Dear Past/Future Self

So, ever since I read The Letter Q, I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of letter I would write to my younger self. Just the idea of being able to send a little message to the past to help out old me had my brain going overtime. And I thought, what better place to write that letter than right here. I also thought it might be pretty awesome to invite all of you to write your own letters, maybe to your younger self or even to future you. So send me a message with your letters and maybe I’ll even publish a few of them right here (with permission of course!) Hit me up through the contact page and don’t forget to include your email so I can let you know if your letter is selected. Or take it to Twitter. Tweet @aqueerermirror using the hashtag #DEARYOUNGERME and I’ll compile all of your tweets into an awesome post down the line. In the meantime, here’s my advice to younger me.

Dearest, darlingest younger me,

First things first, you’ve survived into adulthood. Congratulations. Perhaps that sounds a little flip, but there may come a time when knowing that fact really does feel like an accomplishment.

You know, I have a feeling that it won’t surprise you to receive a letter from the future. You always firmly believed in the possibility of anything. Thank you for that. It’s one of the best things I’ve managed to hold onto.

Now onto the business at hand. There are a few things I think you need to know.

First of all, that fascination you have with a friendly acquaintance? You know the one I mean. That one girl that’s been peripherally in your life since elementary school? Yeah, your heart doesn’t do that weird thing when she walks by because you want to be like her. And I think you know that somewhere very deep down. That weird little heart flip is something you’re eventually gonna recognize as the first sign of a serious crush. Now the bad news is that you’re probably still not going to acknowledge that before college. The good news, though, is that this girl is still going to be around. But that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Just remember, once you finally open that closet door, you are going to be consistently amazed by what you get to experience on the other side.

Second, and this is probably going to be the hardest to hear, but it’s so important. Get yourself a therapist. Get into therapy as quick as you possibly can. There is no shame in talking to someone about what’s going on in your head and your heart. If you don’t talk, it all comes out in much more destructive ways. It’s possible that you’ll still go through a lot of the tough times, even with the help of a therapist, but give yourself your best chance at happiness. Otherwise you’ll be dealing with a lot of the same stuff well into your grown up life. In good news, one day you will be living in a place where therapy is as normal as showering and you’ll find yourself referencing your latest breakthrough in casual conversation. And that feels like freedom.

Third, I know that you’re pretty uninspired with the lackadaisical education you’re receiving in that little town of yours, but that’s not a good reason to slack off. Take the hardest classes you can and ace them all. And then be brave enough to apply for college somewhere far, far away. Trust me on this one. Those gigantic dreams of yours won’t do you any good if you wait too long to get out of that town. So focus. Get amazing grades. Apply for awesome schools. And then get out out out. I know that sounds like an impossible task. The highest aspirations the guidance counselors seem to have for any of you is a two year community college stint before you settle into repopulating the local schools and perpetuating the cycle of mediocrity. But that doesn’t have to be your life. You are infinitely capable.

Fourth, and this is the absolute most important thing. If you take no other suggestions, take this one. You see, you have two lives to save. On November 6, 2014, make sure you are at 326 East 110th Street (between 1st and 2nd Aves.) New York, NY 10029. Get there early. Your best friend is waiting for you. She’s tiny and blonde and a bit of a big mouth, but you will love her unbearably. On August 29th, 2015, get yourself to 2336 Linden Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11208. Again, be early, This is imperative. You will meet a woman at the front desk and she will tell you all about a family member you didn’t know you were waiting for. This new member of the family is scrawny and gray haired and occasionally cantankerous, but she needs you desperately. These two will change your life. And you will change theirs. And this is a beautiful thing.

So there you go. You are a pansexual, therapy needing, sometime underachiever. But you are going to do some good in the world. Whatever path you take to get where you’re going, I have faith in you. You are going to get me to where I am now and I’m going to be grateful for all you survived to do it.

Thanks younger me.

See you in 2017.

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