There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?

(Author: Corbett Barr)


Here’s me five years ago.

Here’s me today.

Oh, what a difference five years can make.

(Five years ago at this time, I would be getting ready to go off to college. I knew I was going to Marywood and I knew that this was going to be a big step in my life. As for how big, I didn’t know that yet.)

So, hey! Yes, you. The one with the goofy grin and brown hair. That’s right. We need to have a chat.

I’m from the future and what I’m about to tell you will save a lot of hassle later on. No, I don’t have time to explain how I got here, but just listen up.

First of all, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You are capable of a lot more than you give yourself credit for, which you’ll find out in a couple of years. Until then, be nice to people. I know you’ll feel stressed and I know that you’re going to walk into your freshman year of college acting like a complete nut, but realize that you need to chill. Seriously. Calm down.  Have a little fun. Live it up – these are going to be some of the best years of your life. Also – remember to keep running. You’ll put on weight otherwise and as you get older, it’s more difficult to lose.

Next, be sure that you’re with someone who lifts you up – not someone who brings you down. You’ll know what I mean once you get into your freshman year. There’s a guy named Brent Pennington on Facebook. He goes to Binghamton University. He’s going to make you happy. Look him up if you haven’t met him by Homecoming 2007. (P.S. – put extra effort into Steve Seepersaud’s class, it’ll pay off when you meet a certain someone on a freelance job.)

Audition for more things. We both know you want to. When you do it, you’ll do well. Don’t be afraid of what your major is or whether or not you’ll be good enough. The people you’ll meet and the experiences you’ll have will be worth all of the worry. Oh! And if you get the chance, check the bulletin board in the Performing Arts Center on campus. You’ll find listings for music lessons. Just do it already.

Remember to keep in touch with the people who bring out the best in you. Send emails. Make more phone calls. Spend time telling everyone how much you care about them. Especially Mike. You don’t know what can happen – but what’s meant to be is meant to be.

First impressions aren’t always correct. Soon you’ll meet someone who you won’t like at first. She’ll later become one of your best friends. Be open to new people and new friendships. Be kind to those you hurt accidentally. Believe it or not, you may break a heart.

Also, remember to be humble. I know that you’re a big shot smarty pants. You know it all – but college will show you that you really don’t. Be nice to people. Work well with others. Don’t automatically jump to the negative. There’s a lot of peace to be found in positivity. Speaking of peace, do yourself a favor and visit the room near the soda machines in the McGowan building. It will change your life for the better.

Finally, write as much as you can. It’s what you love doing, even if you don’t know that yet. Write as much as you can and write for yourself. As a matter of fact, remember to take care of yourself. When you’ll be up studying or working on a project at all hours of the night, remember that you need to be your first priority. Give yourself the time to rest and make time for the things you enjoy. Write for you, not just for homework.

I love you – and you’ll be fine. Just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll figure things out along the way.


Dear me in five years,

I hope that you’re a happy person. I hope that you feel challenged and rewarded by your work. I hope that you’re in a place you love, doing a job you love, with the person you love.

I hope that you still call Mom and Dad everyday. I hope that you always make time to write long emails or make phone calls to catch up with the people who can’t be nearby. I hope that you’ve gained a little more confidence and gotten over some of your fears. I hope that you can experience life as it is – just for today.

I hope that you’ve saved up a bit to travel. Maybe you’ve already visited some of the places on your list. Either way, never stop seeing and experiencing new things.

I hope that you’re still writing. Maybe you’re a hell of a lot better than you were five years ago. Maybe you’re still the same. You need to keep writing. And on that note, I hope you have the courage to keep writing about things you feel passionate about. I hope you feel fulfilled by your writing and that it’s gotten you some attention.

I hope that you take the time to visit with those you love. I hope that you can ask for help when you need it. I hope that you’ve held on to your friendships and made new ones. I hope that you still help people as much as you can. I hope that you take care of yourself and make time for what you enjoy.

Above all things, I wish you happiness.


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One Response

  1. Nice to know that I make you happy :-) It’s interesting to think of what we could have told ourselves five years ago. You should be proud; most of what you’d choose to tell yourself are good things, and that’s a sign of a life well lived in those years. We all do things we wish we could change, but overall, it sounds like you really are happy. Which makes me happy, too.

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