Hey past Michelle. In your world, it's maybe 2012, 2013. You're not doing so hot right now, but that's ok. I don't want to make you panic or anything, but you're about to embark on a 18-month journey that is, shockingly, worse than the last 18 months. I know, I know, you probably don't believe that, but it's true.
Here's the light at the end of the rainbow though: things will get better. Like, way better. Like, really good. You get married (which is great) really soon, but it takes a while for things to be... ok. Then you get a new job, then another new job, then another new job. Then you have a baby! It's all pretty great. The baby is pretty great.
I just want to tell you a few things I've learned. What's the point of writing a letter to my past self if I can't share what I've learned? I wish I could have told myself these things then, but I couldn't.
Stand up for yourself.
Stop being a doormat! It's in your nature (and my nature, really) to just let people steamroll over what you think, because it's easier. The path of least resistance has been your M.O. for a long time. Stop it. Just stop. Stand up for yourself. Stop crying every day before (and after) work; stop getting anxious every time you see an authority figure.
You're going to stop writing. I can't pin a date on it exactly, but at some point, you'll look up and realize, oh crap, I haven't written in forever. No blogging, no emails, no poems, nothing. Your journals will be dusty. We aren't going to ever let that happen again. Writing matters. Writing keeps you (and me) happy.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
There will be mornings you wake up at 5am and mope around the house and lie on the couch. You stop cleaning; you stop writing; you stop getting dressed. At a certain point, it's just a performance art. Stop it, past Michelle. No one is amused, including me. I'm not amused. Put on your big girl pants and move on. (You'll get there eventually.)