Dear younger me,
For you, it is October 2016, and I am writing to you because I know that you need some reassurance that everything will work out. You just closed your laptop after registering as a student at Reedley College, and you are thinking you are way over your head for taking this step. Both of your kids are napping in their room, and you just finished crying your eyes out about where you are in your life. You love your little family and adore your two kids, but you still feel incomplete because you know you have set your dreams aside because you are afraid that everyone was right and that you do not have what it takes to earn your degree and become a teacher. Well, guess what? You are about to prove them all wrong! Now, I'm not saying that it's going to be easy; you will have many bumps on the road, and at this point, I have lost track of how many times you have considered quitting and giving up. I am not going to go into detail on all the things that you've had to endure during this long journey because I don't want to scare you, but just know that you are so much more resilient than you think you are. As difficult as it has been, I also want you to know that so many amazing things will happen for you during these next six years, and girl, you have found so much confidence within you. People will tell you that you have changed, but it's not true--you just now have the confidence to be who you truly are.
At first, you are going to tell very few people that you're in college, and as you begin to tell more people, you will say that you are only going after your associate degree, but you know that's not all what you want. You're just afraid that people will make fun of you for thinking you can do this, but you should not be afraid because you will not only graduate from Reedley College, but you will also graduate from Fresno State University! That's right! You are going to walk across the stage and receive your bachelor's degree from Fresno State as those two beautiful children who are napping right now proudly cheer for you.
I know that you are eager to know what we are doing now. Well, we are currently enrolled in the credential program, and you are a student teacher, substitute teacher, and writing tutor, so grab a cup of tea and relax because your life is about to get busy, but you'll love every moment of it! I know that one of your worries is that you will need to leave your kids with babysitters, but somehow you have always organized your schedule so well, and it has allowed you to work around your kids' school schedule. Take a deep breath! The kids are doing great! After all this hard work, I will admit that it still feels like a dream every time you walk into the classroom in the mornings or when your students call you Ms. Jaramillo.
I am so proud of you for taking this first step that now allows me the opportunity to live this life! Thank you for doing this for me!
A much happier future you