To Lili, age 9

Dear Lili,

I know this is a hard year for you, and if you ever got this letter you’d read it over and over, huddled in the bottom of the supplies cabinet at school munching on saltines. Knowing us, you’d probably show it off to your classmates too. Don’t do that. Even a letter from the future isn’t going to make them like you. I know you want them to know you’re special, that you’re going to be somebody, that you’re worthy of their friendship and so much more. They do know that, but they’re going to keep making your life miserable until you finally leave that school. If I could offer any advice to you I’d say give them a big middle finger when you do.

Lili, things are about to get so much better. It’s going to be another 15 years till you really understand how far you’ve come from that supply cabinet, but when you do you’re going to wonder how you became the luckiest girl in the world. You are going to move around, and meet people who open up your eyes and your heart. You are going to find the most wonderful friends, a few of them will enter your life just one year from today. These people, they’re going to treat you with so much love and compassion. They’re going to wrap their arms around you at midnight when you’re crumpled over in a foreign country, heartbroken, and trying to breath through the tears. They are going to pull you onto the dance floor and sway around with you, making ridiculous faces, and not trying to be even remotely sexy. They’ll visit you no matter how far you move, they’ll rescue you at 2am when you’re stranded and humiliated, and they won’t ask questions on the ride home. You’ll be challenged by them, angered by them, tickled, and kissed by them. You’ll move out of your parents house and watch as they sit on your sofa, drink your wine, and laugh at your jokes. It will be the most complete you’ve ever felt in your life.

I’m only 24, and that might seem old to you, but it’s not when you get here. I wish I could tell you more about how we end up in this house you call your own, and what we’re going to do with our lives, but that uncomfortable feeling of not knowing is important for you to retain. That’s what keeps you moving. That’s what gets you this place in your life where you feel so blessed that if you died tomorrow you’d have no regrets. Right now it might feel too far away, and there are a lot of things we want that haven’t happened yet, but I’m working for you kid. I’m trying to get those dreams to come true. You know the ones I’m talking about. So sit tight, fight back, and don’t be bitter. Everyone gets what they deserve, and you will too.

With all my love,


Lili, age 24.


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