Dear Younger Self,

I look back on you and smile and cringe all at once. You have fought and struggled, you have succeeded and achieved some great things, and you have kept smiling though it all. There are things I wish I could tell you not to do and things I wish I could tell you to run from, but in the end it makes you who you are, and despite the regret you will feel I know how stubborn you are. You’re going to do it anyway.



I actually envied you the other day. You see, I have removed yet another one of life’s boots from my ass and am left picking up the pieces of a broken dream. You seemed so rosy to me, but then I realized I simply longed for that bubble of innocence I once had wrapped tightly around me, that padding of naïve idealism you still enjoy. I am not bitter. I am admittedly a bit tired from the land mines I keep finding. Then again I have not chosen a “normal” life, whatever that is.

I do not wish to waste my breath giving you advice I know you will not hear. I will tell you what I have learned so far, and allow you to choose to agree or disagree with me as you pick your own path and learn your own lessons. I know that in time will understand.


  • First of all, I have learned that what’s going to happen is going to happen. You cannot stop it. All you can do is make the best choices for yourself as fate unfolds.


  • I have learned that nothing is perfect. There is compromise in everything.


  • I have learned that despite the worst situations there is a silver lining in every cloud. There is also a lesson learned in everything.


  • I have learned that life is one constant struggle with culture shock. We try something new, we struggle, we react, we gain knowledge and grow, and we get comfortable again, only to have the cycle repeat itself.


  • I have learned that it’s all about the journey. I will survive it one way or another.


  • I have learned to cry when I need to.


  • I have learned that family and friends are there for me. I don’t need to be so damn proud. They will save me.


  • I have learned that laughter is most often the best medicine.


  • I have learned that the kindness of strangers is most often genuine.


  • I have learned to let people be who they are.


  • I have learned to not put so much energy into negative people.


  • I have learned to be the bigger person, no matter how bad I want my revenge. An asshole will always be an asshole, but I am the one who has to live with myself.


  • I have learned that Karma works in mysterious ways.


  • I have learned that if being labeled a “Bitch” means that I am strong, can stand up for myself, speak my mind, and defend the things I believe in, than I am one the biggest Bitches I know.


  • I have learned to love myself. I will never have impossibly thin thighs or any of the other attributes I covet from the people I admire. I am fabulous in my own way because I am the only ME around.


I hope this helps you some in your journey. At the very least keep some of it in mind. In the meantime I have to continue on my own journey. I must admit I am looking forward to what it holds, and the stories that will subsequently unfold. Not only are the possibilities endless, but I know there will be more to learn along the way.


Remember to enjoy the ride. It is a beautiful world out there!


Big hugs and lots of love,

Your Older Self

Amy, 34, Counting the days until I am back in Germany