Dear Keytar Bear,

Wherever you go, whatever you play, your music brings joy to the citizens and tourists of Boston.

And you always seem to know when I need a smile.  As your paws work that Keytar, I can’t help but feel my day brighten.  Even without my morning coffee, when I hear your groovy beats, it’s like I had a double cappuccino.  There will be times that I’m on my way home from work and I’m burdened with the day’s stress and, right then, I look up and there you are! Just like that, my stress goes away.

In short, you’re all that’s right with the world!

I hope to run into you soon.

Your fan,

Olivia

Dear Woman Sitting Next to Me on the Train,

You, yes, You, are a good person.

For starters you buy printed newspapers still.  And not like the Boston Globe in print but your local town paper.  In print. Do you know how cool that is? Supporting local companies is a clutch move.  And beyond just buying these newspapers, you interact with them.  I’ve seen you tear out coupons, finished a sudoku, and diligently read the paper from start to finish.  This seems to be a ritual of yours. 

And I totally approve.

Then you did something that floored me.  You got up, found your purse, and then you took one step towards the dining car before turning back and saying:

Do you want a coffee?

You’ve never met me.  We’ve exchanged small pleasantries but otherwise we’ve sat in our respective silences.  Yet, regardless, you offered to buy me a coffee.  

Before today, I didn’t know that good people like you existed.  You are the stuff of legends.  A mystical mermaid, if you will.

So thank you for the coffee.  I hope you enjoy your paper.

With warm regards,

Olivia

Dear Doppelgänger,

I haven’t met you yet.

But I know you’re out there…somewhere.

Sometimes when I’m bored but need to look alert, instead of diving into a Words with Friends game, I’ll scan the crowds for your face…er…my face.  Chances are slim that I’ll ever gaze upon our shared characteristics but it doesn’t mean I’m not eager for it to happen.

Perhaps my eagerness stems from a Parent Trap fantasy in which I met you (not my twin necessarily but close enough) and we fight at first but then we become like sisters and finally mess with our families.  I know, I know, that’s no where near the plot of the Parent Trap but it’s my take away.

If you’re out there, Doppelgänger, I hope we’ll beat the odds and cross paths.

See you someday,

Olivia

Dear 13 Year Old Olivia,

By the time you write this, you’ll be too old for it to be effective.

I’m trying to remember who you are crushing on currently.  Is it Skyler or Josh or Max or that guy who plays piano on Main Street in the summer? What was that guy’s name? Dave? Yeah, it was Piano Dave.  Not that it really matters now, you never really kept in touch with any of them.  Especially Piano Dave because, well, he doesn’t know you.

I wish I could be there with you right now.  To tell you that you’re okay.  To warn you that some men really do wear sheep’s clothing.  To remind you that you are loved no matter how different you look from your family.  To hug you late at night when you feel lonliest.

Some of the things that will happen over the next few years will really define you.  The music you listen to and the books you read are still with me today.  The bad days that will inevitable come will seem so dark but know that the next day becomes brighter.  Time keeps us moving on even when it feels like it should stop out of respect for our pain.  It’s important to know that this pain will teach you how resiliant and caring you truly can be.

In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know:

Talk to someone.  Anyone.  The person you trust the most.  Don’t wait until it gets really bad.  Don’t fall inside of yourself for days.  Let someone know how sad you feel and maybe you’ll learn how to manage it earlier.  It’s okay that you get sad, you just need to learn what makes you tick so you can avoid such long sprawls.  It will be a problem in college otherwise.

Look up from the books once in a while.  Talk to people in your class.  Try to be more social and don’t rely on the popularity of Molly and Katie to get you through these next few years.  You are friends with them because you share traits.  The traits you love about them are in you and you will be as well received as them if you only put down the book and interact.

Don’t be afraid to love.  You are, I know, and that’s not completely your fault.  There have been deceptions and you fear what’s lurking around every corner.  Part of you believes that you don’t deserve love.  Part of you doesn’t know what love means.  The biggest part of you is still waiting to be swept off your feet regardless.  It will happen one day.  It’s as cool as we thought it would be, FYI.

That’s it.  Pretty painless right? Years 13 through 19 were pretty rough, not going to lie.  And even after those years, the road is bumpy.  I forecast that it won’t be less bumpy for me going forward either.  But you truly are a resilient and strong woman.  You can do anything when you look forward.

Love yourself,

Olivia

P.S.  In a couple of months, you will want to try and cut your hair yourself like Mandy Moore in “How to Deal” — I know she is perfect and angsty like you want to be but don’t do it.  You’ll totally regret it.

Dear New Job,

Three days into this job and my desk is already cluttered.  I already hear people saying, “I don’t know, ask Olivia.”

And you allow me to wear jeans.

For this and so many more reasons, I’m grateful to be here with you.

It’s nice to feel needed and useful.  And it’s nice to know that I can make an impact on a company that’s doing something good for this world.  It’s awesome to actually be paid a decent wage for the hard work I put in.

And you are filled with employees who are all nice and truly love what they do.  Which makes me joyful to head to work in the morning.

I hope that, finally, I have found a place I can stick with for a long time.  A place where I can cultivate a work family and find myself as I work.

Thanks for this opportunity.

— Olivia