Dear 100 Hour Board,
Hello current and former writers! If you could talk to yourself from a year in the past, what would you say to yourself? What advice would you give? If you could talk to yourself from a year in the future, what would you say? What questions would you ask?
P.S. Do not give yourself the ability to tell your past self how to communicate with another yourself a year prior to your past self. I fell down that rabbit hole last evening and it kept me up all night.
Advice for last year me: go to the doctor sooner rather than later. Both when you get mono and when the depression starts.
Questions for next year me: are you treating yourself better?
It might be something like:
Dear baby Auto,
A year ago: You're about to go to the hospital for the first time. It will be scary but it will be good. And, it's pretty cool you were able to wait until the summer to go because then you can spend a month doing nothing but puzzles and life goes on okay. But remember that there's more to life than that. It's scary but it will be good. Eventually.
Six months ago: Yeah, Auto, this is what happens when you get surface-level treatment: you get surface-level results. And I know a mission still sounds like the cure, but it's not. You still need to figure out some things where you are before you can journey on.
Six weeks ago: You should probably start exercising, so that all this energy doesn't make you a bit of a freak around people. (oops) Good thing you can't afford to run away from embarrassment right now, because repentance/improvement is super real and it'll be fine eventually. Just, maybe, add some yoga or something into your routine. And maybe get a routine. (oops)
Questions for next year: Did you find your island? Have you been on it this whole time? Are you home?
Advice for last-year me: don't be disappointed when you find out you're having a boy. He's better than any girl you ever dreamed of having!
Questions for next-year me: was worrying about your husband's situation worth it?
Advice for last-year me: You have vocal nodes and you are in denial about it. You probably should have gone to the doctor two months ago. Make the friggin' appointment. Also, here is the name and number of a therapist that you will click with. Call the clinic now instead of waiting until January so you can get help before your anxiety gets out of control. Also, when school gets out, you need to either encourage your husband to take the train to work or you need to buy a second car, because being trapped at home all day every day all summer is going to trash your mental health.
Questions for next-year me: should I move choir to after school or keep it before school? Is going off my medication a good or bad idea? Can you give me any investment tips or lottery numbers?
"Lay off the fruit snacks, fatty," for both past and future.
Well, you got through the hardest part of your year, and things are going to look up from here on out (well, up through a year, at least). Summer is going to be... boring, but fine. The highlights will be where you get to do things with that one friend (she really is the best). Don't worry too much about what you've done to yourself with organizing your Fall schedule. It will be hard, but you can handle it. There will be lots of things that will be unexpected, but that's okay. You learn things from them, though mainly in retrospect.
Hey, how's it going? Just wanting to confirm something really fast: am I still alive, or did the first year of ACME straight-up kill me?
Uh-huh...wait, what? How is that even an answer? How do you not know?... oh... yeah, um, I'm not sure either in that case.
Okay, moving on, then. Anything going on relationship-wise?
*Sigh* And just when I thought I couldn't be any more committed to my textbooks.
Well, good talk Future Me. Hope everything goes well for you.
Past self: Don't go to China. Bad things will happen.
Future self: Are you happy? What are you doing for the fall? Do you have plans to visit other countries?
Advice for my past self: Drop everything and schedule a trip to San Luis Obispo NOW to find housing. You will thank me next fall when you don't have to live out of a hotel for your first month of school. Also, you will be tempted to buy a certain specific computer. No matter what else you do, do not buy it. It will give you nothing but headaches. And finally, get your act together and thank everyone who gave you a letter of recommendation immediately! Other than that, though, don't stress out too much. Your life is finally on the right track again.
Questions for my future self: So, did you get the housing internship with the county? And how is your thesis project going? Please tell me all of the things about the thesis that did not go smoothly so that I can avoid them.
I'd tell my past self about Brexit (lever up financially and short the pound!), the OPEC agreement (buy oil futures in mid-November!), Trump's election (neither of us is sure if any foreign betting markets are legally accessible in the US, but it would be worth finding out!), and Leicester City's win (ditto Trump comment). I'd also say your son is growing up to be super cool and his medical issues don't end up being significant to date. (Although you already pretty much knew this, maybe you can convince the wife more effectively.)
I'd probably ask future self about similar concerns. Also, will there be hurricanes or other major catastrophes in my area? Will anything especially bad happen at the refinery that we could prevent by taking action now?
I honestly don't think I'd really want to talk about most personal decisions or their results: for the last year I don't have any major regrets, and I wouldn't want to accidentally mess with how well things have turned out.
Advice for last-year me: Save every penny you can; life circumstances change faster than you could imagine, and you will never be prepared. Also don't worry about being kind to the awful coworkers who treat you terribly.
Question for future me: What can I do in this new job to keep my head above water? Have you found any tips for managing all our sicknesses, and can I start using them now?
As I've been pondering this question I've planned out a long conversation with my past self (hereafter referred to as L). I'll share the highlights. Firstly I would have a frank conversation with L about fiscal responsibility and what constitutes smart spending decisions. I would also share with L some practical tips that would save us a bit of money and also increase our overall enjoyment. I would probably give L my completed senior thesis to save him a bit of hassle and potentially help him accomplish a bit more as he finishes up at BYU. Then the bulk of our conversation would be preparing L for beginning grad school, giving him advice and some suggestions that I think would help make the transition easier and let him be more successful and find a better research fit sooner. We'd probably also talk about mental illness and health and I'd give him some advice in that regard as well. I'd probably also tell him about how I recently had a realization about a girl I liked and while he wouldn't be able to ask her out because she's not in the same country as him at the moment, it would at least give him more time to think about it and consider if and how he might want to pursue a relationship with her. And then of course I would give him a printout of the 2017 March Madness bracket and some other ways for him to make some dinero.
My future self, who we'll call N, I'm sure would have plenty to say to me but mainly I'd ask him if and how I've learned to manage my depression and also if and how I started dating anyone (and whom).
Dear M.O.D.A.Q. ~
Past self: I know your 33rd birthday is coming up. I know you're looking forward to it, because two threes sounds like the ideal age, considering how threes follow you around so much. Clearly it's going to be your best year ever. And in many ways, it will be awesome. Don't mourn your friend moving too much. You'll keep your friendship, despite the distance. She doesn't drift away like all your other best friends have done. Unfortunately, there will be some of your hardest times this year, too. You are going to hit a period of darkness with no rhyme or reason. I promise, it will end. There will be light again. And that light will last. I know you won't believe it, but it's true. I promise. Just hang on a few months. Also, when you suspect hormones are involved, and your period is simultaneously out of whack, I would highly recommend going to the gynecologist sooner. She can help. Also, focus on yourself this year. You need it; you deserve it. I promise, it will make you a better wife, mother, and person. (Sorry, I can't promise your housekeeping skills will increase.) Do the things that you need to be sane, happy, and fulfilled. Yellow will fill in the gaps.
Future self: What advice would you give me? How do you feel about the number of children that you have? (How many children do you have?) Do you regret any of the decisions I'm making right now? Any advice on how to build confidence in our kids? Does Yellow 2.0 ever grow out of his terrible twos? Please tell me that he skips the threenager stage. Please? Any amazing parenting tips you've learned that you'd like to pass my way?
~ Dragon Lady
Dear me, past and present,
Don't bother with the chocolate shake at Culver's—get the raspberry. It's amazing.
Dear Past Soulful,
You should really wait another three weeks before buying that ticket to Italy. I know a $300 ticket from Boston sounds like a great deal, but a $400 ticket from Salt Lake is even better. Also, don't ask Jonathan out. I know you really want to, but it would be much better to just become friends with him then consider asking him out. And when it is time to renew your housing contract, just spend the money and get your own place. You really shouldn't be doing this roommate thing anymore.
Also, you really ought to run more and eat fewer cookies.
Dear Future Soulful,
Are you dating anyone yet or are we still #perpetuallysingle? Should I just quit my job now or stick it out until other things fall into place?
Also, how's North Korea's nuclear program doing these days? Did Le Pen win the French election leading to France's departure from the EU? Is the EU even still a thing? And just how good is The Last Jedi? Will is be anywhere as good as Rogue One?
Do you know the release date for The Doors of Stone yet?