Hello Little One,

You’re wondering where I’m writing this from? It’s not so much. Just a little studio for writing in, with eggshell walls and bamboo wide-plank floors, the kind of nook that doubles in size with daylight. I don’t keep much in here, only the most potent things acquired from my travels, the ones that without fail remind me why I live for the act of discovery. For a while there was a vase of our favorite white roses by the window, but I’m just too busy to care for flowers these days…with what? And what city is it that’s roaring and twinkling outside the window? Well, little one, I refuse to spoil it. All you get for now is an image of an almost-empty room—consider it the postcard I’m writing this message on. You’ll be here soon enough.

I know you’re anxious for answers because right now, your life is one fat question. I know that’s not what you expected. In a fit of executive functioning, you flew up to San Francisco for nonstop interviews the week before graduating college, and lo, look at you! Reading this on a plush couch in a plush start-up office, pretending to do work on your company Macbook Air. Cozy, isn’t it? Unfortunately, you’ve discovered that being employed is not at all the same as having a purpose. Not your fault, Little One, there’s a whole ugly system built around conflating the two. I know you’re walking around the city on the weekends, looking at los murales de la Mission, the psychedelia of the Haight, dingy galleries in SOMA, art everywhere you go. You’re thinking about Ginsberg and Joplin and Didion. You’re scribbling notes in three different notebooks. You’re trying not to sound like Hannah Horvath. You’re pretending that you’re not waiting for permission, but Little One, there’s no pretending to yourself.

Here’s all I’m gonna tell you: Your mind is a vaunted, pillared, marbled amphitheater with killer acoustics where every thought is gonna sound like a lyric. And that’s because nobody else is listening. You have to be willing to be Times New Roman on a piece of paper like everybody else. You have to be willing to sound like the amateur you are to the ears you’ve been tuning on high-lit since elementary school. Getting to this little writer’s room, it’s as simple as trying to get here. When you don’t believe in this room, it disappears and so do I. What doesn’t disappear are the waking dreams and the wondering, no matter how much money you make, no matter how much free food there is in the office kitchen, no matter where you go or who you distract yourself with. So, come here Little One. There’s so much to see outside my window!

Love,
You

—By Audrey G., 21, San Francisco