MY GREATEST FEARS, BY YEAR
Inspired by @ChrisK. Thank you, I think?
- •1977-1987: Do my parents love my brother more than me?Answer: No, but they definitely like him more because he is funnier and more entertaining and not nearly as sensitive. But don't worry little Julie, you will grow into yourself in time and end up hilarious too. Because that's what happens when you are liked second best. You compensate with humor.
- •1987-1990: Am I cool or popular or pretty? Will I ever be skinny?Answer: yes and yes sort of and not really but that's okay because it's better to peak in your 20's. And lastly a resounding NO but that's okay too because skinny doesn't equal happy for you and it never will.
- •1991: Oh shit, this can't be happening. Is my mother going to die? For real? But I'm only fourteen.Answer: Yes she is. And no it will never be fine but it will one day be okay as much as something like that can be okay. Which is to say not okay at all. But YOU will be okay. That I promise.
- •1992: Will I get through this?Answer: Yes. You will. And one day you will write about this and it will help other people who are going through it and they will send you life affirming emails that will make you cry wonderfully bittersweet tears.
- •1993-1995: Will I get into a good college and finally get the fuck out of here?Answer: Yes! So you will not get into your first choice school but that's okay because the universe turns out to know you better than you do. You will go home sometimes to see your dad and your friends but it will never feel like home again. And eventually your dad will move and something like a decade will go by since you've stepped foot in this town and there will be a small part of you that misses it. But not really.
- •1995-1997: Bliss. Inner neurotic voice actually quiet for once.For the first time you find your people-- who will still be your people 20 years later. And you will love school and studying and going out and life really doesn't get better than this and you will be lucky to have experienced enough to understand that while it's actually happening. Yay college Julie!
- •1997-1999: Oh crap! Do I really have to leave this place? I'm not ready to be a grown up!Answer: You are totally right which is why you'll apply to law school. Great way to defer adulthood. Good plan Julie! Too bad you'll hate being a lawyer, but it's silly to worry about that now. But one more thing I wish you knew: You will never be hotter than you are RIGHT NOW.
- •1999-2001: Am I smart enough to be here?Answer: Yup. Stop worrying. You'll do just fine.
- •2001-2002: Is it crazy-stupid to give up the job I lined up in Boston after graduation to move to NYC for a guy I've only dated for a year?Answer: Nope. True it was a huge leap of faith--and you'll dislike living in NYC just as much as you knew you would--but he'll turn out to be a keeper.
- •2002-2004: OMG what if I just spent a quarter of a million dollars to get trained in a profession I hate?Answer: Umm, yeah you did. Sorry about that.
- •2004-2005: If I move to LA will things be better?Answer: Yes they will be. Sunshine works for you. So does the slower pace. But you'll still hate being a lawyer. Oh wells.
- •2006: Is it insane to quit my cushy lawyer job to write a novel?Answer: YES totally. But you are so fucking lucky because it will turn out to be the best decision you ever made in your whole entire life.
- •2007: Wait what? I'm now a full time novelist and I'm also someone's WIFE? And my husband is moving to London without me for six months about five minutes after we get married?Answer: Deep breaths Julie. Writing books will be awesome. And remember that epic proposal involving Tahiti and him mooning you? Husband is still the same guy you dated for SEVEN years. So yes, work will separate you for a while but you'll be in London soon enough and become vitamin D deficient.
- •2008: Does it really rain every day here? And will I ever make British friends?Answer: Yes and No. But you will meet some amazing expats from all over the world.
- •2009: Will I be a good mother?Answer: Maybe not at first because of the terror and the hormones and the not sleeping and the crushing realization that it is all so much harder and all encompassing than you had ever realized. But don't worry it will become so much easier even when it's actually harder. And so with all those caveats, yes absolutely. Your child will always know that she is loved wholeheartedly even if you don't nurse for a whole year or make homemade organic foods.
- •2010: Is moving back to NY a good idea?Answer: Yes, you needed to get out of London but NY will prove to be temporary. Great to be near friends and family again but turns out it's still not your place.
- •2012: Is moving to LA eight months pregnant against medical advice a good idea?Answer: Yes! You will buy a house and finally put down roots in the first place that has felt like home since childhood. And your baby boy will be perfect and you'll be able to enjoy motherhood the second time in a way you weren't necessarily able to the first time around. Even though the little guy has colic. That part will kinda suck.
- •2012-2015: Is this life sustainable?Answer: I haven't a clue. But for the moment it is crazy full with writing and two amazing little kids and that guy who you moved to NY for all those years ago and hopefully making this list reminds you of all those other times you've taken big scary leaps and ended up where you were supposed to be. And now I realize I'm talking to present day me in the second person and that's just fucking weird.