Sunday, March 02, 2008

Adventures in time travel...

Dear Zeke,
Hi. This is your future self, about 10 years from now. I just wanted to write to you and tell you that there's no need to worry. In the future, you've got all the answers to all the questions you're asking yourself, you're fit and in the shape you want to be, and are comfortable with where you are in life. You're married to a great girl, having a grand old time watching your daughter grow up (who's now entering kindergarten by the way), and just started finishing the basement of the house you bought a few years back. All your close friends from high school are well within driving distance and you still get together regularly with them.

Sound too good to be true? Ding ding ding... Zeke, tell yourself what you've won!! Well, for one, reassurance that your sarcastic wit is as sharp as ever, that's for sure. Alright, sorry... I had to pull that prank on you because you know that's exactly what you wanted to hear, and you'd never actually believe it if it were told to you. Sure, some of it's accurate, but I'll leave that up to you to figure out which part.

Anyway, on to the point of this letter, since it really wasn't that easy to send back in time to you. I think Wil WheatonQ sums it up best when he said, "Your 20s are about gathering information and experience, and your 30s are about putting it to use." I know it's hard, and confusing, and most days you don't really know what you want or where you're going, but just keep on pushing through it. As ‘glass half full’ as this sounds, it really will pay off for you later, in that “it’s about the journey not the destination” kind of way.

You're going to spend countless hours driving aimlessly trying to make sense of things you can't even put a name to. You'll find scores of introspective songs to pass the miles to while you're trying to let your mind straighten itself out. Even if it doesn't seem like it's really helping then, it does. Don't underestimate the benefit of walking away and taking that personal time, it'll be the greatest help to your sanity besides maybe DS. Yes, you're still close friends with her, and the stuff you've been through together makes these current issues you're in the middle of look like the minor annoyance having to stop for gas when you’re already late to work.

I know that right now, you don’t have a clue about what type of girl you’re looking for and that it’s really bothering you. The confusion of not knowing what the hell you want and overanalyzing why you do or don’t want a particular quality is rather frustrating. Trust me, I know… I’ve been there. Unfortunately though, I don’t have a silver bullet for you on this. It’s not enough to tell you all the qualities of the woman I married, or rather, you will marry, because you’d just look at the list I give you and start overanalyzing it. But, I guess that’s about the only advice I can give you. Make a list. List what you like in your female friends, list what attracts you physically or mentally to someone, write about it; the process of working through it will be infinitely more valuable to you than just getting handed the answer, and infinitely quicker than betting on random chance that you’ll just happen to find her. Just know that you will find her. Maybe not in the way you expected, or where you expected, but she’s out there.

For a long while, longer than you’re comfortable with, your budget is going to be tight. That’s what happens when 20-somethings are starting out, and you’re not immune to that either. As tight as it may be though, keep finding ways to travel and make those random trips. Go to Chicago, Portland, and Los Angeles. Make those random, “Are you insane?” trips out to visit people you’ve never met in person before, or to see old friends for their birthday. Those will be memories and experiences that will go a long way in shaping who you become. You will meet some amazing people that you never expected to change your life, and others who you expected to, but ultimately left you unfulfilled. It’s alright, at the very least they’ll all make great characters in your future books.

So this is my, “Your 20’s really aren’t so bad… seriously” pep talk, because I know that’s exactly what you’ve been needing to hear right now. The reassurance that you will figure it all out, you will overcome these obstacles and you won’t completely f*** up your life. In a way, that’s probably all that anyone really wants. To be reassured that the path they’re on is the right one, or at least, just not the wrong one. You’ll figure out some of your problems, you’ll realize some aren’t as important as you thought, you’ll find new problems to over think and obsess over, but in the end you’ll still get up each morning and go to sleep each night.

Now go heed my advice, be reassured about life, and don’t make me have to write another one of these. It wasn’t easy or cheap re-wiring my quantum computer to send this back in time.



Anonymous said...

Suggestions: You could just put me on the list, with the addendum "Actually attracted to this version of DS and vice versa." Wouldn't our lives be so much easier?

Also. If this shit is minor, I'm not so sure that I want to know what's in store for the future if that stuff is bigger. We've been through a lot already!

BUT. I have no doubts you're going to find that right girl for you. Or have a daughter who you get to adore and I get to corrupt. Mwah ha ha. Or at the very least spoil.

I can't actually picture you with kids though. *shakes head* The curse of the 20-something.

B2G said...

I LOVED this. Seriously. I wish I had the confidence to write from the future, to be securing in knowing that eventually it'll be okay. But I can't. Not yet. I think it's awesome that you can.