I turn 33 this month.
The past few years, I have created this tradition of writing a letter to myself about the past year and the year ahead. Before I write my new declaration, I’ll re-read past letters to remind me of how far I’ve come.
It’s a grace-giving moment.
Measuring your growth in the day to day is hard, but what I’ve learned in these “me to me” notes, is that no matter what happens with the lost jobs, career confusion, broken and grieving hearts, I’m still standing.
And even if I feel lost sometimes, I manage to find my way back to myself— the true one who holds my deepest wishes and dreams and never stops believing in everything I am.
15 years ago, I graduated from high school and, like most 17-year-olds with rainbow-colored dreams, my plans were completely different.
I moved to L.A., my forever place, and knew just knew that acting, improv and sketch writing would lead to owning my own production studio. In Hollywood, you could be more than “just an actor” or “just a writer”.
If I believed and worked hard and wild enough, the dreams would come.
Skip forward a few years: unemployed and hitting wall after wall in my performance life, I decided to go to college. That set me off on a rocket-like trajectory to move back to my Northern California roots and start a magazine career which somehow landed me in the South and becoming a video producer.
And that shift allowed me to remember the belief that I will never be just one thing. I am allowed to change what I want, even if I don’t where it’ll take me.
As you get older, you start to question if you’re really on the right path.
But if you talk to any honest adult, you realize that no one really knows what they’re doing. It may be easier to assign myself a “normal” job title or relationship status, so that other people can feel like I’ve finally made it.
But there is no final stop.
Life is a constant unfolding, and I believe that no matter how large the detours are, we always find something better than what we first set out for.It’s hard to see the intricate details woven into our stories — all the people, places and moments that have to meet at the right time to get us where we need to go.
If there’s one thing I would tell my younger self, the one who was broke in her dream city and not knowing if any of it would lead somewhere, I would say: You are so much more than you know, and even if no one else believes it, you know where you’re going even when you’re lost.
And as I round this final corner on 32, I know that there will be rest stops, speed bumps and the inevitable rush hour traffic, but the only responsibility I have is to keep moving, and to know that no matter the path, I will always land exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Amanda Polickis an author, creative consultant, and host of Babe Cave— a podcast for thoughtful humans inspired by Virginia Woolfe’s Room of One’s Own. In everything she does, Amanda believes in connecting people to their best stories and that life is too short to not order dessert. Say hello to Amanda by visiting her website or following on Instagram @amandapolick
*photo by Rachel Deeb