An Open Letter To My Past Self

Hey kiddo,

It’s me, your future self. You are so young and curious about the world and in a few years it will seem like your life is crashing down around you. I’m writing this to tell you that everything is going to be okay.

First of all, I am proud of you. You don’t hear that too much but you will learn that sometimes you need to be your own biggest fan. You’ll also be your own worst enemy. Contradictory, I know. And years down the road, you’ll still be learning how to love yourself. Oh, how I wish you started sooner.

You are most likely playing with those green, plastic toy soldiers on the floor right now as Harry calls in an attack from the walkie-talkies. Would you believe me if I told you that when you turned 19, you’d be apart of the world’s greatest Navy? Trust me, it’ll happen. People will doubt you and all odds will be stacked against you, making your dreams feel impossible. Many will call you relentless, but you’ll learn to take it as a compliment.

One thing I beg of you, is to hold onto Harry and mom with all your might. You are going to lose him in a few years and the loss of a brother is a pain that lingers for the rest of your life. Holidays and anniversaries will be the worst, but every day there is a void that you just can’t fill despite how hard you try. Mom is going to get really sick, really soon. You will sit alone in hospital waiting rooms at the age of nine, waiting for a surgeon to come out and say that she’s okay. And at the age of 18, you will put her on life support for three months. That will be the darkest time of your life, and you will feel like a dead woman walking. Just fucking hold onto them.

There is so much I want to tell you, but you’re just going to have to figure it out and find a way. You always find a way.

Here’s some advice:

  • Be yourself unapologetically. People will think you’re weird. At the end of the day, we all are. Just embrace it. When you get a little older, they’ll realize that you’re pretty damn cool.
  • Study. When you get to high school, you’ll be going through a lot of shit and use that as an excuse to be a bad student. Your teachers will make fun of you. Really. They will. But you’ll turn yourself around and graduate a year early. You’re smarter than you know.
  • Sing loudly. Singing and playing guitar will be your favorite thing to do and your only healthy coping mechanism. But when people hear you, you get embarrassed. Don’t. You are so talented and your music will soothe the soul.
  • Get out of bed. Some days are harder than others and you will stay in your room, making things worse. You will think your bed is your safe haven, but it’s not. But you know what is your safe haven? Your mom. Your friends. The ocean. Coffee shops. Live concerts. Late nights out. Running. Get out of bed and live.
  • Don’t get a Tinder. For years you will think Tinder is stupid. Then, lacking good judgement, you’ll inevitably get one. You’ll go on a few dates, see people you know causing real life interactions to become awkward, and match with super creepy dudes. Really, you only keep it for validation that someone might find you attractive despite notoriously being the “single friend.”

The point is, Alex, you will be okay. And when you grow up, your main goal in life is to be the person you wish you had when you were younger. I hope I’m living up to that now.

Be good, and take care of mom. I know you will.


Your Future Self

P.S. – The butterflies you get in your stomach when you’re around pretty girls? You have a crush on them. When you turn 16 you’ll come out of the closet, and wow, you are so flamboyantly gay.

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