Dear little Ravynn,
I hope I’m making you proud. I’m not the engineer you envisioned, nor the diplomat you came to dream about as you aged. I’m sorry to disappoint you but you outgrew almost all of your friends (except Jared, he’s still around so be extra nice to him next time you see him.) You didn’t get to go to Governor’s School, you stopped playing piano when you got to college and you didn’t go to Princeton.
But you did get to go to your dream college: The University of Virginia. You cry almost every time you think about the look on your Dad’s face when you met up with your family after the big graduation ceremony on the Lawn. You’re working towards becoming a professor, which means you’re getting a Ph.D. I know you’ve always wanted to be a Dr. It’s taken you a while, but you finally found friends I think you’ll manage to hold onto. Oh, and you did, at one point, cut off all your hair, just like you wanted. (Granted, parts of your hair did fall out from stress first so you had to cut it–but that’s not what matters most.)
You’re not as far away from home as you’d always hoped, but you do have your own apartment, your own car, and a dog that you named Genghis. And even though you may not want to admit it, you do like going home almost every weekend to see your Mom and Dad while you’re in grad school.
Keep dreaming big. Your accomplishments will exceed your wildest dreams.
I promise, you’re going to be alright.
Dear Future Ravynn,
I hope you published those novels you’ve been sitting on since June of 2015. I hope you got that Ph.D. I hope you’ve got tenure. I hope you started that magazine. I hope you write your heart out all the time. I hope people are reading and engaging with your words the way you’ve always dreamed.
But most of all I hope you’re happy.
I hope you got to see Chicago and San Francisco, Senegal and Italy. I hope you teach with kindness and compassion. I hope you changed a few lives or spoke to a few hearts along the way.
I hope you find your voice– not your writing voice, but your actual voice. I hope you remember that only fighting with a pen as your sword and paper as your shield has never been enough for you.
I hope you have a family that loves you and that you love more than you could ever imagine.
I hope you never stop reading. I hope you never stop dreaming. I hope you never stop striving.
I wish you peace, love and mental and emotional fortitude.