Here’s the first draft of mine:
Dear Me, c. May 2004,
Thank goodness you’re out of that tiny apartment with the loud A/C and the semi-stalker neighbor. I hope you kept your promise and made sure that your new roommate is sane and has a steady source of income and will pay rent and bills. Right now our little household is financially stable, so let’s keep it that way.
I also hope you kept your promise to continue your long break from dating, since we know that you needed a big Time Out. If you did not, then you should be reprimanded for acting against your own best interests. How are you going to find someone who treats you well if you forget what “well” means at the first hint of a crush? The rush of boundary collapse is an addiction you cannot afford. Let’s assume that you did take the time to reflect and remember who you are. Good job.
Moving on to brighter things, since it’s a lot of work to write a letter to the future just to lecture yourself on things you may not even have done:
You rock. For choosing “not having” over “having something that sucks” in so many ways, for working hard enough to get to the job you were meant for, and for the steps you’re now taking to build your confidence in your ability to be an artist after you had it stomped thoroughly out of you in 9th grade. I know that last one is hard, but it’s going to work out. I promise.
Remember to hang up art now that you’re in your new place (it will make you feel settled faster), and definitely check the battery in the smoke alarm and the window locks. And your mail forwarding.
Me, c. September 2003