have a husband or a child, do not neglect them. At the point this letter is written, as much as you love children, you care more about career success than raising a child. But if you do decide to have a child in your life by 30, you better live up to your decision. Make your child feel valuable to you, because she or he is.
In summary, stay grateful and humble. You may be confident of your successes, but you must remember and appreciate how the world is so much bigger than you.
Live. See the Northern Lights when you have the chance. (Why must “Aurora Borealis” be so hard to pronounce?) Love. Laugh.
I believe in you, 30 year old self.
20 year old Dana.
P.S. You wrote this on a whim while listening to Spotify’s “Pop Ballads” playlist, so you might have been a bit emotional.
you ever notice how in women’s razor commercials the models’ legs are already completely hairless before they “shave” them
like we can’t even handle showing body hair in a commercial about how to get rid of body hair
The feeling of being indoors when it’s raining.