Note to Selves

As the result of a glitch in the new privacy settings on my email account, I inadvertently discovered a portal through which I can email my past and future selves. It turns out I am my own best therapist. Who knew?

If you want to try it before they patch the glitch and close the portal, go into your email settings and choose Privacy. Then select Past and Future. Click on Super-Secret Self Therapy Portal. Below are a few snippets of my correspondences with my selves:

 

Dear Future Julie,

Please tell me this book will be published one day. Please tell me I haven’t wasted thousands of hours researching, writing, editing, pitching, and revising this book for nothing. You don’t have to tell me what the reviews say or if it sells well. I just need to know it will make its way into print. Please send me a sign.

Sincerely,

2018 Julie

 

Dear 2018 Julie,

Oh my God! We wrote a book? That’s so cool! Is it smutty? No, don’t tell me. But, wait, I’m applying to college as a Pre-Med Biochemistry major. Should I change my major to English? Can you tell me where we’re going to college so I can skip filling out all the other applications? Are your sure we are going to be a writer? I mean, I really love AP Bio and Physics, although there’s way too much homework. And I can’t even study tonight because I’m so hyper and jittery from getting an Epinephrine shot in the Emergency Room – again! I had another asthma attack at track practice today. Please tell me the asthma goes away or they discover a miracle cure or something. I think I might quit track. I can’t deal with the Epinephrine. I suck at running anyway.

Love you!

High School Julie

PS Good job finishing that book, by the way! So cool. That’s something to celebrate, right? How could you possibly think it would be “for nothing?” We wrote a book!!

 

Dear High School Julie,

Future Julie has not answered yet, which makes me think we never publish this damn book and she doesn’t want to upset me. That’s so like us to avoid facing our problems. About college, major in whatever you want. I write, but I still really love science, too. I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but I’m also a farmer now.

About the track team – please don’t stop running! I know it hurts and I know you are terrible at it (sorry, but it’s true.) The asthma isn’t going away, but running helps. It stretches your lungs and I can’t thank you enough for putting yourself through this. It pays off, I promise. I still run. I’m still terrible at it, but our asthma’s mostly in check. I wonder if Future Me still runs?

Yeah, I guess I’m proud of myself for finishing the book, but trying to sell it is killing me. Some nights I can’t sleep from worrying about it. The rejections hurt and I hate waiting. Sorry to dump that on you. You have enough to worry about with college apps and trying to find a prom date. I’m sure someone will want my book, right? It’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it.

Love,

2018 Julie

PS Please stop getting perms. You will regret them, I promise. And it turns out your hair looks just fine straight.

 

Dear 2018 Julie,

I’m going to assume the farm thing was a joke. Hahaha! Very funny. (If for some reason you are serious, please don’t tell me. It would destroy all my dreams.) Speaking of dreams being crushed, any word from Future Julie? Any news on our book?

Try not to be so stressed about the writing. It makes me happy just to know we wrote a book! We wrote a book!!! Do you remember when we used to write our own scripts for the Wonder Woman TV show? They were awesome! And remember the Mork and Mindy scripts we wrote and acted out? That was the best! I really love writing. It makes makes us happy. Don’t let it stress you out! It’s supposed to be fun.

You’re the Best,

High School Julie

PS I’m still running. I still hate it. You better be right about this!!!

PPS What do you mean I don’t have a prom date? I have a boyfriend – don’t I?!?

 

Dear 2018 Julie,

Sorry for my delayed response. It’s been busy on the farm this week. I love this time of year! I’m so proud of you for sticking to your decision to keep the farm 100% organic. There was that one year we almost caved when the invasive beetles were really bad. Promise me you won’t give in. You should see this incredible soil we created. It’s worth all your effort.

Yes, I’m still running, although a little more slowly now. I’m still terrible at it, but I can breathe, right? Keep it up, both of you. I really appreciate the effort!

I wish I could go back in time and hug High School Julie. I love her optimism. You should listen to her. Things will happen when they happen. Try to remember why you wrote that book. Writing is like breathing; it’s not optional. But for people like us, even breathing takes work and commitment. Even on the hardest days when the rejections pile up, you still have to write, you still have to run, you still have to breathe. Remember that feeling when we wrote those Wonder Woman scripts? Hold onto that joy. We still have so many stories to tell.

Oh, and High School Julie, if you can find those Wonder Woman scripts, please save them! I would give anything to have them now.

There are so many things I want to tell you, but I don’t want to ruin the joy of discovery. Keep writing. Every day. That first book will be the hardest one. I can’t help you toughen your skin. Only time can do that. Lean on your writer friends. And let them lean on you. That’s how we get through this. It’s worth it. I promise.

Love,

Future Julie

PS High School Julie, don’t worry. You will have a really amazing prom date – but it won’t be the person you are expecting it to be. And, yeah, 2018 Julie is right about the perms. Please stop getting them. Immediately.

 

Dear 2018 Julie,

Did you read Future Julie’s note?!? Ummm, two things. First — Farm? Are you guys messing with me? This isn’t funny anymore. I will never be a farmer! And did she say first book? Because that means there’s a second book! Right? And maybe a third. I bet there’s a third. We are totally going to do this. I just know it! I totally believe in you!

I sent in my college applications. Even though I applied as a Biochemistry major, I submitted a short story as my writing sample. Do you remember the one about the guy who wrote stories on an old type writer and everything he wrote came true? I really love that story. I’m pretty sure I nailed the dialog. I hope I get in. But don’t tell me. I think Future Julie is right. I want to figure things out for myself.

Did you notice Future Julie sounds kind of like Mom? Should we tell her? I’m really glad Future Julie still runs. It makes me happy to think there’s an old, saggy version of us out there still jogging. It makes getting through track practice a little easier. It almost makes the Epinephrine shots bearable.

If I can keep running even though it really sucks, you can keep writing, even when you are feeling down about it. Okay? Promise? I know you can do it! Future Julie is counting on us. I can’t wait to read our book(s). I’m so proud of myself and I haven’t even written it yet! Are there a lot of sex scenes? Wait. No. Don’t tell me.

Lots of love from 1987!

High School Julie
PS I have no idea what you guys are talking about. My perm looks great. My bangs are so big!

18 comments

  1. Anna

    My future self is scolding my present self about taking time out from Important Work to read Julie’s messages. My present self is dancing a happy dance after reading them. My high school self is asking, “What? Where is Mom when you still need her to keep you in line?” Thanks, Julie. Thanks.

  2. Julie, this is everything. “My bangs are so big!” Hahaha! What a clever way to explore our angst about the choices we make and the future we are building. My letters would perhaps look a little different–High School Erin wouldn’t have been surprised that 2018 Erin is working to be an author (though she would be appalled that she is living in a city rather than out in the woods)–but all the feelings of uncertainty and yearning would be the same.

    Know this: I love you and support you and believe in you. I along with so many others, including High School Julie. 🙂

    • Thanks, from all three of me. Funny, my past self wanted to live in the city, but I ended up with a farm. Your past wanted the woods, but landed in a city. And somehow, it all seems to be working out!

  3. I absolutely loved this Julie. Who knows, maybe it’s the basis for a new novel premise? Just remember, you never know until you know. So hang in there and keep sending out the good vibes for Future Julie. I look forward to hearing from hear, too.

  4. Robert Wilstein

    Great invention Julie! Love the premise. Me, I want to go ‘back to the future’ to 1950’s Queens where a certain President and I grew up and meet the bully on the schoolyard. Maybe I can change his whole life!

  5. bonnie waltch

    Hilarious! You’ve gotten too much positive feedback and awards for your book NOT to get published. Patience, grasshopper.

    • Julie Carrick Dalton
      Author

      Thanks for reading, Sheri. It helps so much having other writers to share the publishing process with.

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