The handwriting on the envelope looked awfully familiar—and just plain awful as well.
I came across this mysterious letter while going through my mail on Thursday afternoon.
There was no return address, but I immediately recognized the pathetic penmanship.
Hideously hacked scribble that could drive a boatload of nuns to drink, distraction, and dementia, there’s only one person on God’s green earth who has handwriting this bad.
And that person is…me.
But why the hell would I write a letter to myself? I know my memory is slipping but I didn’t think I had resorted to churning out midnight missives in my sleep. Or had I?
I held the letter in my hand for several seconds trying to figure out what it was all about, studiously ignoring the obvious solution—like opening the goddamn thing.
I thought of my father, who used to pull the same exact stunt. He’d actually hold his own letters up to the light to try and read their contents, even though the envelope was addressed to him.
Hey, if you’re looking for logic here, you’ve opened the wrong sack of mail.
Finally I ripped the envelope apart and started reading a letter I had written to myself on May 18.
And then I it all came back to me like a note tied to a five-pound brick. Emily, the teacher of the mindfulness-based stress reduction class that I had taken at the Interdependence Project earlier this year, had us all write these notes to ourselves during the last session.
One side of the letter discussed what I wanted to remember from the class.
“I would like to remember that I have a choice when it comes to dealing with stress and all the pressures that life has to offer,” I wrote three months ago. “I would like to remember that I can stay mindful, be in the present moment, instead of getting lost in anger, sorrow, or frustration. I would like to remember to love myself every single day.”
The other side of the letter was a direct message to myself.
“Dear Me,” it began. “I hope this letter finds you well—very well indeed—weller than you’ve ever been.”
Forgive the grievous grammar but I was trying to make a point.
The timing of this letter was incredible. I was feeling especially crabby on this day, yes, even more so than usual.
Perhaps I was going through post-vacation psychosis, but I couldn’t rein in my temper and my thoughts were bouncing all around my skull. I wasn't moving beyond my pain; I was moving in with it.
I haven’t been writing my heart out at all, I haven’t been doing enough to reach my goals, and now this letter shows up on my doorstep to remind me of how far I had fallen short in my efforts to become more mindful and productive.
But then I gave it some time. I decided to do some constructive thinking--rather than getting lost in anger, sorrow, or frustration.
The point of writing this letter was not to mock my future self. The Me back in May was only trying to help, to point the current version of yours truly toward the light and away from the darker regions of my mind.
I was reminding myself that I have a choice.
Instead of feeling depressed about hitting the deck, I used this letter to get me back up on my feet.
So, in answer my own question, I am indeed well. And I intend to get weller than ever.