Dear Sixteen Year Old Jaysen,
You don’t like girls. I know you think you do, but you don’t. You are currently dating a girl, I’m aware. You only really like her because she kind of resembles a boy. Also, she’s crazy, so if you’re going to waste your time on someone who isn’t for you, maybe at least try someone sane.
I’m sure right now you’re thinking, man, High School is really crappy. Well I’ve got news for you. It is only going to get worse. In two years you’re going to experience some pretty crappy crap. That crap is going to affect you for a long time, but I promise, you are going to be okay. Deep breaths buddy.
You are currently in the IB program, which is a great program one step above Advanced Placement. This program is for people who are going to be scientists or doctors. You will not be one of these things. You should get out now. Try to enjoy High School. I’m guessing you won’t because, like me, you are very prideful and refuse to give up on things even when they are clearly meant to be given up on. You aren’t going to learn French. Not now, not ever. Take solace in the fact that as of yet, I still have not reached a point where I said, “Man, I wish I would have learned French.” You don’t realize this now but if you really want to learn a language that will help you later on, that language is Chinese. Not that I’ve learned it, but I think I’d be happier if I had.
You and Mom fight a lot. I know this because I was you. That’s going to change. You’re going to tell her you like boys, and that’s going to be a really big fight. After that, though, it all gets a lot better. She is going to be one of your biggest supporters and is going to come to every convention when you launch your first comic book and you are going to be really grateful when that happens. I know, I know, right now it seems not so possible but trust me on this one, after all, I am writing to you from the future. I must know some things…
Speaking of comic books, that’s what you do with that fancy Screenwriting learning you get. In fact, you probably won’t want to make films ever. Remember that crappy crap I was talking about? Well, if not for that, you won’t be able to write your first comic and start a pretty awesome career, so it’s pretty important that you go through it.
You are not a cat person. I know we were raised in a predominantly cat-tastic house but it’s just not for you. Also, I don’t think I need to tell you this, but when you get a dog, don’t go for the first one you see, because it won’t be Izzy and Izzy is pretty great.
You’re not going to have sex on prom night. Sorry. You’re not going to have good sex until you stop trying to be someone you’re not. You’re not going to have great sex for…a while. Sorry again.
So, to review. There will be some crap. You and Mom will be happier once you move out. Girls and cats share in common that they are not for you. Take care of yourself and remember that you are going to be really crazily happy someday, it will just take a little bit of time and a lot of learning to get there.
Jaysen from the Future
PS: Can you please try walking to work a little more because you’re going to feel really silly about driving three blocks when you move to New York and walk everywhere always.
PSS: Guess the gig is up, you’re moving to New York eventually. Surprise…kind of.
Dear Thirty-Six Year Old Jaysen,
Remember when we said we weren’t ever going to get older than 30? Remember how we told people that we’d made a deal with God or Satan or Panda Dog (To be covered in another article) in which we agreed to never get older ever? Yeah, that didn’t really work out, did it. As you might remember, I recently wrote a letter to myself ten years in the past. To that Jaysen, I gave a lot of support and advice. To you, I have a lot of questions.
Did we ever get that happiness thing figured out? I feel like I have a hard time with that. Sometimes I’m great, but as you might remember, sometimes I get caught up in feeling all the feelings and then I have to make time to cry on the floor.
I’m guessing Izzy has passed away by now. If not, is the house wheelchair accessible for her? If so, what is our new dog like? Did I finally get that husky or French bulldog I always wanted? Or maybe, just like Izzy, I found a surprise when I went to the pound to adopt. Did you take Izzy passing away a lot harder than you said you would? I’m guessing so. We put up a brave front when it comes to loss but it always hits us a lot harder than we let on.
(Note: I tried to draw a picture of Izzy’s memorial but it was just too hard so I passed that one up. Just imagine me standing ‘sad face’ with a picture of her and you’ll get it.)
How is writing going? Are we still doing this blog? Are blogs and the internet all in our head now? Is my latest post about a zombie apocalypse that forced us to go to Mars? Is it bad that I kind of hope it is? Whatever we’re doing in the writing department, I’m guessing it isn’t at all what I thought I’d be doing in ten years because I can honestly say I had no idea I’d be where I am now, ten years ago.
I’m finding it so hard to ask you questions. There are so many things I want to know. I want to know how things with Carl are. (Doesn’t everyone want to ask about their significant other in the future?) I want to know what my job is like at this point. How are all my friends? Did Facebook finally die? Do we still play World of Warcraft???? But here’s the thing, the really hard part. I don’t actually want to know. I realize that means I’m just making things harder for myself, but I’ve noticed that when I don’t know what’s coming, I am forced to work extra hard and if I knew it was all going to turn out alright, I’d probably try less. That’s just how I am. I need the fear of failure to keep going, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. So if you have a way of sending information to the past, which I’m just going to assume you do, go ahead and don’t tell me a damn thing. Just send me a thumbs up or a picture of a puppy or a video of a baby panda on a slide. Extra points for sending an ACTUAL panda on a slide. I’m hoping that the world got itself together enough to un-endanger pandas and now we are just swimming in them. Everyone has one. You ride one to work every day, in fact.
Here’s hoping it’s all good, and even if it’s not, I’m sure the robots can clean up the mess. See you in ten.
Previously pessimistic, Onwardly Optimistic,
PS: Please send pics of world overrun with Pandas. They will be great for my Instagram.
This blog comes out of a weekly writing prompt I do with Carl Li and Others. To see his submission, go HERE.