Dear Credit Card Companies,

Leave me alone.

I have absolutely no interest in finding myself further in debt by opening up another card.

And let’s be real, racking up a little extra debt is tempting when I have only $13 in my bank account. Your shiny, plastic temptations come when I want to rip open those envelopes the most.

But you’re only out to hurt me.  You’re only out to ruin my credit.  Which is ironic because your a credit company.

And, to add further insult, you’re letters are inconvenient to throw away.  I have to shred them to prevent someone else jacking up my credit after they steal my identity.  I have $13 to my name and I don’t own a shredder – stop making my life hard.

I’m working to bring down my debt.  I got a second job and I’m freezing my current credit card.  I don’t buy coffee out anymore.  In making significant changes to better my financial situation.

Stop pre approving me. Stop tempting me.  Leave me alone to work off my debt in peace.

Sincerely,

Olivia

Dear Exercise,

You and I…

…how do I put this?

You and I, well, we’ve never been close.

We’ve had our good days and we’ve had our bad.  Remember that time I thought I could walk into a gym and just bust out a 2 mile jog? Yeah, that was a bad time.

And a lot of people just seem to get along with you effortlessly.  It gets me thinking that you might just be nicer to other people.  And for some reason, they have a better time hanging out with you.

I’m hoping that I can get to that point with you.  See, I’m tired of feeling all blobby and I hear you help make a person less blobby. We should work great together, right? We’re aiming for the same goals.  Diet and I got to a good place and I’m hoping you and I can do so as well.  Maybe we can all hang out together?

So, listen, I’m putting in some effort right now, can you maybe meet me halfway? Make it go smoothly ? Teach me how to look like those girls with the high ponytails and pretty workout outfits? The ones that don’t sweat.  Yeah, teach me to be like them.  You do that and we’re golden.

We’ve got this,

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 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 Sleep,

You’ve been avoiding me.

What’s with this? Are you mad at me for something? Did I leave the light on or drink too much caffeine?

I don’t think I have done any of these things.

Yet, at 11:00pm, our normal meeting time, you are nowhere to be found.  You’ve ghosted from my life like Casper with demonic intent.  Thanks to your absence, I’m counting the hours and minutes and seconds as the night lumbers on.  Last night, with little else to occupy my time, I meditated to the fan’s oscillation as it moved left to right.

Without you, my life is a mess.

It’s 1:06pm, currently, and I’m yearning for you.  Forget accomplishing anything at work today, you’re all that’s on my mind.

It’s been four days and I’m lost. I amble from place to place with eyes that scream of your deprivation.  Consider coming back to me, at least for tonight.  Or maybe I can invite our mutual friend, Sleeping Pill, to come out and hang with us.  Perhaps a buffer will make our time together less strained.

Hoping to see you tonight.

With sleepy regards,

Olivia