Folk: Live Authentic Writing Challenge

My dear friend, Christopher, sent me a link to a writing challenge on Folk Lifestyle and encouraged me to do it (you can read his first post here). The idea is that a year is basically a 365 page book, and that we are to write a good one. Each week they’ll post writing prompts for readers to tackle. So here goes nothing.

Week 1: Write a letter to the 2012 you. Reflect on lessons learned in 2012 and how you will apply your new knowledge to 2013.


Dear 2012 Leah,

I wish with all my might that I could send you the wisdom you gained in 2012 before you experienced the first day of the year, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be the person writing to you today if you hadn’t gone through it first.

First and foremost, 2012 is going to suck. It’s going to knock you down, challenge you, and piss you off, but worst of all…it’s going to break your heart. You’re going to be angry and upset for a good chunk of the year. I know it seems easier to run away from it all, but stick it out. It’ll get better. That heartache and pain will teach you things as only experience can.

It’s going to teach you to not trust everyone. You have a real problem with that, you know? You’re always believing the best of people, and sometimes people are just fooling you. Sometimes people know the right thing to say and the right time to say it. Those people will hurt you more than you can imagine because you want them to be better. You’re going to learn that you can’t change those people.  You can’t make them be who you think they are. Don’t waste your time on people like this.

It’s going to teach you to stand up for yourself because right now you think everyone has your back.

It’s going to teach you that being an adult is way harder than it looks. You’ll develop an appreciation for your parents that you can’t even comprehend right now.

It’s going to shake your world and take your Papa away from you. DO NOT complain about driving to Lynchburg – this will be the last time you see him alive. Savor every second.

I’m sure right now you’re thinking, “Don’t make me do this!” Don’t worry. You’ll get through it. You’ll experience far more joy in your life and appreciate so much more after going through these tough times. You’re going to start grad school and make your first A in your MBA program. You’re going to get a promotion. You’re going to have the best pizza you’ve ever had in your life. You’re going to celebrate your golden birthday. You’re going to learn how to dance the Charleston. You’re going to visit Las Vegas and New York City. You’re going to decide what that tattoo you’ve always wanted is going to be. You’re going to spend the Fourth of July on the beach. You’re going to laugh until you cry with friends you didn’t know you had. You’re going to meet a cute boy while bowling. You’re going to have a lot of sushi with your sister.

So chin up, little one. You’re going to make it through 2012 and we’re going to be a better Leah because of it. Thanks for enduring it.

Love always,




2 thoughts on “Folk: Live Authentic Writing Challenge

  1. Sherry Smyth says:

    Such a beautiful letter. And oh if we could only tell ourselves in January 1st what the rest of the 364 days will hold…but that’s part of the mystery of life. All those things we have to go through in order to get to the other side. xo

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