I don’t know what it is about extra long Februarys.
Today I was thinking about what my life was like the last February 29th.
February 2nd, 2012 was the climax of my then worst depressive episode.
February 1st of this year was the worst of another record breaker.
At first that made me think life is pretty much the same, and I didn’t like that.
But then I remembered several things at once.
A) 2012 was the best year of my life after the scary first two months and has yet to be matched.
2)I have good friends now who know what’s wrong with me.
D)I wrote a blog last Leap Day.
I went back and read that post. So now, I’m going to write another one of my letters to one of my past selves.
This is a chunk of what I wrote back then. You can read the whole post here if you really want.
I really hope I’m out of college by then. At the moment I have no idea when I’m graduating.
I honestly want to still be at camp. If they ever open a position of “full-time publicist” where I can work there in the summer, and then during the year I’ll go to churches and get them psyched for camp, I have dibs on it; maybe in four years they’ll have one of those. =]
I’d better be married. Seriously. I’ll be almost 25.
And more than anything, I really hope I have a little more direction in my life by then. A lot can happen in four years. If nothing happens in four years, that’ll be a big waste of my life. I want to have done something big for God by then. Right now I’ve done hardly nothing.
So if nothing else, that had better be fixed. I want to live a much more purposeful four years than these past four have been.
Dear 20 year old, self-loathing but slowly becoming un-suicidal Linda,
YOU GET OUT! The toxic people do not succeed in trapping you forever. You WIN. Ten horrible weeks from now you’ll be free.
You had a lot of hopes for today. I felt a little bad for laughing at them, but that’s what I did.
We ARE out of college! If it had taken longer than December 2013, I would have quit, so we would have been out today either way, but we’re out in the way that makes people proud.
We aren’t at camp anymore, at least not in the way you are now. We’ll always be welcome back, but it isn’t the only thing God has for us anymore. I sort of can’t believe I’m saying that.
HA. No dear, we aren’t married. It’s funny because I know how soundly logical it seemed as a college junior to think that you could be within four years. And because I’m afraid God enjoys that joke way too much, I’m not about to venture any guess as to whether I will be on this day in 2020.
But I didn’t laugh at your last paragraph. I couldn’t because I read it and thought what God must have thought as he watched you write it. You had no idea. When you said, “I want to do something big for God,” I don’t think you really believed how big it was really going to be. God saw your dream and said “Here’s that and more.” He gave us eleven big things. We’ve gotten to watch him do so much.
We didn’t waste the last four years, 20. I’m still mad at you for almost not letting me have them, but now whenever I feel like trying that again, I’ll imagine us at 28, on the next Leap Day, thanking me for choosing to live. Because you had no idea what was in store, and you couldn’t make yourself find hope anymore. But it was there and it came to us even though we were too tired to look for it, so I’ll keep choosing to believe that God has four more years of unimaginable grace just like before.
Love, 24 year old, still not married Linda.
PS, sorry I didn’t skydive or bungee jump or even hop down the stairs today. I didn’t read that post in time and had fully forgotten I made that goal. That, I’m genuinely sorry for. I’ll catch you next time.
What do I hope to hear from 28-year-old me? That sounds so old. I’m sure 20 didn’t expect 24 to feel so young.
I hope I did something even bigger than the World Race.
I’ll aim a little lower this year and say I hope I’m at least dating the guy that 32 will be writing to 28 about. But I don’t feel like thinking about being 32; that sounds like 79 to me.
I hope the first two months of 2020 aren’t marked by another episode. I don’t like them.
I’ve come to like surprises too much to make such detailed plans anymore, so that’s all.
Oh, and I hope Jennifer Lawrence has won another Oscar by then, and that I’ve seen the Red Sox play the Yankees. And the skydiving. Seriously, that was the best idea.
Thanks God, for this wonderfully weird day that you give us only every four years. I like to think you made it up just so we’d have a small motivation to reflect on our lives a bit. That’s a fun gift.