And, if this summer has taught me anything, I am content (because I have to be) living in this limbo, this seemingly endless waiting for the opportunity to change, when really the opportunity exists within our very selves all along.

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Bethany N. Bella
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Dear Tomorrow,

You have been born. Against my wishes as a selfish, anxious millennial, you have been born. And my dear, if you are here, I hope that you are happy.

If it is the year 2030, I am now 34 years old. If it is 2050, I am 54. (Perhaps if my flame has continued to burn for this long; perhaps I have already rejoined the stars.)

As the Internet likes to remind me, every time an amazing, awesome, or terrible event arrives at our fingertips: What a time it is to be alive.

Our world is warming. Our world is changing. Our world isn’t responding as quickly or as rationally as I would like it to be.

And I went to university to change that — to change the inaction and the apathy I witness happening on a global stage every time there is a commitment but no change in our complacency as an unsustainable society.

But I have learned that our beautiful world doesn’t care what empty promises we may make in the shadow of looming change.

I have learned that Rachel Carson was right, in both a terrifying and truthful kind of way, but that so many other women and men were, too; we have just stopped listening. I have learned that shouting into the climate void can be lonely and ineffective, so I’ve stopped trying to do so and just breathe and enjoy what I have around me, while I still can, and inspire others to live as simply, too.

I have learned that “it takes a village” — but sometimes only a village, not the entire world — to implement incremental, effective changes in the way we live our lives, how we can better the world around us as individuals. I have learned that evading the problem is not a sustainable solution, and there’s not enough time in my lifetime to accept this tempting passport for escape.

I have learned that positivity has power, and that I’m tired of projecting the doom and gloom of my generation that is now yours; I no longer wish to live a life of hopeless misery, but will instead live hopefully, believing in the adaptive, creativity ingenuity of people like me who care so desperately that it has to work, right?

Maybe I am foolish. But maybe I would rather live in happiness, for as long as I can manage, and for as long as I am able in this beautiful messy life we call ours.

I have no control over all of the people, the events, and the experiences I will encounter in this life, not really. And, if this summer has taught me anything, I am content (because I have to be) living in this limbo, this seemingly endless waiting for the opportunity to change, when really the opportunity exists within our very selves all along.

I have learned, perhaps most humbly, that I have been wrong. That I have been wrong about love, about what I wanted from myself and what I wanted from you. I have learned it is okay to change course and try again.

I have learned, ever so slowly, to forgive myself.

Perhaps, that is all that I ask from you — that you forgive me. Forgive me for feeling guilty, denying myself the right I have as a woman for so long; forgive me for wanting so desperately to change the world and just not knowing how right now; forgive me for all of my fears and for all of my doubts; forgive me for not putting more trust in the future, your future.

Dear Tomorrow, I hope I can count on you to arrive with the next setting sun. But if the hour fades and you don’t arrive, I won’t ask why. I will just know that there wasn’t as much time as I thought. And what a terrible, terrible mistake it will be if I should leave this world with regrets.

I am learning to live as wholeheartedly as I can — and I hope, for your sake, that I continue to do so, all the years and months and days and seconds I have left to share my story with you.

With sincerity and admiration,

-bnb

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Dear Grandchildren,

So here we are. In 2022 millions of people are suffering from the climate catastrophes, killing pollution and pandemic, not mentioning about poverty, gender and social injustice, racism, wars and dictatorships that can go on as long as bad people in power are allowed to grab our natural resources.

 

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Dear Tomorrow,

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dear me in 2030,

I am smelling burning plastic!

 

Dear Isaiah,

I am grateful for your soul, for your creativity, for your empathy. All these are precious treasures that you have to offer the world. They will help. I thank you for being in this world right now, so that you can offer these gifts at a time of transition.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to change the culture of my school.

 

Queridos nietas/nietos,

Creo que debo hacer más. Por ello, he decidido escribir esta breve carta para empezar un proceso en el que vaya escribiendo más cartas, conforme vaya teniendo más claridad de mis posibles contribuciones.

 

Dear AC,

I think a lot about where the right place to live is.

 

Dear Daughter,

Even when contemplating huge global-historical issues — especially then — it’s important to stay grounded in the present time and place, the specific here and now, and the minute affairs of everyday interpersonal relations.

 

Queridas crianças do mundo inteiro,

Pedimos que vocês procurem fazer como nós e continuem essa luta de colaborar com nosso planeta: evitando o consumo exagerado, usando a tecnologia para o bem, plantando árvores, economizando água e poluindo menos.

 

Dear Evan,

We want your future family to enjoy the same beautiful places we enjoyed.

 

Dear friends,

Rather than exploit it, destroy it, poison it, why don’t we just enhance the beauty of it, guard it, and love it?

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