It's me. Well, it's you, technically, all grown up. Or as grown up as we wanna claim on a regular basis, which, considering our favorite food is still mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, maybe we'll never officially grow up.
Sometimes we eat ice cream for dinner. That's pretty cool.
Come sit by me. I've got some things to tell you.
First, even twenty years later, you still occasionally make this face. Not so much for funny face pictures anymore, but because sometime things don't go according to plan. We're still cute, though. Promise.
Do you remember that time we were in Barnes & Noble? I think it was that summer before H went to college. We got up early each morning to take mom to work so we could have the car, and we adventured all over. We went to the Sciencenter, to the mall, and made a lot of trips to the bookstore.
Do you remember what you thought that day? You might have even said it out loud.
You said one day, I'm gonna walk into Barnes & Noble and find my name on the shelf.
Brace yourself, kid, because it's actually happening.
You wrote a novel - you've written eight of them, actually - and signed a publishing contract, and tomorrow, that book that you wrote is released into the world. It's the ebook version, the print one doesn't come out until May 15.
But your book is going out into the world. It's going to be on bookstore shelves.
You had a goal, which, at one point, didn't seem attainable, but you worked for it anyway. That's because you don't know how to quit, kid. Trust me when I say you still don't, and I don't think you're ever going to learn. Probably not a bad thing.
I'm not gonna lie, you've got some rough years ahead, and I don't just mean the normal middle and high school year shenanigans. You'll get mono, somehow catch whooping cough, have a mystery pain, and get your wisdom teeth removed. You even eventually have open heart surgery. Which yeah, it's terrifying,
But you do a lot of other really cool stuff before and after. You get to travel. Mom and Dad even let you wander all the way to Wales for, like, four months.
And you play so much soccer.
But the most important thing, kid, is that you didn't give up. There were a lot of people who scoffed at that lofty goal of yours, a lot of people who thought you couldn't do it. And despite all of that, despite sometimes wondering why you kept writing, why you kept trying, you didn't give up.
And that, you mop-headed small child, is something we never grow out of.
It's a long, strange trip from there to here, but it's worth every. Single. Step. And it's definitely worth it for the people you'll meet along the way. Some will encourage you. Some will tell you you can't do it. And some will just let you slog through everything without comment. You'll figure it out.
You'll always figure it out.
And when in doubt, just ask mom for advice. She's got a lot of wisdom she can impart.
But you gotta remember, kid, that in the quiet moments in the middle of the night when no one else was around, it was you who kept going, kept trying, and kept writing. For all those moments when it would have been easy to give up, you didn't.
This was your dream to follow, your goal to get. And you did.
So tomorrow - the release day for LADY OF SHERWOOD - is for you, kid. You never gave up on that dream, and here we are, twenty years later, finally seeing it tangibly come true. Here's to you for saying I want that, and I'm gonna do it one day.
Your one day is here.
Smile. Soak it all in. Have some cake. And maybe, on Tuesday, figure out which new thing you want to reach for next.
Here's to you, kid.
You Future Self
Thanks for stopping by. Browse. Smile. Giggle. And maybe say hi.