Letter from the editor: In due time


Meghna Kulkarni

The Sidekick editor-in-chief Angelina Liu wears cowgirl boots from Cavendar’s Boot City on Main Street in Grapevine. A chronic overthinker, Liu explains her journey through high school and why she thinks everything works out in the end.

Angelina Liu, Executive Editor-in-Chief

Touching the blazing hot window pane, I slumped down in my seat in dejection. After two days of driving, we had finally reached the dusty, flat state of Texas. 

I wanted to continue fourth grade at Mosby Woods Elementary School in the suburbs of Washington D.C., but my dad had made other plans for the family. The feeling of melancholy persisted as I sat in the humid, smoky interior of Hard Eight BBQ. The stuffed animal carcasses mocked me from their mounts as twangy Southern music echoed through the wooden walls and floors. 

Another one of our stops was Cavender’s Boot City. The scent of musky leather flooded into my nostrils as I ran my hands on bedazzled belts and silver-plated turquoise jewelry. I despised the rows of shelves cluttered with boots and unnecessary western paraphernalia. 

I distinctly remember missing my sloping backyard, the crepe myrtle that brushed against my bedroom window on windy days. I missed feeling the cold floor of my beige-tiled basement. I wanted to plant tulip bulbs in my front garden, feel the soft cool dirt run through my 9-year-old hands. I reminisced about the pink cherry blossoms I saw on my way to ice-skating practice. 

At the time, I worried that I would never find friends or happiness in Texas. I disliked the incessant heat, flatness and ugly shrubbery. 

I was a very melodramatic child. 

Entering high school, I encountered a completely different set of circumstances. Like my mother, I have a tendency to worry. I overthink every situation, analyzing each interaction and fretting over every possible outcome. Nights before important events would be consumed with anxiety, tossing and turning as I wondered what the future held for me. 

In an attempt to rationalize this, I began sending letters to my future self. The earliest letter dates back to 2019 and contains 30 questions for my future self. 

“Currently it’s summer 2019. I start high school in 4 days. I’m not nervous. Should I be? ​​ I’m scared I’ll lose the friends I made in middle school.” 

Reading this letter in the spring semester of my senior year gives me relief. Intertwined in the writing is hints of uneasiness, fear and desire to know the future. It is clear I wanted to find some semblance of control, despite the fact that I knew that was out of the question. 

In response to what I wrote, I say, “No. You shouldn’t be nervous.” In my four years, I have gone through struggles, but in the end I made it. I’m here and I am whole. My friends that I made in middle school are still who I consider my closest.

Just this morning, I went on what feels like a millionth coffee run with Shrayes Gunna, singing a little too loudly to sad songs that were probably meant for solitude and discussing the next concert we should attend.

The Sidekick editor-in-chief Angelina Liu enjoys a pulled pork sandwich from Hard Eight BBQ. A chronic overthinker, Liu explains her journey through high school and why she thinks everything works out in the end. (Meghna Kulkarni)

I incessantly chatter with Meghna Kulkarni about celebrity crushes and what romcoms we’ll watch next. I continue to meet up with Hannah Hakeem to film food mukbang videos to be posted nowhere, the middle school clips still existent on her school iPad. I go on shopping trips with Ashley Qian, converse with Matthew Tindoc and stay up late to FaceTime Taara Bhojwani. 

The next year, sophomore year, I was a first-year staffer for The Sidekick. The letter subsequently reflects the struggles I faced in the program. 

“I have to work on InDesign and the interview questions for the Taylor Young story.” 

The pages that I designed for Volume 32 Issue 2 and the feature on Taylor Young became one of the many I have contributed to the program. Not to sound haughty, as the editor-in-chief of a Pacemaker-winning staff I would say it worked out pretty well in the end. 

Every year, I continue to write letters to myself, prying about my future. I worry that I won’t be enough, that I won’t achieve my goals and dreams. However, if the future letters have taught me anything at all, it’s to trust in the process. Despite how you may feel at the moment, just remember that it is only temporary. Everything will work out in the end, if you give it enough time. 

Follow Angelina (@angelinaliuu) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter