A Letter to My 2019 Self

A Letter to My 2019 Self

Dear Rachel,

Oh, you dear, sweet, naive, innocent, little thing. It’s June, which means you’re just getting settled into life in the city, and still trying to figure out your roommate situation, and you’re slowly making a few friends here and there. The homesickness is setting in with a force, which you’re abating with frequent trips to NC wherever you can squeeze them in. Best of all, you’re still under the impression that 2020 is going to be an amazing year, because how could a year that sounds so cool be anything but amazing? Well, just keep that optimism, honey child, but meanwhile I wanted to give you a little heads up of what’s coming next so you at least know to “keep your hands at the level of your eyes” as you go into the coming year.

Photo by HJ

Let’s talk about work first, shall we? I know you dread going to work every day, and I just want to cheer you up by telling you your job is only going to get worse, and you’re going to get so stressed out by the chaotic and toxic atmosphere that you feel almost physically ill. Never knowing when you’ll run up against the next ethical quandary really isn’t fun, is it? Happily though, at some point you’ll work up the courage to resign with good graces, and although it’ll be stressful to not always know where your rent is coming from, you won’t starve or end up living in a dumpster, as you like to joke. You’re actually going to end up working several jobs at once and just trying to keep your little nose above the water because you’re so busy. One of those will be working as an auditor, which is actually kind of fun, but you’ll still think it’s rather funny months into the job. Living the dream, man.

You’re also going to join that choir you can’t imagine being part of, but you’ll only get to sing for a few months with them before you’re shut down for the foreseeable future. Just when you’re feeling mostly comfortable with the songs you sing and have made some great friends over those tasty lunches between services, bam, it will be cut off with no warning. On the bright side, you will have choir zoom calls several times a week and you will get to know people you never had a chance to talk to before. That part is kind of cool, but not singing together is grievous and there are no two ways about it. Just relish it while you have the chance- store up that joy for the future, as it were. Someday in the distant future, you’ll reunite.

Here’s something else you should be warned about- mask sweat is going to be a real thing next year. I know you think that’s ludicrous, but trust me on this. Mask sweat equals chin acne, which is fortunately is hidden by your mask though, so it all works out. Lipstick is a nearly-forgotten joy, as is makeup in general and dressing up, because you’ll be spending most of your time indoors in a year from now. Also, you know your dorky little nose you’ve never quite liked? Well, you won’t like it any better, and would give a lot for an extra large nose for a few months, just to allow more room for air inside your mask. Who would have thought that the large-nosed people would be the real winners in 2020?

It’s not all bad though, because you’ll get to spend your days working from the comfort of your own home, something you’ve wanted to try for ages. Instead of an hour and a half commuting every day (at least), you’ll have a trek down the hall to the kitchen for your coffee, then back to your bedroom to work on your worn out chair until your back muscles yell in protest and beg to be stretched. I would tell you that you’re also going to be doing daily burpees and planks because a friend convinced you, yes you, to work out with her, but we both know you wouldn’t believe that, so you’ll just have to wait and see.

photo by Merry

You’ll have leisurely lunch breaks in which you can cook delicious salads and pastas, and you’ll work many long, dusky walks into your evening routine after work. Since you won’t have an unlimited metrocard anymore, you’re going to start exploring your own neighborhood instead of wandering to more exciting places, and you’ll find lovely stone churches and schools, mysterious pink mansions, delicious Vietnamese pork bowls, and even a couple parks you didn’t know existed.

2020 isn’t going to be a year of amazing adventures, persay. It’s going to be pretty disastrous, actually, with the pandemic and the racial tragedies, but it’s also going to be a year of small pleasures. Pleasures like discovering the mourning dove that lives outside your window, and actually having an AC unit instead of slowly melting, ounce by ounce, like last year. Un-rushed cups of coffee, and lots of baking of unnecessary cookies. Discovering the pitfall that is UberEats, and getting thoroughly addicted. New friendships with the people geography and zoom threw you together with, and having the time to make your house a home. You’re going to survive, and you’re going to thrive, so chin up, buttercup!


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Catching Up

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