A letter to the past
February 7, 2016, 10:00 am

10 years ago today, I wrote a letter to myself. I was 24, and the letter was written to my 14 year old self. Today I am going to write another letter to 10 years in the past. Here we go.

Think back 10 years, how old were you?

I was 24 years old. I was working at Bison Witches in Tucson, Arizona. I was not yet a kitchen manager, but I was soon to go through a number of big changes in my life, not the least of which was a move to California. I was paying rent for the first time in my life, and working a job that I still consider to be the funnest job I ever had. I made some lifetime friends who I still consider to be my closest, even though I'm near to so few of them these days. I went through an intense drinking phase, that I'm probably lucky didn't lead to any lasting detrimental effects.

If you ran into yourself at that age, what would younger you say?

That person could not have imagined the kind of life I lead now. He would wonder how I could be a teacher, if I never graduated high school. But at the same time, he would be surprised that I bothered to get my GED. He would be annoyed that I play the guitar so little anymore, but he would love that I live near the ocean. He would be excited that I worked in video games for a time, but he wouldn't be surprised that I ended up with a programming job. He would be amazed that I was painting, and he would be so excited that I had an art show.

What would you say back?

I would tell him to work hard when he found a job that was easy. I'd tell him to never be satisfied if he found a job where he couldn't move forward. I'd tell him start painting earlier. I'd tell him that art is where his heart is, but all the money is in tech. I would tell him that relationships are hard, but to pick his line and stand behind it. I would tell him to work on telling people no, and to not stress himself out over other people's projects. I would tell him to get his ass to California, but I'd tell him to skip Buena Park. I'd tell him to learn calligraphy, because that shit comes in handy. I'd tell him to smoke less, drink less, and observe his limits.

In ten years I've gone from my first jobs to teaching at the masters level at a university. I got married, and I got divorced. I moved from small towns to big cities. I went from art to tech to art to teaching tech. I am about to do great things with my life, which is not something my 24 year old self could've really even imagined.

I never thought I would do this thing again, but now I really can't wait to do it again in 10 years. My life has changed dramatically in 10 years again, I can't help but wonder that it will change so much more in the future.

Read my letter 10 years ago

in which i just saw this
February 7, 2006, 6:47 pm

just saw this on doitalone's lj. and i have to respond.

Think back 10 years, how old were you?

i was 14 years old. i was a shy little kid, about to make the biggest change in my life. before i was fourteen i was very shy and introverted, i had never cursed, and the worst thing i ever did was steal a pack of baseball cards. i had very few friends, and i was convinced that i would be a comic book artist when i grew up. when i was fourteen, i got in my first musical play, and it changed my whole outlook on life. i wasn't shy anymore, and i found out i had more friends than i knew i had.

If you ran into yourself at that age, what would younger you say?

my younger self would be dumb founded that i didn't graduate high school, much less that i never went to college. he would say that he couldn't believe i lived at my parents' house as long as i did, and he couldn't fathom why i stopped drawing as much. he would probably be ashamed of me. he would hate the music i listen to. but he would be amazed that i play guitar, so much so that he would probably give up violin right then and there and pick up guitar instead.

What would you say back?

i would tell him to finish school, no matter the cost. at least high school. i would tell him to commit to finishing what he starts. i would tell him to NOT WALK AWAY FROM THAT GIRL. i would tell him to speak up sooner to her, as well, and to not bother chasing girls that are already taken. i would tell him that other people's opinions don't matter as long as he's happy with himself, but if he's unhappy with himself, to change. i would tell him not to spend so much time chasing pipe dreams, and that real money and happiness comes from picking something and becoming it. do one thing well and all the rest will come as it needs to. i would tell him to do whatever it took to get out of chaska. i would tell him to never turn left across a medianed intersection that doesn't have a light. i would tell him to keep those caricature jobs as long as possible. i would tell him that once he found a job, he could do well and enjoy, to do whatever he could within his power to keep it. i would tell him lots of little things that i've learned over time.

i made a lot of mistakes in 10 years, but i also made a lot of good moves. i got mired in a couple holes, and found my way out of other ones. i'm not sure whether my life is better now or not. but it's farther along, and i'm sure there are some words of wisdom i could have used back then, but who knows if i would've heeded them. i was a pretty cocky sumbitch back then.

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