Send it off in a Letter to Yourself

I am a HUGE fan of today’s Reverb 10 prompt.  I’ve actually done this type of exercise before and it’s amazing how it can change my perspective on where I’m at and where I’ve been.  Besides, how many times can I quote a cheesy 70’s song as a post title?

Future Self: Imagine yourself five years from now.  What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Author: Jenny Blake)

Dear Deb,

Clearly the start of 2011 did not suck.  At all.  You checked “photograph the Big 5 on safari in Africa” off your Manifeisty Life List and had an awesome three weeks travelling around South Africa, being outside and taking photos.  It was exactly what you needed at the time so yay you for jumping at the chance to go.  I get that coming home was a bit of a let down.

I know that 2011 starts the way 2010 ended, with you feeling like you’re in a bit of a rut.  You want to have faith that it will all work out but at the same time you’re just dying for it to all just frickin’ WORK OUT already.  I get that.  But you need to chill.  You need to keep remembering to be happy and grateful in the moment.  You can’t wait to be happy when…  When is coming babe, I promise, but you will miss so much (and we have missed so much) by focusing on the goals instead of the journeys.

Banish doubt.  It’s unproductive.  Also, you know that voice that says that maybe you’re not really worthy and deserving of joy and happiness and true love? Banish it too.  It’s bullshit.  Again, unproductive.  And you should be using that energy to live in the moment.

Write.  Take pictures.  Exercise.  Meditate.  Bake.  Do whatever you need to do to keep your over-active brain from spinning you back into old habits and old beliefs and old doubts.  Your brain is not your friend when it’s like this.  Keep it busy and out of your way so that you can focus on the abundance in your life.  It is all SO coming your way.  Dude.  Seriously.  Trust me on this.


(Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago.  What would you tell your younger self?)

Dear Deb circa December 2000:

Girl!  You are living the LIFE, aren’t you?  The attic apartment with the slanted ceilings and the equally slanted floors?  Saturday nights at Griffin’s and Sunday mornings at the Mayflower?  Life is good for you right now.  You discovered your love of travel this year.  Trust me, there will be LOTS more of that over the next 10 years.  According to Facebook (no time to explain now, you’ll get it in a few years), we’ve visited 44 countries by December 2010!  You’ve also hooked up with some pretty amazing friends.  Mandi, Robyn and Sam?  They are the real deal.

Good news!  Your 30’s will be pretty frickin’ awesome.  There are just a few things I’d like to mention.  First, the guy you’re pining over right now?  Just stop.  I know that he flirts with you all the damn time.  And you think you’d be great together.  And your friends think you’d be great together.  And even HIS friends seem to think you’d be great together.  For some inexplicable reason he does not want to sleep with you.  Sorry, but that’s the fact.  Cut him loose.  Also, in a couple of years you are going to fall truly in love for the first time.  Go with it.  It’s awesome.  But do us both a favour and trust your gut.  Just… do, ok?

Also, I’d like you to just occasionally consider the concept of babies, as in having some of your own.  I know.  You’re horrified.  Pour yourself some vodka.  I’ll wait.  Ok.  Now you don’t have to actually HAVE babies yet but it couldn’t hurt to consider them before you hit 40.  As well, consider the kind of relationship you’d want to have babies in, and particularly, whether or not you are open to that kind of relationship.  Hint: You are NOT.  Oh, I know you think you are but trust me.  Your control issues and your fear of failing will not permit you to choose the kind of guy that you think you want.  You’ll figure this out eventually but it might be nice (for ME, over here in 2010) if you figured it out a little earlier.

Ok, gotta run.  Basically, have a good time.  Enjoy yourself.  Make the most of the opportunities that come your way.  Take time to enjoy the journey.  Also, babies.



About Debra Cowie

Debra is a photographer and visual storyteller based in Ottawa, Canada. She is an explorer at heart, whose passion for photography was born in travel and has been carried with her to more than 30 countries so far. Debra is also an avid cook and baker and much of her current work focuses on food styling and photography in her serendipitously beautifully lit kitchen. She has flirted with Polaroid and 35mm film photography but her true love is her DSLR (aka "Boyfriend Mark").
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