A letter to my past self circa 1997

Dear Kimberly,

I’m just going to jump right in.

Remember E’s cute boyfriend and how you noticed she seems to not be dating him anymore and you think that’s kinda sad? Don’t be sad. YOU’RE MARRIED TO HIM NOW. I mean, you’ll marry him in 2009.

You’ll have a beautiful kid with him in 2016. The kid has long eyelashes and says delightful things. You had him later than you expected but he’s worth the wait, I promise.

Hey guess what neighborhood you live in starting in 2011? W! That’s where rich people live, you say? Well, two things: 1. It’s actually where a broad range of middle class people live and 2. you definitely would think of the household you live in by 2022 as rich. Y’all could eat Lunchables and Fruit Roll-ups and drink Capri Sun Every Day if you wanted to. (But you won’t, it would create way too much trash.)

You have a PhD (2021) and your job is to read, write, and talk to librarians. ON THE INTERNET. I know, right? Pretty sweet gig.

There’s a lot of scary stuff going on in the world right now (2022) - global health stuff, political stuff, war stuff, climate change stuff (that’s what we call global warming right now because it’s more accurate). Also, some family illness stuff. I know that doesn’t feel new, and it’s not, but it’s still a lot.

And yet in spite of those difficulties, on the micro level, your life is AMAZING.

Just wanted to let you know.

Love, Kimberly

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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 This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 .

I acknowledge that I live and work on unceded Lumbee, Skaruhreh/Tuscarora, and Shakori land. I give respect and reverence to those who came before me. I thank Holisticism for the text of this land acknowledgement.


We must acknowledge that much of what we know of this country today, including its culture, economic growth, and development throughout history and across time, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, and Jim Crow. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today. I thank Dr. Terah ‘TJ’ Stewart for the text of this labor acknowledgement.