Sunday, February 28, 2016

Letter to Myself

Dear J.P.,

First off, I'm you. Or, more appropriately, one day you will be me. But right now, as you read this, you are a "skinny little boy from Cleveland Ohio" doing very little women chasing, and just a tad-bit too much beer drinking. Yes, I'm well aware that you "make love" to a Michelob keg at Romito's after work, and that you are only 16 (this being only late 1981 / early 1982 for you). But don't worry, you won't become an alcoholic when you get older - though your taste in beer will definitely improve!

I’m writing to you to give you a heads up on what life will bring your way. Before you get too excited, I'm not going to give you stock tips, or a sports almanac (you'll have to wait until 1989 to understand that reference). Yes, you will still be into time travel and all of its fictional goodness when you reach my age, so you have to realize that I'm going to do my derndest to avoid paradoxes. Because, if you change ANYTHING, I may not be in a position to be writing this letter to you, which means you won't have known about anything to CHANGE anything, which means I would be in a position to be writing to you. And no, this kind of thinking never does get easier!

What I am going to give you is more important: hope.

At your age, even though you are a Sophomore dating Juniors and Seniors, you have no desire to get intimate with anyone - saving yourself for marriage and all. I won't tell you whether or not you will be successful in that endeavor; just that "guilt" is a natural emotion that everyone experiences - warranted or not!

You are an intensely emotional person. You have a "weird" sense of humor that you will never outgrow. Oh, your material will get better (can't get any worse!), but you'll find that that humor is both a "mask" to protect and a lifeline to cling to.

You will find yourself wanting to change; to "grow up". Let me assure you, "growing up" is an illusion. Oh, you'll get older. Time marches on and all that. You will find it amazing that those around you seem to keep getting older, but you don't. You see, you will forever be looking out at the world around you through the same "port holes". From your perspective, you are the same person. And you will be right.

Oh, you will grow as a person. You will "mature" in different ways. Your ability to make decisions will develop. Your capacity to embrace hurt will expand. Your acceptance of the world, and all of its religious, political, and distinctive humanness, will go through many cycles - reaching a point at the age I am now, where what shocks others will not shock you.

Why? Because those individuals who you gather around that influence you will continuously change. Some by your own choosing. Some by theirs. And some by the ebb and flow of life itself. And that is the key: life is going to KEEP changing. If I could give you any advice, it's to embrace the fact that change happens. And no matter how much joy or pain you find yourself swimming in, it's not forever. To take a Bible verse out of context, "this too shall pass". When things are going bad, this too shall pass. When things are going good . . .

And that's the hope I want to share with you. Life is going to just . . . happen. And as a time-travel junkie, the most important thing you can do is embrace the present. The future (even for me now) is so full of hope and promise. The past should always be looked upon fondly - no matter what that may entail. It is BECAUSE of that past that you are who you are - and will become. Embrace the "now" of your life. Our life.

And J.P., I have no regrets. Neither will you.



©Emittravel 2016

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