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Dear Younger Me...

Get to know our new Editor, Amy Niezur!

Dear younger me, if you could see where I’m at right now you would see…

Someone who loves to run! My younger self was basically allergic to exercise, and I never thought of myself as strong or capable in that way. I was convinced that some people are born athletes, and some aren’t. Once I started, just a block at a time at first, I found running to be meditative, calming, and satisfying. Although I didn’t start until my late 30s, I have run 10 marathons and even a 50 mile trail race so far.

What’s your best piece of advice for your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to do something that scares you. It took me years to realize that taking a chance can be very rewarding. If you want to try, try! I was always fascinated by mountains, but afraid to do any serious hiking until we went to Half Dome in Yosemite. I almost turned back at the most terrifying part of the hike, but the view from the top was worth it!

What decision did you make that made a huge impact on your life? Are you happy or regretful that you made that choice?

Years ago, I had the opportunity to move across the country for a job. I was excited for the opportunity, but in the end decided not to uproot myself and my daughter. I am glad I didn’t, because I would have missed the chance to meet my wonderful husband and the life we have together as a family.

One thing I wish you would do...

Get a dog sooner! As a child, we always had cats, and for some reason I was convinced I didn’t like dogs. It wasn’t until I met my husband, who had two dogs, that I realized what loyal, affectionate, and wonderful friends they are! Three years ago, I finally had the chance to choose another dog to adopt, and she is an absolute joy.

One thing I wish you wouldn’t do...

Stop sewing! In high school, I loved sewing my own clothes, and even made my own prom dress. As I got older and busier, though, I spent less and less time sewing, and for years didn’t sew at all. Once Covid came along, I suddenly needed to put those skills to work sewing masks, and while this helped me remember that I still enjoyed it, I also found I am very rusty! Fortunately, I never stopped knitting, and enjoy making hats, sweaters, and socks for myself and my family.

What do you appreciate now that you didn’t as younger you?

Naps! My younger self too worried about missing out to indulge in a snooze, but falling asleep with a book on a sunny afternoon is one of life’s most exquisite pleasures. Maybe I’m more tired the older I get, but that’s okay.