Time Travelled — about 10 years

Those 10 Years went FAST!

Apr 19, 2011 Apr 22, 2021


Hey Superhero!

As I write this, you're about to turn 27 in a few days. According to my plan, by this age you should have been engaged to your best friend, editing Glamour Magazine and sipping colorful martinis at posh nightspots in Manhattan.

None of that happened.

I hope it never happened. That's not really who you are. You spent a long time trying to fit yourself into the box of what you thought you wanted, when really, that wouldn't have made you as happy as you liked to waste your time imagining it would.

Now it's April 22, 2021. You're an energetic, accomplished 37 year old who dresses well, albeit a bit eccentrically, but not over the top. I hope you're writing. A lot. Way more than you were 10 years ago. You've published a book of poems, haven't you? I bet you're in the New Yorker all the time. You're probably a Pulitzer Prize winner or poet laureate of the world.

I hope you're still riding your motorcycle (and that it's bigger and faster now and also that it's a personal spacecraft!).

I hope you've traveled all over the world, writing, meeting people and experimenting with your life. Do we have a house in Spain? I hope we have a house in Spain. If we don't, get on that, please.

I hope you finished your 30 Before 30, are nearly finished your 40 Before 40 and have written your 50 Before 50. I hope none of those lists repeated any items. I'm excited to see what you come up with and how 10 years has changed your perspective on life and what you want out of it.

I hope you do nice things for other people every day.

I hope Muldoon is still around. He'll be almost 12. Harley would be almost 19 now... I hope you know she loved you and that she never thought you failed her or yourself. It was silly to ever think that and I don't know why or how she got connected to all that pain, but she loved you in a way that was supernatural for animals to even feel. I hope you got over feeling like you disappointed her. You didn't. Ever.

I hope it's been 9 years since you've even thought about him. And I'm sorry for making you think about him now. I bet Harley forgot all about him. He was never the man he led you believe he was and he certainly wasn't deserving of all that love and admiration you gave him. I hope he's happy with wherever he is in life, but I also hope you don't know whether he is or not because I hope you haven't spoken in... almost 12 years now. I hope you have no idea who I'm talking about!

I hope you still play video games unapologetically and wear heels regularly.

I hope you laugh all the time with friends new and old who nourish your life with love and culture and new ideas.

It's probably as weird for you to imagine me, your old self, as it is for me to imagine you, myself a decade from now. I can't even see a month into the future!

Anyway, stay awesome. Let go and take what life gives you. Take action to get what it doesn't.

See you in another 10 years!


2 days later

Hi Alison,

I was not expecting this today. You sure had a vision of our future! I'm happy to report that the best parts all came true. Not without pain and struggle, but you DID IT! You got everything you wanted (though some priorities changed).

We do live in Manhattan. We have a GORGEOUS, sunny spacious apartment just a couple blocks from the apartment you lived in during grad school - the one you had to leave when the market crashed and you thought you lost your hopes and dreams because you had to leave the city and Dustin broke your heart. I'm sorry, but you still do think about him almost every day. You still haven't spoken to him again. He's married now with a baby. You wonder a lot about what that future would have been like with you in it. You spend the last 10 years trying to prove to him that you were worthy. You ALWAYS were. But on that journey to prove him wrong about who he thought you were, you became someone YOU truly love and can be proud of. You would be so SO proud. You are so proud.

You write a LOT more. You write poetry and have started a novel and a rock opera (ambitious, but weren't we always?). Not yet published, but it's still a goal. You never wrote for Glamour, but that sounded like a nightmare of a career (they DID publish a brief submission you made once, so we'll count that as you did write for Glamour, technically). You're in marketing on a path you never imagined existed, working in social media consulting for a massive tech company. You LOVE it. Your coworkers are smart and incredibly supportive. Because of the pandemic, you get to work from your favorite place - the apartment you now call your sanctuary - with Muldoon by your side.

Muldoon IS still around. He beat cancer and will be 12 this summer. People on the street can't believe he's an old man. He still has puppy energy and a reputation in the neighborhood for being the happiest dog. Harley passed in March last year. She was 18 and she was ready. She outlived all the other cats in the family and gave so much love. You promised her you'd make it back to NYC someday and she lived just long enough to see you move into your own apartment, blocks from the one you once shared with her and crazy roommates. It's crazy. After Harley passed, I met one of the neighbors and her dog... named Harley. She saw you fulfill that promise.

We sold the motorcycle (a bike in the city?? no thanks!). We're still working on the condo in Spain. We got married, briefly, to the guy you had that huge crush on in high school if you can believe that. He turned out to be an abusive alcoholic and you pulled yourself out of that in less than a year. You're not very good at picking healthy relationships since Dustin. You've been engaged three damn times! You're single now, but happier than ever that way. You have an incredible group of friends from all over who are supportive in a way you've never known.

You've had immense growth and deep healing, especially in the last year while isolated in quarantine, just you and Muldoon. And you definitely still play video games - you stream them on Twitch, make a little money doing it and have met even more amazing new friends through various games. You do more of what you enjoy and stress far less.

We have more than a 50 before 50; we have a bucket list almost 100 items long and growing. Turning 37 was exciting and a little sad. It doesn't look like a family will be in the cards for us so it feels a little like all the big milestones are over and there's still so much life left, but you can spend the rest of it doing whatever you like. Finish that book. Go to Spain. Visit all the continents. Build a community on social media about living your full authentic life and keep being apologetically you! You can do whatever you want because you've BEEN doing it all along.

I wish we could go way back and tell 17 year old us she'd have the life she dreamed about while she felt so trapped in that small resort town.

I love you. I am so grateful for you. You never gave up. You kept pushing. You survived some horrible, heinous shit and you are a success story who owes it ONLY to herself. Whatever we do from here on out, we're going to enjoy it and we're going to kick so much ass. And as always, we will be kind, patient and forgiving of those we encounter on the way.

Ali (we go by Ali now)

Apr 19, 2011 → Apr 22, 2021 • 563 words