A Letter to My Older Self


This won’t feel like much of a letter because I’m filling it with mostly questions.  It’s a natural desire to want to know the future. Everyone wants to prevent bad things happening in their lives and they want to anticipate possible fortunes.  I have enough anxiety and don’t want more, but this little exercise intrigues me.  I’m trying to think of what things actually concern me.  What do I want to know about myself?  I’ll do my best to not sound cliché, but I think it will happen despite my efforts.

I imagine you are myself at 60.  Do people ever enjoy our writing?  I don’t care about money or fame.  I hope we make enough to survive and live comfortably, but does our writing leave any kind of impact?  Does anyone care we created these things?  Are these things important to anyone besides us?  I guess I want to know if there is any point to doing this. What’s the point of writing a story if no one ever reads it?  I write for myself and always will, but I want other to enjoy it too.  I’m sure you would tell me to keep writing and keep fighting and all the things I want will come to me.

Asking if I’ll find love is one of those cliché questions.  Also, it wouldn’t be an accurate question because I’ve already found love a couple times.  I knew I loved someone when I cared more for them than I did for myself.  I once told someone I wanted them to be happy even if that meant not having me in their life.  I know love.  I’ve found love.  The question is, will I find someone who loves me the way I love them?  Will I find someone that’s important to me and I’m important to them?

That’s it!  Everything else in my life is trivial.  As long as I still have my friends in 30 years, I think I’ll be fine.  I know I’ll still write and I hope by then I find someone who wants to share their life with me and I share mine with them.  I don’t need a big house and all the money in the world.  I guess I’m keeping things pretty simple.  Things are never that simple for me.  I’m never that simple.  I’m looking at a 30-year rollercoaster, aren’t I?

A Letter to My Younger Self


There’s so much to be said. How can I sum it all up in one letter? I’m you, but older; much older. Life hasn’t been kind to us. You’ve already been through a lot and there’s so much more you will go through.  It seems unfair, but everything has a purpose.  I don’t expect you to understand that, but one day you will. And believe it or not, things will get better.  Then they’ll get worse only to get better again.  That’s how life is; ups and downs.  The ups are never as great as you think, and the downs are never as bad as you think.

You’ve got another 25 years before you start to understand all the things that happened to you.  Why do you feel what you feel?  Why do you think what you think?  The answer will come.  My advice to you is to always trust your instincts.  In many ways, your instincts are the only thing you can trust. They help you survive.  They teach you.  They protect you.  People will come and go.  This will hurt, but you’ll keep going.  You’ll have trouble trusting them, but don’t judge them too harshly.  They’re like babies and don’t know any better. Sometimes you make the same mistakes they do.

You’re going to feel alone for a long time.  Don’t let it bother you.  Loneliness can be a strength and sometimes it helps you survive.  Be careful not to let it consume you.  That’s a darkness that’s hard to escape.  Sometimes you’ll want it to consume you.  Just know you’ll always find your way out.  Your future doesn’t have much love, but there is some there. It may not be the kind of love you want, but I promise it’s the love you need.  You won’t be much younger than me when you finally understand what love is, but it will change your world for the better.  It will make you a better person and a better friend.

Believe in yourself and don’t listen to any of the negative things you hear.  Don’t listen to the negative things you tell yourself.  You have to make your life something you enjoy. You have to mold yourself into the person you want to be.  No one will help you and most people won’t care.  You’ll know you’re doing something right when more and more people want to spend time with you and talk to you.  It will feel too-good-to-be-true because you’re used to people being awful.  Not everyone is awful, and miracles do happen. Everything you’ve survived and will survive makes you a walking miracle.  Remember that.  You are a miracle.  Never give up!  Never surrender!

 

I Don’t Give Up


I am unemployed.  I search for work almost every day.  Now and then I get lucky and get an interview, but they always find someone else who’s more qualified for the job.  I feel I’m not qualified enough for any job. But still I search and apply.  I have an internal battle every day.  I want to push everyone in my life away and become a hermit who hides from everyone and everything.  This hiding isn’t so much out of fear but because I can’t learn to function around other people.  No matter how long I’ve known them, I find myself feeling out of place and lost everywhere.  But still I try to connect with others and force myself into social settings.

I have several things I want to do; several ambitions.  Being unemployed and barely having money for food or utilities has put many of those things on hold.  It’s an issue of priority.  Basic needs must come first, followed by security, and then pursuing the many ambitions I have.  It’s never easy foregoing one’s dreams to deal with basic necessities.  But still I pursue those dreams.  Though at a slower pace than I would prefer.  The dreams always feel too far away to reach.  But still I reach.  The negativity in my mind holds and pulls me down deeper and deeper into a black pit of darkness.  But still I fight to break free.

I’m beginning to feel that my only options are to move to another city and another state to find work, reenlist in the military which means I’ll be sent who knows where for at least 3 years, or do something that will send me to prison just, so I can have food and a place to sleep.  Each of these scenarios means moving farther away from my dreams and ambitions and giving up everything I’ve built thus far.  I grew up being told by everyone to follow my dreams.  All that has brought me is more struggle and pain.  But still I dream.  If I had given up on my dreams, I would be even more depressed and miserable than I am now.

I don’t know what the future holds.  I feel stuck and trapped and it feels like my situation keeps getting worse.  I know things will get better, but my concern is how long that will take.  How long will I fight and struggle and lose everything before I can move forward? Will I keep fighting to the bitter end or will it all finally get to me, break me down, and cause me to give in and give up?  I can’t give up because I have nothing else.  I feel I’m stuck in a room full of people, but no one is allowed to speak to me or help me.  I’m an outcast; a pariah.  Even when I ask for help, I still have to fight it alone.  But still I persevere.  I never give up and never surrender.  I never let the darkness keep me.