Dear Future Me:
I have an apology to make. Today, I opened your mail. I found a letter that 17-year-old me wrote to you, and well, I couldn’t help myself. I hope you can forgive me. Well, I know you can. Anyway, to make it up to you, I figured I’d write you another letter, from me, 22-year-old you. These pronouns are gonna get hella confusing, so I’m gonna stick to I unless I’m talking to you.
Unsurprisingly, I am in Startbucks, drinking a decaf venti iced mocha, with whip. Surprisingly, I haven’t spilled it yet. Oh, tell a lie. I forgot I managed to squirt some on the page earlier, when I was mucking about with the straw. I guess we never do learn to be graceful, unless you have something you want to tell me?
Life at the moment is just getting interesting. I’ve taken up a new motto, “I’ll make it work”, and things are going well. It looks like I’ll have a full time job soon, and I’m currently negotiating some freelance work too. After months of fretting, two at once, just like buses. Things are looking promising. And of course, I’m writing again. For a week now I’ve managed to scribble out 500 words a day, and it feels amazing. I’m finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I wonder did you ever get Rimjhim published? Are you working on the next novel? Or even a third? Given that writing has been a craving of ours for 15 years now, I highly doubt it’s gone from your life altogether.
At present, I have just got back in touch with an old friend. I decided that it is impossible to be angry at a person who no longer exists. The conversation has only just started, but I’m excited about the possibility of having them back in our life. If it all goes to crap though, if you end up having to walk away again, know that you did the right thing. There are only so many chances you can give a person, but my fingers are crossed that it will all work out.
Love, love, what can I say about love? I’m talking to people, I’m mingling. I’m finally out of that weird teenage mindset where “will you go out with me?” means “we’re a couple now.” I still believe I can tell where a relationship’s going to go in the first five minutes of a conversation, but that’s because I’m a cynic. And I recon that’s okay.
Everything’s okay; my lack of grace, rogueish female charm, and immense knowledge of giraffe sex. It’s all okay. In the five years between 17 and 22, I’ve somehow figured out the tricky concept of being myself. As it turns out, it had nothing to do with my head or my heart. It was all about my gut, and my guts. I’ve started living bravely and instinctively, and it has done me more good than any of our other body parts ever did. It lead me to a great uni, the right course, and the best friends.
And now, I guess this is the point in the letter where I write some requests, or some hopes. I know that reading 17-year-old me’s letter made me smile, and gave me a shove, so:
- I hope that if you’re stuck in a rough patch, this letter will give you a boot in the arse.
- I hope you’re not mucking about; not writing a novel because it’s too hard, or too scary, or too much of a commitment.
- I hope you managed to do a Masters and a PhD, because Dr Mort is a life goal, champ.
- Don’t you dare settle for someone just for the sake of companionship.
- Remember your mood is like the weather; storm clouds will always dry up eventually.
- Don’t give up fiddling about with cameras. This is something we’ve only just started tinkering with, but it’s a lot of fun so far, and it’s getting you excited about the cosplay community again.
- In general, live passionately. You are much happier when you’re busy, and the bigger the variety of things you are doing, the better.
- Find a job that let’s you be you.
- Stop comparing yourself to others; just because they look like they have everything figured out, doesn’t mean they do.
- Travel to at least one country every year, or I’ll be miffed.
Now I’m going to go home to the flatmate and his missus, curl up under the coffee table, and do some writing. I break 16,000 words this evening. It’s taken a long time, but it’ll get there. After all, something has to come out of losing your comb inside the printer, twice. (Has that count gone up yet?) Oh, there’s one more thing actually. An add on to something 17-year-old us said:
- Remember, happily ever afters do exist. BUT they require work, and love, and commitment. Make yours a life worth reading about.
There, now, do you want a pretzel on the way home?