Over a recent vacation in my childhood home, I spent some time sorting boxes that have accumulated over the years. I triaged their contents for their importance in my life. Each box had been in a storage unit until recently, now they filled what was once my brother’s wood shop. Box after box of extra pots and pans, Christmas decorations, shoes, and serving platters. To keep or not to keep, that was the question.
In a box I came across an empty notebook, the pretty kind that you give as a gift when you cannot think of anything else to give, and have ruled out fancy soap. I flipped through it quickly, finding page after page of empty lined paper. I set it aside in the pile of items to donate.
“Do you need this?” my mom asked a few minutes later, the notebook in hand, open to a page I must have missed, full of my scratchy writing.
I took it from her, glancing closer to find my answers to an interview for the local newspaper upon my graduation from high school.
Something your classmates would say is out of character for you: Counting calories.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years: Starting a family and loving the woman I have become.
Advice for your fellow classmates: Avoid apathy.
I thought back to my 18year old self, the world she saw and knew. Then I thought about me today, the 10 years later Kateri.
Society spends so much time talking about the advice we would give our younger selves if we had the opportunity, but I couldn’t help but wonder the opposite.
Given the chance to meet me today, how would that younger version of me feel?
Would she be proud of the woman I am today?
Have I avoided apathy?
Have I lived up to her expectations?
What about you? Think back to yourself at the height of your naivety, the peak of your idealist, clueless, dreamer self. Have you lived up to the person you planned to be? Sure, the world gets in the way, life gets hard, and you find all of these roadblocks you never knew existed along the way. But it isn’t too late to find ways through them and around them. It isn’t too late to slow down and redirect your focus to finding that person you wanted to be.
At 18, unlike many of my classmates and friends, I didn’t have a list of accomplishments I planned to achieve. Rather, I envisioned a person I wanted to be. I can’t help but accept that somewhere along the way, during the past decade, it stopped being about her and started being about what she has done, will do, can do. And of course all of that is wonderful. But,
For today, and maybe tomorrow too, I am going to take a minute and see if I can’t become more of the girl she wanted me to be. One who doesn’t count calories, one who loves the woman she is, and one who above all else, avoids apathy.