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Finding Me

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S: Finding Me

FC: June 10, 2011 | Sing | Love | Dance | Live | like no one's listening. | like you've never been hurt. | like no one's watching. | today like it's your last. | Finding Me | Emma Elizabeth Sugar

1: Dedication | This book is dedicated to my family and friends- all the people that have made every memory in this book as wonderful as it is.

2: Introduction | Tonight, when I am writing this feels like every other ordinary night that there has ever been during the past 12 years that I have been in school. I got home from school then went to dance class. I spent some time on the computer or watched TV, maybe took a nap then had a nice family dinner and started working on homework. It wasn't until this moment, writing the introduction for my book of memories that I realized that the number of nights like this I have left are very limited. And this book seems instantly so much more important. In the span of the next two weeks the biggest chapter of my life to date is ending. I have gone through high school as every other teenager in America. There were good times and there were bad. And at this point, as it is almost finished it seems more important than ever to remember and preserve every last one of those memories, no matter good or bad. It always seems to me that adults remember high school as one of the highlights of their lives. So my ultimate hope for this book is that ten, twenty, maybe even forty years from now I can look back and remember all of these highlights.

3: Part 1: Growing and Exploring | June 28, 1993 - September 2007

4: June 28, 1993: I was born at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT. | July 1993: First trip to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire wit h the entire family. | July 1996: Started dance classes with Kathy Messina at Kathleen Messina's Danceworks. | September 1996: Started Preschool at the Westerly-Pawcatuck YMCA. | September 1998: Started kindergarten at West Vine Street School. | October 19989: Met Mary Kate Tobin, one of my best friends during first grade. | October 1999: Adopted the first family dog, Nikki. | Timeline 1993-2007

5: August 2000: Family reunion in Ocean City, NJ which would later become a vacation spot. | April 2001: Took a family trip to Disney World. | September 2001: Entered third grade at West Broad Street School. | May 2002: Received my five year award for dance from Kathleen Messina's Danceworks. | September 2003: Entered fifth grade at Pawcatuck Middle School. | February 2005: Adopted the "family" bird, the blue and gold macaw, Baby. She proves to be a very annoying and loud creature. | May 2007: Received my ten year award for dance from Kathleen Messina's Danceworks. | May 2007: Made my confirmation at the United Congregational Church of Westerly.

6: A photo memory... | The start of summer was always marked by one distinctive thing—the Summer Pops in Wilcox Park in Westerly. As a young child I asked everyday for the month of June when it was. No family vacations or trips were ever allowed to be planned for the same time. If the Pops didn’t happen, summer wasn’t officially here. Every year I had to go with my dad, and bring the blanket a day early to find and save the perfect spot. Not too close to the stage because I didn’t like the music so loud. But not too far away from the stage either because I wanted to see all the performers. And far enough from the right side of the field so that when the cannons went off at the very end of the finale, “The War of 1812 Overture” I wouldn’t be too scared (although I always cried with fright at the loud “BANG! BANG!” anyway). My favorite part was the music. As this picture shows, I had to have a whole blanket clear, and to myself so I had room to dance. I always danced for a good hour and occasionally pulled my mom or dad up to dance with me. And of course, although the big, bad, booming cannons were not my favorite, I loved the finale the best. I was fascinated by the way the fireworks painted the sky with sparks of yellow and red and lit up the sky with friendly shapes like hearts and smiley faces. I was intrigued by their ephemeral nature—the beauty was there for a second, but the next second was falling and was gone. I thought it was magic. | The Magical Summer Pops

7: The night sky is always clearer, The shining stars always brighter. I don't know if it's just because Of the lack of intrusive lights, Or if it has something to do with The clear, clean mountain air. The Ossipees loom majestically in the distance And always make me feel tiny, Insignificant, like one lonely star Compared to the whole universe. The mountains taught me to be humble. And maybe in the complete silence, For a second, I feel like I'm the only person In the world. This beauty is mine, For my eyes only. The anguished calls of the loon pierce through the silence like a lost child Calling for her mother to save her. But this place, Lake Winnipesaukee, Holding every memory, Even in that complete silence isn't eerie. It's serenity and it's my childhood. | Mountains

8: One Particular Harbor | I've seen enough to feel the world spin Mixin' different oceans meetin' cousins Listen to the drummers and the night sounds Listen to the singers make the world go round Ia ora te natura... Lakes below the mountains Flow into the sea Like oils applied to canvas They permeate through me And there's that one particular harbour Sheltered from the wind Where the children play on the shore each day And all are safe within Most mysterious calling harbour So far but yet so near I can see the day when my hair's full gray And I finally disappear Ia ora te natura... Ua pau te maitai no te fenua Te zai noa ra te ora o te miti | Ia ora te natura E mea arofa teie ao nei Ia ora te natura E mea arofa teie ao nei I know I don't get there often enough But God knows I surely try I'ts a magic kind of medicine That no doctor could prescribe I used to rule my world from a pay phone And ships out on the sea But now times are rough And I got too much stuff Can't explain the likes of me But there's this one particular harbour So far but yet so near Where I see the days as they fade away And finally disappear But now I think about the good times Down in the Caribbean sunshine In my younger days I was so bad Laughin' about all the fun we had | By Jimmy Buffet | “One Particular Harbor” by Jimmy Buffet is one song that reminds me of my childhood. From the time that I was born, mom and dad were always playing Jimmy Buffet music in the car, at any parties we had, and just at home. They especially played it a lot when my Aunt Donna, Uncle Rob and Cousin Kelsey were visiting. This particular song has so many memories because whenever it would come on, Kelsey and I would get up and sing and dance, trying to imitate the grace and beauty of the hula dancers that Jimmy Buffet always has performing with him. Sometimes we would find our hula skirts and put on a show for our parents, pretending that we were those hula dancers.

9: Finding yourself isn't a solitary task. People help along the way... | Mom, one of the two most important people in my life. You’ve supported and loved me through everything that I’ve ever done. You’re my role model and the person that I will always go to first for any advice. You never let me down and never allow me to let myself down by pushing me to be by best and never letting me give up on anything. | Dad, one of the two most important people in my life. Our talks about right and wrong, your unwavering support, and long hours of helping me with work have helped keep me sane and helped keep me strong. Even though I’m grown up now and soon leaving, I promise that I’ll always be daddy’s little girl. | Greg, my brother and only sibling. Even though I will never admit it I do miss you when you're away. You showed me that the most important part of life is to be myself, not care what other people say about me, and never settle for anything but the best. Your intelligence and ideals have helped shape who I am today. | Mom Mom, my grandmother and the most loving person I ever knew. The day you died felt like the end of any time that could be happy. I realized how much I took you for granted. You smiled constantly and loved everyone unconditionally. Every family gathering feels empty without you and I think we all smile a little less without you. | Pop Pop, my grandfather and the most intelligent man I know. You are proud of everything I do and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to tell you how grateful I am for everything you’ve done for me. I owe my future to you and Mom Mom.

10: Grandma, my grandmother. Coming to New Hampshire is always the highlight of my summers. I love being there any time of the year, not just because I love the lake, but because I love spending time with you. And we’ll always have our butterflies. | Kathy Messina, my dance teacher and mentor. Although, since I was three years old you’ve always been my dance teacher, you’re also so much more. You helped me pursue my passion and pushed me to always be my best, not only in dance, but in everything. | Marnee Rogerson, my second mother and family friend. You never had a daughter, and over the years I have been more than happy to fill in. When I need a Starbucks run, or when my mom’s not there to listen to me when I need to vent, you’re always there and ready to gossip. | All My Friends, Emily, Mary Kate, Nina, Vicky and Christian. You are some the best and most loyal people I know. It makes me feel better every time I think about the fact that whenever I need someone you will always be there. | Nikki, my first pet and the only family that I was ever able to choose. You were the one who was always there no matter what and because of your nature never judged anyone for anything. You were my pillow when I was sad and licked away my tears. I still occasionally wait to hear the clicking of your nails on the floor or the clinking of the tags on your collar and every time I don’t my heart breaks a little more.

11: Dear Mom-Mom, I don’t know if I can even begin to describe how much I miss you. And you know that I’ve tried. I guess you can see it in the moments like this, when I’m thinking of you and your warm smile, when the tears start coming and all I want is to have you here, next to me, but I can’t describe it. We’re supposed to be writing a letter to someone who has had an important and significant impact on our lives. I figured that I can tell mom and dad and show them almost every day how much they mean to me, but I can’t ever talk to you face to face again in this lifetime. So I can’t think of writing this to anyone but you. When you left us, after your funeral, I realized that I took you for granted. I knew how wonderful and amazing and sweet and loving and kind you always were to me and to all of us, but I never thought about the extent of that. Alidia used the quote "You light up my life" a quite few times that day and she got it spot on. Mom-mom, you were one of those people that would literally light up a room with your smile the minute you entered it. I always thought "Yay! Mom-mom's here!" You warmed up everything. I know you probably remember how I always came up with some excuse of why I needed to sit next to you at dinner. On Christmas morning I would always wait for you and Pop-Pop to arrive, impatiently checking out the window every five minutes. And when I finally heard the car door open I would run outside, into the frigid air in bare feet and give you the biggest hug, with a huge goofy grin on my face, and say "Merry Christmas!!" You always brought a box of homemade nut butter balls and spritz and although I hadn't had breakfast, I stole a few of them. I think you always knew. This past Christmas seemed empty without you sitting in your place, watching Greg and I open our presents without your cookies. You loved when I wore my hair curly. You always took a lock of it between her fingers and twirled it around for a while. You loved to brush and braid it. You loved when I would dress up for a fancy restaurant or Thanksgiving or Christmas and always made sure I knew how beautiful you thought I looked. When we stayed over at your condo, Greg and I would always insist on playing a game. Normally Parcheesi or Yhatzee or Rummicub. We sat at the kitchen table for sometimes hours playing our games, and even though I think you sometimes got worn out or bored by it you stuck around, making sure that you always thought of what made us happy before anything else. The counter was always lined with glass candy jars filled with M&M’s, gummies, mint candy leaves, Hershey’s Kisses, peppermints and chocolate chips. By the time Greg and I left, the jars were empty. The clear one, with the balloons and cork top is now on our counter, always filled with M&M’s. I always think of you when I see it. Your laugh is one of the things I miss most. You sense of humor always connected with whoever was listening and you made everyone laugh. Even when I was crying, I remember how you would think of the perfect thing to say, that would bring a smile to my face, something you passed on to your daughter and she passed on to me. | ...and we must tell them how much they have meant to us.

12: You would laugh with everyone and sometimes that laugh was more like a giggle that rang of happiness and kindness. I can imagine it now and want to hear it so badly. You loved when I would talk and tell you about things I was passionate about or things I was proud of. I mean, I still do tell you about them all the time, but I miss your response, the way your face would light up with excitement at the sight of my excitement. You loved listening to me play the piano and flute. You loved watching me dance. I missed you watching during my senior solo. But it helps to know you at least saw it from where you are now. Did you like it? One of the things that hurts the most is knowing how many thing you won’t be here for. You won’t be here for graduation. But I promise that I’ll wear your ring proudly and think of you the whole time. You weren’t there to watch me on stage, performing my senior solo dance in my tutu and ballet shoes for my last dance recital. You won’t see me dressed up in my gorgeous gown for Senior Prom. You missed me proudly getting accepted to all four colleges I applied to. And you weren’t there to help me agonize over which to choose. Pop-pop helped but I still wish you could have been there too. I dreamed that maybe, by some miracle you could see me get married and maybe even meet a great-grand child. I wanted to share every important moment of my life with you. I thought about this so much. At the reception, after we had said good-bye I heard someone telling mom that you’re still here. You’re still with us and watching us as we go through life. Are you really here as I hope you are? Will you really see all that I want you to? I want to believe so badly that the answer is yes. 70, 80 years from now I’ll see you and ask. Did you see everything? On the back of the program from September 25, there’s the poem that you requested. It tells me not to be upset and that nothing has really changed, except that you are not here in body. You want me to remember the happy memories of you. That all is well. The poem sounds so much like you and this is one thing you always taught me. To be happy and remember the happy things as happy. So now that I’m sitting here, eight months without you, with tears still staining my teeshirt and I am suppose to describe how you’ve had a significant impact on my life. How haven’t you impacted my life? You taught me to love unconditionally. You taught me that I am beautiful and worthwhile no matter what anyone ever tells me. You taught me to say optimistic in hard times. But most of all you taught me to never take anything for granted. I wish I had known that before you were gone, and had taken the time to enjoy the small memories. I only had you for seventeen and a half years, and now I need to face the rest of my life without you. I wish I had appreciated those years more when they were here. Mom-mom, you were the light of our lives. You meant so much to everyone whose lives you touched. I love you so much. I miss you so much. Emma

13: Part II: Finding & Discovering | September 2007-June 10, 2011

14: September 2007: Entered ninth grade at Stonington High School | September 2007: Started dancing at Michelle's Ecole de Danse in Westerly, RI, where I started training en pointe. | Met Emily Turner, one of my best friends. | September 2008: Met Nina Sheffield, another of my best friends. | October 29, 2009: The family dog, Nikki passed away due to cancer. | September 2009: Was hired as an employee at Creature Comforts Animal Inn, an animal kennel in North Stonington. | Timeline 2007-2011

15: July 9, 2010: Took and passed the driving test and received my license. | September 20, 2010: My grandmother passed away. | January 15, 2011: Received my first college acceptance to Hofstra University | May 7, 2011: Performed in my last dance recital where I danced a solo and received an "Almost Fifteen Year" award. | June 22, 2011: Graduated high school. | June 28, 2011: Turned 18.

16: I pretend that I am a swan or a butterfly—more than just a graceful ballerina, the very symbol of beauty. I pretend that I am Beethoven—I can play and listen to any beautiful masterpiece of music. I pretend that I am the president—I can finally do something to change all of the injustice, the inequality in the world. I pretend that I am Mother Teresa—I can help my friends when they need it or give to all the poor. I pretend that I am Einstein—Not quite the same genius, but continually curious for the answers to questions and problems. I pretend that I am a veterinarian—I can help every hurt and helpless animal, give them homes, and fight for their rights. I pretend that I am a dove—a pure, perfect symbol for peace with the hope of bringing every person together in equality. I pretend that I am a knight—fearless and brave, not scared of the dark, of loneliness, or of change. But after a while I realize that I don’t have to pretend. I am and want all of these things, in one shape or form. I am graceful. I am musical. I long for equality among people. I am compassionate. I am curious. I am a lover of animals. I long for peace in the world. I long to be brave I am me. | I Pretend...

17: It doesn't matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M Just put your paws up 'Cause you were born this way, baby My mama told me when I was young We are all born superstars She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on In the glass of her boudoir "There's nothin' wrong with lovin' who you are" She said, "'Cause He made you perfect, babe" "So hold your head up, girl and you you'll go far, Listen to me when I say" [Chorus] I'm beautiful in my way, 'Cause God makes no mistakes I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way Don't hide yourself in regret, Just love yourself and you're set I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way (Born this way) Ooo, there ain't no other way Baby, I was born this way Baby, I was born this way Ooo, there ain't other way Baby, I was born this way I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way | Don't be a drag, just be a queen Don't be a drag, just be a queen Don't be a drag, just be a queen Don't be! Give yourself prudence and love your friends Subway kid, rejoice the truth In the religion of the insecure I must be myself, respect my youth A different lover is not a sin Believe capital H-I-M (hey, hey, hey) I love my life, I love this record and Mi amore vole fe yah [Chorus] Don't be drag, just be a queen Whether you're broke or evergreen You're black, white, beige, chola descent You're lebanese, you're orient Whether life's disabilities | Left you outcast, bullied or teased Rejoice and love yourself today 'Cause baby, you were born this way No matter gay, straight or bi lesbian, transgendered life I'm on the right track, baby I was born to survive No matter black, white or beige chola or orient made I'm on the right track, baby I was born to be brave [Chorus] I was born this way, hey! I was born this wayy, hey! I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way, hey! I was born this way, hey! I was born this way, hey! I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way, hey! | Born This Way | By Lady Gaga | The song “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga is important to me because of the message of the lyrics, as well as the memories associated with it. Over four years of high school, the one most important lesson that I have learned, not academically, is to accept myself and people the way that they are. Everyone is different and they should love themselves and everyone around them for their uniqueness. Through middle school, and parts of high school, like every other insecure teenage girl, I doubted myself often, wished I were like someone else and was not happy with the way I was meant to be. With maturity and also by watching some of my role models (like Lady Gaga or Hayley Williams of the band Paramore) I learned to accept myself for who I am, exactly as this song says. This song is also associated with my senior year of dance at Michelle’s l’Ecole de Danse. Our group of twelve seniors chose to use this song as part of our Senior Showcase, and I will forever associate it with days in the studio with my fellow dancers and friends, choreographing and practicing for the last times together, as a class.

18: The same people that help you also teach you... | Mom: You taught me, and keep teaching me that I am beautiful, smart and worthwhile, no matter what. When I had a sucky day, when girls were being mean in middle school, calling me names and telling me I was ugly you were always there to tell me that they were wrong, and that I am beautiful. When I was getting too hard on myself, after getting a C or D on a test, you were there to tell me that one grade did not dictate how smart I really am. When I felt like I had no friends you were there to wipe away my tears and be the best friend I could ever ask for. Pep talk after pep talk, sitting in my bed before bedtime built my confidence and made me the young woman I am today. Every time someone tries to bring me down, I remember this lesson and it keeps me up.

19: Dad: You taught me that practice makes perfect and to have never ending perseverance. If I wanted something badly enough, there was a way for me to achieve it. And you are always there to help encourage me and help me. Years ago, when I was on the swim team, you drilled and drilled me with 500s and taught me to keep practicing until I got the times I wanted. Last year, when it was a week before my license test and I could park backing into a space, you brought me to a huge parking lot and made me drill and drill until I got it. Recently, I drilled and drilled fouettes in dance until I could do them gracefully and flawlessly.

20: Greg: You have taught me to be me and no one else and to not care what anyone else has to say. I know that a lot of this teaching was completely unintentional, but I learned from observation. You’re different in who you are and you don’t care. If you want to do something you do it, and don’t let anything or anyone hold you back. These are traits that I’ve tried to copy as much as possible. Recently, this lesson has helped me have so much more fun in life because I do what I want, and I don’t think about anyone else’s judgment of me. If I want to do a triple pirouette for the audition, instead of the double, I can and I will.

21: Mom Mom: You taught me to never take anything for granted. As I’ve mentioned so many other places in this book, I took the time I had with you for granted. I never took the time to fully appreciate your smile, your laugh and all the amazing times we had together. I know you always appreciated every little beautiful detail of life, and it’s something I’m trying to do now. I try to take in every moment that is special and take nothing for granted.

22: Unnamed Ex-friend: You showed me who I didn’t want to be. When we were in freshman year, I realized that it got me nowhere to talk about people behind their backs and be just plain mean. I realized that it hurt people's feelings. You almost made me lose who is now one of my closest and most trustworthy friends. I knew what it felt like (you did it to me so many times) and yet you tried to influence me to do your dirty work. Even though we were supposed to be friends for life, birth to death, you taught me that being a good person is more important than a manipulative, although long, friendship.

23: 1.Completed 14 years of dance. 2.Got in to the National Honors Society. 3.Was accepted to all 4 colleges/universities that I applied to. 4.Auditioned and made the “Love the Way You Lie” piece for Michelle’s Recital. 5.Perfected double and triple pirouettes. 6.Learned to accept myself for who I am. 7.Got my driver’s license. 8.Got a score of a 5 on my AP English test junior year. 9.Choreographed and performed my own solo ballet dance. 10.Navigated and made my way around Boston with no adults—just Emily, Jess and me. 11.Made it through Honors Chemistry with and 85 sophomore year. 12.Read a whole book, Catching Fire (326 pages) in one (10 hour) sitting. 13.Never dropped below an A in precalculus or calculus. 14.Completed 4 years of band (8 if you count middle school). 15.Didn’t get lost the first day of freshman year. 16.Got my first job at Creature Comforts animal inn. 17.GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL. | High School Achievements

24: 1.Not starting to take more dance classes until freshman year. 2.Choosing band over media communications freshman year. 3.Not doing flag team for the marching band. 4.Stopping being involved with the TLC Kids/Bear Buddies. 5.Stopping/not trying harder at learning to play the guitar. 6.Spending too much time on the computer. 7.Spending too much time watching TV. 8.Not starting hip hop classes until junior year. 9.Not going to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in November. 10.Taking French V instead of Photojournalism II senior year. 11.Spending too much money at TJ Maxx instead of saving some. 12.Not getting involved with the drama department freshman year, so I could actually get parts. 13.Getting my driver’s license at 17 years old instead of 16 years old. 14.Not finding a squirrel best friend. 15.Not getting my letter from Hogwarts when I was 11. 16.Not spending enough time to enjoy every little detail in high school with friends. | High School Regrets

25: My Last Dance Recitals | After 14 years of dancing with Kathy Messina, and 4 years of dancing at Michelle's Ecole de Danse it came to an end. I didn't cry at my last class, on stage when Kathy game me my surprise "Almost 15 Years" award or even that night. But a week later, when it really sunk in that i was really done, I sobbed. Kathy Messina's Danceworks 15 Annual Recital: May 7, 2011 Michelle's Ecole de Danse Annual Recital: May 28 & 29, 2011

26: Senior Prom | Lake of Isles - June 3, 2011

28: Graduation | June 22, 2011

30: Homecoming October 2010 | Halloween 2010 | Senior Banquet June 20, 2011 | Block Island with Emily August 2010 | Senior Party June 22-23, 2011 US Navy Sub Base | Music Trip Six Flags | "Youth Group Group" Summer 2011 | Ms Kwan Sara Santos Emily & I

31: Part III: Going Onward | June 2011- ?

32: Spend as much time as possible with friends during Summer 2011. Survive freshman year at Hofstra University. Spend a semester of college in England or Australia. Get an internship in NYC. Finish college in four years. Have a job that I enjoy doing. Visit at least 5 different countries in my lifetime. Manage to read every book on my book lists. Be happy. | Work for Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report. Spend some time living in a city—Boston or New York. Meet and/or interview Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga and Paramore. Swim with dolphins. Have and run my own prevention of animal abuse charity/shelter for abused animals. Find a fairytale romance. | Goals | Dreams

33: You, with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me You have knocked me off my feet again got me feeling like I'm nothing You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard, calling me out when I'm wounded You, pickin' on the weaker man Well, you can take me down with just one single blow But you don't know what you don't know Someday I'll be living in a big old city And all you're ever gonna be is mean Someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me And all you're ever gonna be is mean Why you gotta be so mean? You, with your switching sides and your walk-by lies and your humiliation You, have pointed out my flaws again as if I don't already see them I'll walk with my head down trying to block you out 'cause I'll never impress you I just wanna feel okay again I'll bet you got pushed around, somebody made you cold But the cycle ends right now 'cause you can't lead me down that road And you don't know what you don't know Someday I'll be living in a big old city And all you're ever gonna be is mean Someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me And all you're ever gonna be is mean | Why you gotta be so mean? And I can see you years from now in a bar, talking over a football game With that same big loud opinion but nobody's listening Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things Drunk and grumbling on about how I can't sing But all you are is mean All you are is mean and a liar and pathetic and alone in life And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean But someday I'll be living in a big old city And all you're ever gonna be is mean, yeah Someday, I'll be big enough so you can't hit me And all you're ever gonna be is mean Why you gotta be so mean? Someday, I'll be, living in a big old city (Why you gotta be so mean?) And all you're ever gonna be is mean (Why you gotta be so mean?) Someday, I'll be big enough so you can't hit me (Why you gotta be so mean?) And all you're ever gonna be is mean Why you gotta be so mean? | Mean | By Taylor Swift | “Mean” by Taylor Swift sums up a lot of my experiences through school. People are always going to be mean for probably no reason. I always have held on to the idea that I am the bigger person and later in life, I will be more successful. The main chorus of “Mean” is how I always have envisioned my future and still do. I want to live in a big city, and have an exciting, important job, where things like petty bullies don’t matter anymore. I will be big enough so that they won’t be able to affect me anymore. But of course even if I don’t live in a big city, and I am working in a retail store, I want to be big enough in maturity and secure enough with myself that I will be above the mean people.

34: Five Years From Now..... | In five years I hope to have graduated from Hofstra, and if I'm lucky, have a job in New York City or Boston. It will be something relatively small, being very young, and fresh out of college (maybe even just and internship) but I want to be working toward my dream. Even if my dream of working on The Today Show or Good Morning America—or if I'm really, really lucky, working for Stephen Colbert, has changed to something different, whatever that new dream is, I have to be working to get there. And even if the dream is not career orientated, that would be okay too. Five years from now I want to have a distinct goal and a purpose and be working toward that goal. I want to be making something out of myself. I also want to be having fun. If five years from now, I am reading this and my life is not what I would consider ‘fun’, I would suggest that I change something. It's so cliché, but I sincerely believe that life is too short to not have fun. Yes, I do want a big, important job, a part of the “the golden plan” as I call it, but there are more important things. I want to be surrounded and close with family and friends who help me enjoy life and have fun every day. My biggest hope for the person I will be in five years is that I will be essentially the same person that I am now. Over the eighteen years of my life I've worked to find me. I grew through childhood, explored things in early adolescence and ultimately discovered who I am and wanted to be in high school. I am proud of the end result, so I hope that no matter where I am, the core of my being is the same. If I find this book five years from now, or even longer than five years, take the time to write down, below, who I am then. And if I'm reading it, take it to heart and make sure I'm happy. | Who I actually am in 2016...

35: Letter to Myself | Insert | Letter | Here

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