Monday, January 18, 2016

Spring cleaning

In the midst of my rabid spring cleaning this weekend I discovered a letter I'd written to myself, age 15, to myself on my 18th birthday. Or, you know, almost 14 years later. It's a gem, so here it is word for word, though with updated punctuation because 15-year-old Heidi is a little too in love for commas for 33-year-old Heidi's taste.

Dear Heidi,
 This is a little strange; I've never written a letter to myself before. But my future plans. I want to graduate from seminary. I want to graduate as valedictorian from Roswell High. (You could have skied down that last line it was so crooked. This is why everything should be typed.) I want to attend UNC at Chapel Hill on a soccer scholarship, and I want to major in computer science and minor in engineering. I want to become a computer engineer or private programmer. I want to get married in the D.C. temple (I'd never seen it at the time. I think this was my I'm-going-to-marry-Prince-William phase and I liked the castle feel of the D.C. temple.) and have a family. I want to travel abroad a lot and try bungee-jumping, hang gliding, scuba diving, white water rafting and other stuff. I want to create something new, make the world a better place, live my life the best that I can and do SOMETHING with my life.
Sincerely, a worse signature than I currently sign on a computer screen with my finger

I giggled. Let's take a look at how disappointed 15-year-old Heidi would be.


  • Graduate from seminary: Check.
  • Graduate as valedictorian: Fail. I was No. 4. But my friend was valedictorian, so I wasn't too upset.
  • UNC on a soccer scholarship and major in engineering: Fail on all fronts. Where did that last bit come from, you ask? When I was in eighth grade I took a computer programming class. It was really fun. I sat next to the Tyrannosaurus rex, because the programming we were doing was basically from the dinosaur age. But it was fun, and I took an aptitude test that told me I would be a good engineer. To be fair, I do routinely engineer things. Well, food. I engineer food. I am an amateur food engineer.
  • Computer engineer or private programmer: Technically this is a fail, but I think we can all agree that actually being a computer engineer would not have gone well. Also, journalism was fun. So is PR. 
  • Get married in the D.C. temple: Fail. Also, this will never happen unless I'm actually living in D.C. this will not happen. It took 15-year-old Heidi a few years to realize that a good wedding is not perfect and in a castle, it is the shindig that involves the least hassle.
  • Family: Check. Pippi totally counts.
  • Travel abroad: Check.
  • A lot: Not fail. Still working on it. 
  • Bungee jumping, hang gliding, scuba diving, white water rafting, other stuff: Fail, fail, fail, check, check, I guess. However, 33-year-old Heidi has no interest in bungee jumping, and I have jumped out of an airplane, so I feel that is an acceptable replacement. I've gone snorkeling, which requires way less training than scuba diving but sort of works. 
  • Create something new: Check. Yes, spumoni pinwheel cookies absolutely count.
  • Make the world a better place: Check. See above.
  • Live my life, etc: I'm gonna call this a work in progress.
Maybe I should replace this letter with a note for 50-year-old Heidi. It would include: not hurting myself during marathon training; settle down on my own piece of land,grow peas and tomatoes, and somehow find a recipe that deliciously combines three of my favorite foods: chocolate, cheese and garlic. Here's to another random number of years of life!

Sincerely, an old woman who has got to go to bed already

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