Letter to Myself

Letter

Yesterday I heard about futureme.org. It’s a site where you can schedule an email to be delivered to yourself at some time in the future. The default setting is one year and that seemed about right. I don’t keep journals of my life, but every now and then I’ll run across something in one of my notebooks that’s personal and I love when that happens. So, I wrote next-year-me a letter and I may do it every couple of months. I hope I get a kick out of it (and possibly some inspiration) when it arrives. To be delivered Sept 24, 2013.

Hello from the past, hopefully one you look back on fondly. I just wanted to give you a point of reference so you can see what progress (if there’s been none, go right now and find someone who will literally kick you in the ass) you’ve made over the last year.

You’re probably still seeing Andrew (therapist, not b.f.), but if not, here’s a reminder. The theory you’ve always had that the simple act of observing one’s life causes changes drove you to therapy. There you discovered that not only have you dealt with what could have been a debilitating mental disorder for at least the last 30 years, but, you’ve done it pretty damned well. By the way, I’m writing this during one if those opposite times – you know, that week or so every cycle when you just know you could conquer the world, were you so inclined. Hopefully you’re still managing without medication. I’m refusing it because I’m scared. I’m afraid that if I change something as vital as my brain chemistry, I won’t know who you are by the time I am you. (You know what I’m saying)

You’re writing this sitting outside his office right now. I just smelled bananas – weird. I think burnt toast means a stroke and I’ve never heard of bananas meaning anything, so I’m just going to ignore it.

Anyway, I’ve figured out that for about ten days every two months, your brain pretty much shuts down. Connections stop connecting and neurons stop neuroning, leaving a lethargic blob. That’s not always a bad thing; Netflix isn’t going to watch itself. I just hope that you’ve learned to manage your schedule to allow for those times. That’s something I’m working toward – so, if it’s happened – you’re welcome.

I’m not writing. I jot down ideas all the time. Moleskines, faux Moleskines, Moleskine iPad apps – all brimming with absolutely brilliant (if I do say so myself, but I’m sure you’ll agree) ideas for stories, books, blog posts, the new Humanist Manifesto, and – to coin a phrase – life, the universe, and everything. But, I’m not writing. The greatest gift in the world that you could possibly give to me is to read that last paragraph and think, “Poor then-me. If he only knew how prolific he would become, he wouldn’t have beaten himself up as much.”

The business you started a few months ago is going fairly well. There are times (you can guess which ones) where not much gets done, but then there are bursts of insane energy where everything gets caught up and nobody ever knows that you go weeks at a time without setting foot in the workroom. I have a couple of ideas about how to streamline the income from that venture. Hopefully you are automatically getting at least a meager deposit every month, even when you don’t work.

I’m seriously considering paying for guitar lessons. This solitary learn-from-a-video-file isn’t cutting it. If you’ve benefitted from this, you’re welcome. If I didn’t get around to it, I encourage you to get on it.

As for the smoking thing – you’re welcome for that too. How many years did you try to quit and you always said, “If I’d done this years ago, I wouldn’t even remember the pain and cravings now”? Since you smoked for 26 years (I know right? When the hell did we get old?) and tried to quit at least once a year… It’s a lot. I finally did it and that’s my gift to you.

As for the side affects that might reach into the future, aka., you. Sorry. I’m eating like I’m about to go into hibernation. It looks like I’ll be gaining about 10  lbs. a month – on the positive side, you’ve always been a fan of The Biggest Loser and I might be handing you a chance to meet Jillian and Bob.

Anyway, I hope you’re writing like your fingers are on fire. I hope you have at least 200 more blog posts than I do and know more than two chords. I hope you kicked ass for NANOWRIMO and have bragging rights for the year. And above all, for fuck’s sake – I hope you’re happy.

Your biggest fan and supporter,
Me

6 comments

  1. I hadn’t heard about futureme.org! Thanks for sharing; I think I will send my future self a letter :D

    1. Isn’t it a great idea? Be sure to check out some of the letters people have made public on the site. Some are silly, but there are others that are inspiring.

      1. Yeah, it is! :) Hahahhaa sure.

  2. Fantastic idea and fantastic piece. I’ve written similar letters to myself in the past. They are always so revealing, and heartfelt when you come across them, with me usually years later. It’s always a bit of a shock to the system to think that I could have forgotten so much of how I used to be, and how in many ways some things just don’t change, the good things that is.
    How did you compare to yourself?

    1. When I run across a few pages of personal stuff in my notebooks, it is always kind of a shock. It makes me wish I’d written a diary, but in the here-and-now all of the minutia seems too insignificant to take the time. It is shocking to be thrown back into the space I was when I wrote something and remember how much is different… and like you said, how much is the same :-)

  3. This is a fascinating idea. Thanks for sharing.

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