Letters To Our Future Selves: 2019 New Year's Resolutions

At the turn of the year, we decided to write letters to future selves, to remind us that the future is bright and filled with friends, love, and good intentions.

Happy New Year to you all,

From Hapa Mag.


Alex Chester’s new word: “Boundaries”

Dear Self,

You’ve had one hell of a year. You learned a new word: “boundaries.” Something you never even considered before. You now use this word like a daily mantra, and sometimes you forget to actually use it, but the fact that you do (maybe not well) is a huge step for you.

You’re learning how to self-care, and that your mental well-being is just as important as your physical—and how they truly go hand in hand.

Therapy has been the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself, even more so than stuffing your face with juicy dumplings. Though, please continue to stuff away, because they are so damn delicious.

You have grown a lot. I just hope you continue to do so and continue to learn that you are enough. That you don’t and can’t please everyone and that is OK. That acknowledging “hard” feelings is a good thing. Learning to sit with them without brushing them aside is healthy. That you can’t fix people, they have to fix themselves.

No matter what happens in the future you will be OK, and for the first time you truly know and believe that.


Autumn Henry- “A Call to Kindness”

Dear Self,

This is a call to kindness.

Life is difficult and perplexing. It is joyous and precious. You dance, sulk, fly, and crawl through the hours, days, years, and decades with varying degrees of pride and self-loathing. No matter how fleeting those doubts, fears, or self-criticism may be it infiltrates your security and slaughters your power. It’s time to check in about that shit. Lately, your negative inner witch has had far too much play time.

You need to be kind to yourself.

Forgive yourself that you didn’t become a “Fly Girl” on In Living Color like your 10-year-old self swore she would. “Around the Way Girl” will always be your anthem, and now it’s simply time to be a Fly Woman Momma.

Being kind is accepting of the fact that you spill a lot—everything ends up down the front of your shirt like an embarrassing trail of clues leading back to your mouth. But a Fly Woman Momma has OxiClean.

I know you are working on punctuality because you’re tired of humiliation every time you’re late or miss a deadline. Some days are going to produce more victories than others and kindness is not giving up on your efforts.

When you look in the mirror, instead of zeroing in on your dark circles, consider your whole face for a moment. If you’re a monster, you’re a beautiful, interesting, natural, unique monster.

And try not to beat yourself up about all those plants you’ve killed. You might envy your best friend’s green thumb but remember her words of encouragement, “A gardener’s heart is a graveyard.” And so far so good on those air plants that survive on… air.

Most importantly, quiet that inner voice that spews ugliness. Shut that wretched voice down that says you’re not good enough, that you’re a failure, that you don’t belong or don’t deserve. That invalidating gloomy witch doesn’t know shit—that you have so many blessings to tend to. Being kind to yourself will be the fertilizer that will ripen your potential.

When you are able to find moments of forgiveness, of emotional softening and acceptance of your beautifully imperfect self; that is kindness. Kindness can pave the way for confidence, perseverance through inevitable challenges, and dedication to self-care. That is the ultimate goal: self-care. Because when we can care for ourselves with kindness, we will care for others with kindness and together we can flourish.

And look up from your phone more.


Melissa: Secret It Out

Dear Future Self,

I know you know this: You have to trust yourself. You have to put things into the universe so they can return to you. Your thoughts become things. Secret that sh*t into existence.

Yes, The Secret is an infuriating piece of crap that your boyfriend should have never put into your hands. But remember the helpful hints that you discussed with him after you griped about “fat thoughts vs thin thoughts” or The Secret’s Holocaust theory (which is utter BS).

Remember to trust yourself. No, really trust yourself. Trust your skills, and your brain, and your abilities. You have some major career changes ahead. Return of Saturn is real and it’s happening to you. So trust that you are capable enough to pursue what you really want to pursue. Make art, make radio stories, make content. You’ve been doing it for over two years. Keep doing it, and keep making it better. Make Hapa Mag the best it can be. Bring We’re Not All Ninjas to the masses. Make your hobbies your paying career. You can do it. Just trust yourself. Secret that sh*t into reality.

And call your mom more. She’d like that.

Much Love,

Your past self.


Dear Rebecca: Everything you want will appear before you because you yourself are becoming what you want.

Dear Rebecca,

Well, it’s been a year. You rang it in aboard a ship with people you now no longer see. You experienced isolation and loneliness—and were thrusted back to the high school mentality: cliques and gossip and one-night stands. That of which you thought you escaped many years ago, to a world that floats around the sea, where great entertainment and grand dreams come true—but also where hearts and spirits are broken. See: Hapa on a Boat.

You still feel a little displaced, like an actual fish out of water.

Your body literally came back beaten and bruised: You discovered you have cysts on your ovaries and endometriosis (they say your uterus is your second heart), and a torn labrum in your shoulder (where you carry the weight of the world). And somehow, now, as you manage to repair your body (with doctor visits, surgery, and physical therapy) you were also able to let your creativity soar: writing the 14 songs that are now THE HEARTBREAK HOTEL. You are so thankful for Matt Park, your collaborator, and you already have presentations of this musical set up for next year. And, I have faith that there will be many more things to come regarding your creative juices. You are going to write a fabulous book to go along with these songs. I am so excited for you. “Take your broken heart and make it art.” I believe this is the best medicine to heal your body and your mind. And you are doing it. Easily.

Rebecca, try not to take what other people do or say too personally. Social media can really be a wicked thing. It’s just a picture. They are having fun. But remember they probably weren’t including each other with the purpose of excluding you. It’s just not true. I know you are getting better at thinking this.

There are those who are purposefully negative to you. Remember, you are only a mirror of how they treat themselves. Remember, you are the light and you vibrate at a higher level, and they cannot reach you. Stay elevated. You are super strong. You are magic. And, if they get the better of you, that’s OK too. Because we are human, and it’s OK.

Remember to meditate. Remember you have Reiki powers that always make you feel better. You do not need anyone else to do this for you.

You will find him. I know how badly you want this to happen. But don’t force it. You will.

Also, don’t feel guilty for loving the wrong person.

And don’t let other people make you FEEL guilty for loving the wrong person.

Just make sure that person isn’t hurting your heart. You can love someone but still keep them at a distance. You know you are doing this, so stop being so hard on yourself.

Your heart is very big, OK? Just love them anyway and one day the right one will come along and you’ll be so happy you didn’t put a wall around your heart because you won’t want an unbreakable fortress to be there when the right person finds you.

You are a powerful manifestor. You’ve seen this first-hand in all areas of your life. Have faith.

Everything you want will appear before you because you yourself are becoming what you want.

You are more than fine.

Love you very very much, Rebecca.

Happy New Year