A Letter to My Younger Self...
Updated: Apr 23
A lone candle stood tall in the middle of a slice of vanilla cake that was drizzled in a mixture of chocolate and caramel sauce. Individuals sitting at tables surrounding me turned their attention to the direction of the flickering light as it passed by. A waitress set the dessert in front of me and encouraged me to make a wish. For the first time, nothing crossed my mind. In years past I would wish for a tangible item or try to manifest an adventure I really wanted to make happen. Now that I have completed my 25th trip around the sun, I have been reflecting more about everything I have achieved instead of worrying about the future- and avoiding a huge quarter-life crisis meltdown, of course.
If I could return to that moment and lock eyes with the candle, I would wish to go back in time and tell my younger self about every adventure (both good and bad) she has endured…I think she would be in absolute disbelief, but in the best way possible.
Dear (young and naive) Chelsea,
I can picture it now. After a long day of school followed by an intense volleyball practice, you're probably unwinding in bed while reading the latest sports stories in the Dallas Morning News, in a room that looks like Fenway Park threw up on the walls. You're probably thinking “Am I ever going to make it like this one day?” Well, your 25-year-old self is here to tell you that you have gone on a path in the sports world that is beyond your wildest dreams. You have encountered many cool stops and even cooler people along the way.
To the 10-year-old that watched Sports Center every day as if her life depended on it, just wait. Believe it or not, you went on to have your own sports broadcast show in high school that inspired more people than you would believe.
To the 17-year-old who worked tirelessly in her high school communications program to make sure she had what it takes to make her way into a notable journalism school, take a deep breath. Gaining the courage of moving to an unfamiliar part of the country ultimately led you to the best four years in black and gold as a Missouri Tiger.
To the college student who consistently burst into tears behind closed doors while spending every semester as a full-time journalism student, part-time employee, athletics communications intern with various extracurriculars, it was all worth it. Your hard work and dedication led you to more opportunities than you knew possible. However, I bet you would have never guessed that you would watch your college graduation in sweatpants as the world shut down for the Coronavirus pandemic. You may not have worn the cap and gown, but that does not take away from your achievements. You did that.
To the 22-year-old that had her post-graduation plans canceled and had to move back home, it is going to be ok. You eventually worked your way back into sports through college athletics at a university in Jacksonville, Florida (I know, I didn’t ever imagine living in that region of the country, but it did happen). In the Sunshine State you learned that therapy is cool and explored your love for minor league baseball. This eventually led you to your next adventure, probably your best one yet!
In a matter of seven years, you went from studying in a high school journalism program to spending your first professional baseball season as a Red Sox employee. Yes, you read that correctly.
Now, I know what you are thinking… but it was not at Fenway Park. You relocated to a small area in the Southwest corner of Virginia named Salem, the city that serves as home for Boston’s Low-A affiliate. Before you cringe about not being close to a major city, it was more wonderful than we could have imagined! You met the kindest fans, bonded with the best crew, and the small city instantly felt like home.
Now that you are probably grinning from ear-to-ear, here is the best part. You are not even close to done yet. I’ll make you a promise and do this again in ten years. I bet what my 35-year-old self will have to say will make my mid-twenties self smile even wider.
Lots of Love,
(An older and much wiser) Chelsea