Dear Adult Self,
How old are you? Or should I say: How are you? It seems odd to inquire, though I suppose I should know. Or would know. I'm not sure, but for our, I mean your sake, I hope you're doing well, or fine.
Do you remember me? Another strange question, but think of all the answers you have! Maybe I mean, do you remember being me? I hope you do, because 'I' know what it's like to be 'me' this year in 2012. And do I like it? Did you? Will you?
What a lot of things I ask, so curious like a child; but then, I do feel like a child compared to you, who's a whole age away from me. I'd be nervous and uncertain about meeting you, a familiar stranger-I'm afraid you'll be someone I recognize but don't know. Would you want to meet me? Would you feel the same way? Or would you be too ashamed to look my way? If so, would you be embarrassed of me, or of yourself?
I can't look you in the eye, both literally and figuratively. The best I can do is stare at the mirrors, and wonder at who's reflected. As a teen, of course I've gone through I'm going through that 'cliché' identity crisis phase - Who am I? I have enough trouble finding answers to that without thinking: Who am I going to be?
I think…perhaps you're still pondering that question, or those questions. I think I'll…we'll always be searching for the answers, and even though we won't find them, you'll discover yourself as you look-and isn't that self-discovery enough of an answer? Permanently curious like a kid, that's what never seems to change about me-us, I mean.
In formal letters, one always includes the intent, or the purpose for writing. Well, it was for some literary contest, remember? We didn't win but I hope - no, I bet you're smiling a little at me taking the sledgehammer and smacking it against the fourth wall, but you and I always did share, or have shared, a keen interest, even enjoyment in metaphysical theoretical concepts. Smashing and shattering (narrative) convention too, is (or was?) one of our favourite pastimes.
Ahhh, there are so many things I love- I wonder how many of them you stopped liking? Baking, and cartoons, and drawing…and even singing too. I'm not good at any of these, particularly the last one (we confined ourselves to bathroom stalls and isolated corridors, where we could cheat with the acoustics). But perhaps you hum in public now?
Or have you given up on them, accepting you have next to zero talent in these areas? What new skills have you discovered, what quirks and knacks and flaws have you developed? Which have you dropped?
With this mentioned, I realized this must be like a letter from a dead loved one. Every day, every minute and second that passes by, I'm dying, becoming less and less of me, and more like you. Time is my killer, and you're his accomplice! There's no justice for this crime, since there isn't even a crime scene! There is a body, but it's not culpable homicide while it still breathes. I am at once, though not at the same time, both victim and killer.
I guess I can't blame you though, I can't. Don't blame yourself either. There are, or there will be, or there must have been, some things both you and I said or did that we regretted. You're reminiscing your errors now, aren't you? Wait, don't get distracted by your journey to the past now! Stay with me, or whatever remains of me. We all make mistakes, create confusion, get grieved and give grief, we all will. It's as inevitable as growing up. All those mysteries, little and large, of a personality gone missing and of people we lost. I've got my own share of guilt, and I should apologize in advance for giving you such burdens. Odd, isn't it? Usually it's the old folks who pass down something to be inherited, but now I, the younger you, I've given you the weighted conscience from crimes I've committed.
I'm sorry, I truly am.
You will remember how I talked to myself, or thought to myself. I, or we, were the silent type in school, perhaps in life- the sort that constantly gets mistaken for being in a brooding or sullen state, meditating murder peacefully, patiently. The ones that get labeled 'emotional' even though all we ever do is quietly ponder Life's logic, or lack thereof (especially amongst our wild, rash peers.) Even now, I converse with you through words, written not spoken, but the effect and intent is similar. Perhaps you've found your voice in the future, and are still listening to the past - in which case I feel flattered, unless they are the echoes of regret. If so, let those sibilant whispers be nothing more than murmurs of static noise. Let yourself speak, and though others who hear it may not consider it sound, speak nonetheless for silence belongs to the dead and the past.
I've pondered 'how' you are, and 'who' you are…perhaps it's time now to wonder the 'where'. Of course, I don't just mean the geographical location, but the area in your life too-though that's a lot harder to map, isn't it? Where in all these ages are you? At your prime, just past it, or in your second childhood? Who knows?
Oh, that's right-You do.
Whatever life you have left to live, live it right. You might have disappointed many along the way – mom, dad, Bryan and Heather, yourself. But not me. I'll still believe in you, I'll always trust you – how can I not? To give up on you would be to give up on myself; so please, don't give up on yourself! Let's make a two-way pact to be, or become, the best that we can.
Put in your greatest efforts to be someone I eagerly anticipate growing into! Conversely, I promise I'll strive my hardest to be a person you can be proud to call your past self.
I, WE decide to end the letter here. I know I'll hear from you, someday or soon. I look forward to your reply!
Love & Hopes,
Your 17-year old Self.
Created: Feb 26, 2014Common Phenomenon Document Media