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A Letter to Myself

September 24, 2009

Inspired by a certain someone’s blog post, which was itself inspired by Steph in the City and her Group Blog Thursday, I decided to follow suit and write a letter to the graduation-day version of myself.


Dear Ash, circa 2002,


You just graduated high school. The ceremony was pretty crap, I know. Trust me, it doesn’t get any better with nostalgia. Just be glad it’s over.


Unlike many of your high school classmates you’re not headed off to university right away. Instead you, and the parents, decided that you should stay at home for a year and work. I know the future looks uncertain – you don’t have a job yet, you don’t know where you’re going to university, you don’t know how you and your girlfriend are going to handle the continued long distance. But don’t worry, everything has a way of working out.


You won’t find a stable job until October. You’ll spend the summer flitting about, hanging out with friends, partying. You’ll work for two weeks here, two days there, but don’t worry, you’ll settle down and everything will be ok. You’ll meet some great people, and the contacts you get at the job will still come in very handy today. 


You’ll apply to a handful of top universities, but you’ll only get into one. However, the one you get in to you will have applied to only days before the application deadline – DO NOT MISS IT. Your time at university will change your life. It will teach you hard work, and the shame of failure. It will teach you about the perils of excess drinking. It will focus you. You won’t graduate with top grades, as you’ve been used to thus far, but you will have a hell of a time getting there. One tip though; do not take Intro to Computer Science as an easy credit in your fourth year. It will almost destroy you, and you’ll learn nothing from it.


University will also allow you to meet your wife, which brings me to this next point. No, things with your high school girlfriend will not work out. You’ll instigate the breakup and then you’ll second guess yourself and ask for her back. She’ll say no and devastate you. Yes, it’s very sad. But you’ll be ok. You’ll be single for about 3 months and then you’ll start dating again. And you’ll never be single again. No, you don’t meet your wife, but you’ll embark on a journey of serial monogamy. You’ll date older girls, younger girls, Jewish girls, intellectuals and some with… questionable moral fiber. But you’ll eventually meet your wife who is, frankly, incredible. She’s too good for you, but don’t let her know that.


You’ll lose your religion. It’s the best thing that’ll happen to you. You will be free. You’ll have a hard time letting go, and you’ll sound ridiculously stupid and narrow minded when you say that the Bible is true and that homosexuality is wrong, but you’ll learn. You’ll learn that no, the Bible is not true, and while it may have some good advice, it is but one view of the world, which you’ll come to understand has great historical significance but very little real impact on your own life. You’ll also meet some fabulous fabulously-gay friends and you will fight for their rights as equals. 


Unlike many of your peers you won’t spend hours agonizing over which degree to do – you’ll do English Literature, like you always knew you would, and you’ll worry about what to do with it later. Your original intent to get into the advertising industry will happen, but you’ll have to suffer through retail stores, telemarketing, coffee shops and, finally, a stint in a public relations firm to get there. But once you arrive, you’ll love it. You’ll enjoy your job so much, in fact, that you won’t even call in sick because you’ll feel bad. 


After shuffling through hobby after hobby you’ll come to pick up photography, as most college students do. But you’ll stick with it and eventually people will pay you to take photos and you’ll happily spend thousands of dollars on equipment. You’ll also make a fantastic friend through your hobby who will photograph your fabulous wedding and will guide and mentor you in photography. 


Get the tattoo you know you want. You won’t regret it. And your parents won’t be too upset.


Cherish your car, it’s the greatest one you’ll ever own. Try not to destroy it.


Grow up, but don’t worry, you’ll never grow up too much. You’ll simply become a little more thoughtful, and a little less foolish.


Curb your temper before it’s too late. 


Love your friends without hesitation. They’re the greatest people in your life.


And don’t worry, every problem, every concern, every struggle will all work out in the end. 


You’re a lucky young man, don’t take it for granted. 

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