An Open Letter to My Younger Self

“We all think we know everything when we’re young.” We’ve all heard it. I know I wasn’t the only one who thought everyone older than me was being dramatic and condescending. Of course we knew what we were doing. Right?! But the truth is hindsight is always 20/20.

When we’re young the world is so big and possibility is endless. There is magic in the optimism. As I’ve gotten older my optimism has taken a beating. I keep going over all the things I still haven’t accomplished yet. I keep thinking, this is not where I was supposed to be. How is everyone else there and I’m not?! Trust me on this DO NOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF. It’s counter productive.

There are so many things I wish I could tell my younger self. To get to a place of gratitude and self acceptance instead of self sabotage. I’ve written an open letter, to every version of my younger self:

Dear Past Eleanor,

First and for most, I love you. You’re amazing and worthy and enough. Give yourself a break, you’re doing the best you can.

You don’t always have to be so tough all the time. You care too much about what people think of you. It makes you cold. Their opinions of you don’t matter, but your opinions of yourself do. Later on you will look back and regret being cruel to people simply because you felt you needed to act superior in order to be taken seriously. Love yourself for exactly who you are because that person is amazing.

It’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes. Being tough and intimidating is part of your personality but its not all that you are. It’s okay to be soft and tough at the same time. Again, you don’t have to be harsh to be taken seriously. Tact and empathy go a long way.

Trust yourself. You do know what you’re doing. Second guessing yourself slows you down. For the next few years you will struggle with being taken over by your dark side. Embrace it. It’s part of who you are. But it’s not all that you are. Learn when and how to use it effectively. You will be surprised how quickly people respect you for it. And how it doesn’t feel so dark anymore.

Take your growth and education more seriously. I know you think you know everything right now but I have bad news for you… you don’t. You will wish you hadn’t wasted so much time not learning as much as you can. Or continually becoming the best version of yourself. You’ll feel like it put you behind in your personal life and career. But it’s okay. It’s a process and it’s okay to take it slow. It’s never to late to be successful.

Be careful who you trust. You’re going to get a lot of advice from a lot of people. Do your own research. Some people only have their own interests in mind.

Speak kinder to yourself. You are so full of self doubt and hatred. It manifests itself into your personality. Kind words go a really long way. When you start telling yourself more positive things you’re more present and kinder. You make a better impression because you are no longer self sabotaging. You attract better people to yourself because you’ve raised you vibration.

Forgive yourself. You carry so much guilt from every decision and interaction you have. You don’t have to. You are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to grow. If it doesn’t serve you anymore, let it go. And on that same note. Learn when to walk away from things that no longer serve you. Situations. Jobs. People. It’s one of the hardest lessons you’ll learn but it will help set you free.

Handle each problem as it comes. One day, one hour. one thing at a time. You worry so much that everything is the end of the world. That is okay. You’re need for survival will give you the best you can. But also not everything requires a meltdown. Breathe. If you can’t breathe you can’t think. Everything works out eventually. Not always the way you’d like it to but it will work out. Stressing won’t make it better.

You’re going to have a lot of hard times. A lot of heart break. Hang in there. You will get through this. Sometimes I look back and all I can remember is that I was always upset about something. I promise you will get through this. There is light at the end of the tunnel. And you will learn how to live in a happy mindset. Just keep fucking going.

And lastly. You’re feelings do matter. You will convince yourself the things you want don’t matter. You will let yourself be swayed by other peoples inability to see your worth. Don’t believe them. You’re feelings are valid. And your voice has value.

That’s probably the most important thing. You have a voice. It carries its weight. It has something to say. It can help people. It’s smarter than you give it credit for. And more creative. Use it and use it wisely.

Remember that I love you.
Future Eleanor

Look. We just didn’t know then what we know now. We did the best we could. There was a time we would give anything to have what we have now. My best attempt at moving froward right now is to count my wins. Even the little ones. What else can you do? There is always something that at one point seemed so hard to get. That once you got it was easy to forget. Getting an agent. Paying off a debt. Living independently. Mending a friendship. There is always something you take for granted that you didn’t use to have and you could lose at any point. Appreciate yourself.

Give yourself credit. You’re doing the best you can. Take a step back, take it all in. Write a letter to a younger version of yourself that needs it. Move forward as someone that younger version needed. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. If you liked it follow me on Facebook and share this article with your friends. And leave me a comment. What would you tell you past self?

Where Do I go from here?

Do you know that devastating feeling of not being good enough? That all consuming emotion that encompasses your relationships, your career, or just trying to be a successful adult? I am regularly overwhelmed by this emotion. Somehow I don’t quite measure up to my own and others expectations. Like my inner demons seem to win more days than I do. This is a story of how those dark thoughts led me here; to a dive bar, sobbing over a cocktail and starting of all things…. a blog.

I know I know… no one reads blogs anymore. And fair warning I am not the best writer. But I needed an outlet I could have creative control of, so please bear with me….

I lost myself this year. I lost my mind. I had a mental breakdown. And not for the first time in my life. I am the type of person who is always breaking down about something. And this time honestly doesn’t feel any different.

Earlier this year I seemed to be failing continuously at my career, fucking up audition after audition. I’ve been trapped in a never ending cycle scraping to get by financially. Then my relationship with a close family member was severely damaged after an emotional fight. Followed very quickly with the upheaval of my relationship with my boyfriend. Resulting in what currently feels like the worst outcome that could happen: the two of us basically being in limbo. Neither of us knowing whether we should keep working at it or move on from each other. I was fucking EVERYTHING UP. Everything seemed uncertain and if there is anything that feeds my anxiety monster the most its uncertainty.

The uncertainty sent me spiraling out. I couldn’t sleep. I was forgetting to eat. I didn’t recognize myself at all. I was openly sobbing at work. I was making irrational out of character decisions. I was reaching out for every life preserver I could find. Needing constant contact with friends and family to keep from spiraling deeper. The more I tried to fix everything. The worse everything got.

The light that usually shined inside me had dissipated. I kept thinking all of it was my fault. If I had just tried harder. Hustled more. Been a little kinder, softer. Been… better. Your’e supposed to stay positive, right? Focus on the future, move forward? But I didn’t feel like there was any kind of future for me. I felt like there was this massive empty pit inside of me that nothing could fill.

That dark thought kept overpowering me. I’m just not good enough. I felt helpless. So much of it was out of my control. How was I even supposed to know what to do about any of it. How was I supposed to move forward and even begin to think about leaving parts of it behind. I had, and still have, an extreme lack of purpose. Where am I supposed to go from here?

So here is the thing, I am a Hot Fucking Mess, and I’ve decided to embrace it. There is something charming and beautiful about it. Its just who I am. All of this has made me realize its not that I’m too emotional or unworthy. I just am true to myself and my feelings. I’m spontaneous. I’m honest. I’m real. I’m not the only person who doesn’t have it all figured out. And who say’s I’m supposed to have it figured out anyway?

This is not the first time I’ve had a mental breakdown. I’ve been through this before. And I’m sure many people are tired of my shit. However, as dramatic as I tend to get I always get through it. Baby steps count as growth. And I’m grateful because I still have an amazing support system.

If anything I’ve realized I recommend falling apart to anyone. Its shitty and awful and painful. But there’s something rejuvenating about putting yourself back together again. Even if you’re doing it over and over again. You get to keep the parts of yourself that you love and start to let go of the parts of yourself you don’t want anymore.

I lost myself this year. I’m broken, raw and scared. There isn’t much I can do right now for these problems… except be patient. It took one drunken heart to heart with a random bartender to remind myself that I’m my own worst enemy and I’ve been through this before. “I’m not good enough” is my anxiety monster talking. And that bitch lies. Each time I defeated that inner demon I WAS good enough. Each time was its own story. Those stories are going to help me through this breakdown and the next one. And hopefully those stories might help you all through your own downfalls. Which leads us to right now. I started my night off planning on drinking my sorrows away and am ending it with a new goal. This blog is going to be about how I’ve overcome things in the past, and how I keep living everyday to its fullest. Doing my best to become the best version of myself I can be.

Thank you for taking the time to read this today. I am a new blog so if you want to help me grow please subscribe. Leave comments at the bottom. And share this post with your friends.