Letter to My Future Self: Alayna McNeil

Alayna McNeil smiles while posing for a photo

Dear Future Self,

This is an odd letter to write, because what could I possibly say to you that you don’t already know? And do I say “we,” or are we two different people now? I’ll just take a time-capsule approach so you can look back fondly on this little reminder of who you used to be, and hopefully how far you’ve come. 

8THIRTYFOUR's Alayna McNeil smiles

I admit, I’m pretty damn proud of the growth I’ve achieved in the past couple of years, so I have high expectations of you to carry on that trend. As you know, some of the decisions I’ve made recently have required some self-awareness I didn’t know I had yet. I have to say I’m kind of banking on you to make it all work out for the better.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past four years it’s that you always have and always will land on your feet. You’ll always find the joy where you are because plans change quicker than you can adjust, and I’m learning to accept that honestly, that’s the fun part. I know eventually I’ll reach a point in life where I’ll probably have to find the beauty in monotony, which I hope you’ve been able to do. But for now, as you may remember, I’m just doubling down on this roller coaster and learning to enjoy each unforeseen turn. Although lucky for you, based on our career choice so far, I don’t fear you getting too bored. 

I’m hard on myself now, but I know you have an even better head on your shoulders than you used to. I know that wherever you are in your career, you worked hard to get there. I hope your jokes have gotten even funnier. I hope that you’ve gotten a little better at filtering your facial expressions—there is a time and a place for people to know exactly what you think the moment you are thinking it. Most of all, I hope our journey has continued to be exciting and one worth embarking on. As scared as I am of getting older, we both know I can use a good dose of the wisdom that comes with it. 

My promise to you is to continue to actively choose to learn lessons from life and invest in you. I hope that you’ll forgive me if I do make any mistakes now (whether I know it or not). And then clean up my messes. It’s a mystery to me now, but I am genuinely so excited to see where you end up. I’m willing to bet it’s pretty great. 

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