Friday, September 25, 2009

A letter to myself in 1997

What would you write, in letter form, to yourself in the year you graduated high school? Would you tell yourself to totally change your course? Would you advise taking a year off from life and travel and explore the world? Would you tell yourself to chase more tail or to keep it in your pants? What the hell would I tell myself to do?

Dear 18 year-old me,

I know you're starting college this fall and that's a good thing. I also know that you're not going to get much in the way of a meaningful degree. Stay in college longer. There's no shame in sticking around for five or six years - it's a good time and the education and degree you get out of it will actually offset the tremendous amount of debt you'll incur. Oh, and you might want to expand your educational horizons a bit as well. I know you're set on being a graphic designer and websites which you see as cool but boring in their design will change drastically in the next twelve years.

It's fine that you want to get a degree in graphic design but have a fallback plan - learn as much as you can about websites - design, language, etc. because by 2007 you'll realize that shit's gonna hit the fan and your dream of making it really, really big in print graphic design will be just a dream.

Secondly, don't be apprehensive about leaving the area you already know. Move, travel, lighten the fuck up. That one friend who opened your mind to all of that cool music was a great first step. Be sure to keep in touch with her. That's one of those friendships you'll still have when you're fumbling with your dentures.

And that friend with cool tastes in music, she's going to be totally right about that girl, who in a year, will want to date you. Sure she's totally fun and wild but she's also crazy and not in a good way. Oh, she's also pregnant. You won't see that one coming.

Moving on now. Immerse yourself in something and dream big. No, bigger.

Finally, don't be a dumbass. I know you'll do some pretty stupid shit in your early twenties. Enjoy it but you're gonna come close to actually offing yourself because of your stupidity. Oh, sure, you'll laugh about it later but that's only because your friends were there to save your stupid ass from almost certain death or at least very, very painful injuries.

In the end, thing turn out alright. At 30 years old you own a house, you're married, you own a couple of Toyotas and a swingset you built. Oh, and you have a kid. She's pretty damn cute, too. Sure, you still want more but the things you want are only to further challenge yourself so that's a good thing. But that idea you have at thirty of eventually owning an apple orchard, I'll just tell 18 year-old me (you) to remember that the apple business is rather crowded and way too damn competitive to be worth the trouble.

Speaking of apples, MinnPics will probably have some orchard photos as fall kicks in to gear.


snowelf said...

awww... that was kinda sweet, Sornie.


Jules said...

hahaha... very good Sornie. Means you've actually taken stock of your life and learned from some of it!

spleeness said...

I love stuff like this. One of my buddies posted a similar letter on his blog and I liked the responses so much I linked to them.

Letter I'd write? "Dear self. You should go for the degree you want, not settle b/c you think it's too late. Because you'll end up doing it anyway and just pay a lot more. Oh, and stay away from that cook. He will break your heart in two. Don't room w/that girl you knew b/c she's trouble. Since you will anyway, at least write about it on your blog. You're not doing too badly even though you're navigating blindly through life. Love, self."

spleeness said...

I'd like to add:

"Oh and that time you dumped a bottle of seasoning on some fish? For dinner? When you thought you'd surprise hubby with your homemaking goddessness? Um, NOT a good idea. Love you even though you suck at kitchen instincts...."

Sarah said...

This is a great letter! I wonder what I would say to my 18 year old self...pull your head out of your budongadong before 24 and the rest is history? Thanks for the inspiration. ;)