While frantically searching for some documents for the BMV, I found a letter I had written to myself in December of 2015. I had planned on reading it in December of last year, but it had gotten tucked away during my move to Ohio. And, when I read it... well, it was weird.
First of all, Past-Me was happy AF, as he was preparing for New Years. He began listing out all the things going on in his life, so I could remember what he was experiencing.
Past-Me talked about the books I was reading and the classes I was taking. He talked about the friends I had collected around myself. I talked about my writing, and my RPGs, and my job. I talked about the guy I was dating. That was all kind of hard to hear, knowing how everything was getting ready to change for him. He was on the brink of losing basically everything and coming back to Ohio.
But, it was the last paragraph of the letter that really got to me. He was writing, not about himself, but about me. I'm going to quote it directly, even though I wasn't sure if I wanted you all to hear this. But, to explain my point of view, I felt that it was important.
I hope you love your job. I hope you're writing. I hope you're reading (and enjoying it). I hope you're cooking amazing meals. I hope you're not cutting. I hope you're not puking. I hope you don't look in every mirror you pass to examine your gut. I hope you love your friends. I hope they love you. Remember Desiderata when you feel lost. 'This is my substitute for the pistol and ball.' Seek the White Whale. Hail Kings. Promise things to yourself and keep those promises. Love yourself as much as I love the idea of you. Live up to my dreams. Live.
It's signed, "The Human you will never be again".
Well, let me start by saying this made going to the BMV a far more existential experience than planned. This bastard had so much hope and so much happiness. He cared about me so deeply. More than the life he was enjoying at the moment, he concerned himself with the life I had now. He didn't know how different it would be. He didn't know all his plans would change. But, he didn't care; he wanted me to be happy. His final word said it all: he wanted me to live.
So, how am I to react to something like this? At first I got thrown into a fucked-up place, thinking I had failed my former-self. But, had I really? I had made it through the biggest life-altering time in my adulthood. I stayed positive and looked at it as an adventure, not a punishment. I had come back to Ohio, changed. I'm not the guy I was when I lived in German Village, listening to Pippin and dreaming of my Corner of the Sky. My two years alone in Philadelphia had helped to mature me in ways I didn't realize were needed. It was immersive therapy that pulled me back from the edge. In those years of intensive reflection and writing, I finally left my bedroom, raced through the shifting walls of the Labyrinth to find that I was the Goblin King and could leave anytime I wished.
What does this mean for the human I'm currently inhabiting? Well, my life still feels like a lava-lamp of instability. I feel like I can't trust any of this, for fear it might sink away from me. But, the one thing I know is that I can count on is me, the hundreds of thousands of me's that look toward me, telling me to keep going forward. Maybe the Human I will never be again knew something then that I somehow forgot. The beauty of this life is that we can't see what's coming next. We are the only part of it that we are sure will be with us. I depend on me and the world made sure I remembered.
So, Past-Me, I hope I can make you proud. I'm still seeking the White Whale. I'm keeping my promises. I'm still living, even if it's not the life you expected.
Now, let's wait for the us-from-a-year-from-now and see how he's doing.