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 Heatwave,

Listen Bro, we’ve got some problems.

To start, your incessant temperature spikes drive me insane.  Who enjoys weather that is well into the 90’s? I didn’t like the 90’s even when I was growing up in the 90’s, okay? There is nothing fun you can do in this weather.  The beach is unbearable.  Sitting in the shade is a bit better but still far from enjoyable.  Work is bearable because that’s where I can find air conditioning.  And Sleep? Forget it.  You’ve ruined my relationship with Sleep for the foreseeable future.

Then there are the people who are excited for your arrival.  You know who your supporters are — those people who “run cold” and need to lay out in the sun on a rock in order to generate body heat.  These amphibious individuals confound me.  How does the harsh sun you brought to the party not causes these people have sweat slowly dribbling down their lower back? It’s not normal.

There are so many things about you that I can’t stand.  And, quite frankly, I think I may hate you.

I know that nothing I say to you will make you leave faster but I do think I saw a back to school commercial the other day which means Fall isn’t far away and that means cold air is just a few more weeks.  Until then, I’ll battle you with my trusty Fan.

Waiting for you to leave,

Olivia

Dear Fans,

I’m a huge fan of yours.

Seriously, no one thinks about you until a heat wave hits and then every corner of my house has you in it.  You sleep closer to me in bed than my partner does, gently caressing my skin with moving air until I’m lulled to sleep.

There are days when it’s just you and I against the world.  I sit in front of you, naked and sweating, while you defend me from the heat.  You are my knight in white-caged armor keeping me safe from temperatures nearing the mid 90’s.

May you ever oscillate at a consistent rate!

Your biggest fan,

Olivia

Dear 4AM,

We’re getting to know each other quite well.  I haven’t seen Sleep in quite some time and I’m learning interesting aspects about you, my new friend, in Sleep’s absence:

  1. When you roll around, I can’t think clearly.  I spend my time contemplating the weight and buoyancy of pink elephants or if my books on the shelf move when I breathe.  It’s the brink of madness with you.
  2. You are this hazy point in the morning where the dawn hasn’t broke and most, insomnia-less, people are still asleep.   Even though I’m not asleep, the world feels like a dream.
  3. Revelations come frequently but, by 9AM, I can only remember having the revelation and how significant it was — I can’t actually remember what the revelation was over.
  4. Emotions run rampant.

You are entertaining on occasion.  Like, in college, when I would make the bleary walk home with you and remember all the happy times I had that night in a drunken fog.  Those are times that hanging with you seem appropriate.

I hope you won’t take this personally when I tell you that I can do without you for a while.  You roll in and I’m counting the number hours of sleep I have left before I need to get to work (if I fell asleep, that is).  I dread you hanging over me as I lie in bed.

So, perhaps, if you could go through your time alone tonight, that would be ideal.  I don’t want to hang.  I want to miss you completely; Sleeping, blissfully as you pass me by.  Then, in a few months, if I’m out with friends and find myself awake with you, I’ll truly enjoy your presence.

See you later….much later.

–Olivia