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TRUTH: “Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.”

Thank you for all the insights you shared with your younger self, Cheryl, but especially for this one. I’m in my early stages of calling myself a writer (I started my Substack blog because of you!). My audience is small but growing, and every time I write something and share it, someone new finds me. Someday it will turn into the book I’ve always dreamed of writing. I will remember your words, and I’ll keep writing and quit my bitching! 😉

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This essay captures—more than anything I know how to articulate—what I long to read, how I aspire to write, and why I spend time on Substack. Just, thank you.

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like; I love this whole thing, the notes about the tv show, your journal, and the Dear Sugar letter.

Thanks, Julie

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I'm inspired to hear that you are transcribing your journals. I have a pile of old notebooks and also a box of all the letters I wrote to my parents between the ages of 18 and 25. I haven't read everything, but I do dip in from time to time and find that I always want to beam a little love at my young self and then I'm reminded to lay a little of that affection on my old self. Cheers to always rooting around to see what comes up. Also, I loved the show. Brava/o to all involved. x

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Oh, Cheryl. You already know how I feel about the show, which is both not you and a direct result of your beautiful heart. So, thank you for that, truly. I also just want to say thank you for gifting us with the fact that you wouldn't have listened to yourself when you were 20, as deeply insightful and wryly funny as you are. It makes me feel better about looking back honestly on my own prior selves and reading old journals. Because that girl/woman wouldn't have listened AT ALL, and sometimes it makes me ashamed of her. Like, why couldn't she have been just that little bit smarter, like, ever? But if both of us (really, all of us) wouldn't have listened the most important thing is where we ended up and not what a long-ass road it was to get here. ♥

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by Cheryl Strayed

Damn —even though I’ve read that Dear Sugar letter many times, it touches me every time in different ways. Your writing is like poetry. I devoured the series Tiny Beautiful Things. The adaptation, the acting, and everything about it was magic. It blew my mind. How could your younger self see that coming? Thank you for blessing me with your wisdom. Much love.

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Julie this is amazing! Your correct our younger self would never listen to our elder self. And if we did! Would probably fuck it up anyway.

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heart is overflowing. thank you for your words Cheryl ♥️✨

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I actually had a moment, the day before yesterday, sitting on the cold cement floor of my parents’ basement reading the entirety of a journal I had kept on a high-school trip to Belize. In between passages describing my wonderment at seeing the rainforests and coral reefs for the first time in my life, I expressed feelings of profound sadness and isolation from the rest of the group, describing a moment where I walked into a room and a clique of girls was talking about me behind my back, and another time they claimed their bunk room was full because they didn’t want me in it. It’s heartbreaking, and 25 years later I wish I could go back in time and comfort my younger self, and tell her about all the cool things she will do and amazing people she will meet in her life, and how someday she won’t ever remember those bitches’ names. I might have a few choice words for them, too. 😉

I love the idea of transcribing my journals; how do you find the time? There must be volumes upon volumes!

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by Cheryl Strayed

What??? I just started this journal transcription process recently, too! And your Tiny Beautiful Things series (and now the collection in hand) has helped fuel the hard (YES, often humiliating - also surprising, enlightening...) task of confronting the self. I went in with a specific experience in mind also, spanning 2018-present, and that’s where I’ve begun, yet there’s a lifetime’s worth...(ah!) Thank you for the inspiration to “type it” as is and keep the fuck going...<3

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by Cheryl Strayed

This is one of my favorite Dear Sugar columns and one of the things I like about it is the way I can come back to it over and over again at different times in my life and whichever stanza is hitting me the hardest is a litmus test for what I'm going through and trying to figure out in my life. I first read Tiny Beautiful Things when I was 23. I'm now 32, and this time around was the first time that the "naive pomposity" line really resonated with me as a now "saddled down" adult. I consider that a developmental milestone ;)

On an unrelated note, I'm really sad you were in Ojai and I didn't run into you! I hope you come back to visit.

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by Cheryl Strayed

That had me in tears and in laughter what a ride. And flashing was my own life rushing by too. I am 80 and everything you wrote is too true. Thank you for this today

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When I read the journals of my younger self what often strikes me is how much, and how little has changed. I find I was writing about the same themes, the same patterns and the same internal struggles that I keep circling back to, just each time from a different vantage point. I see how much I have grown and how I am exactly the same person all at the same time.

I'm just reading 'Tiny Beautiful Things' for the first time and loving your writing :)

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by Cheryl Strayed

Thank you for baring your soul

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by Cheryl Strayed

‘You cannot convince people to love you.’ Gets me every time.

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Beautiful, thank you.

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