A Letter To My Younger Self

31 12 2019

Dear me on Labor Day Weekend in 2008:

Even though the decade of the 2010s won’t technically start for another sixteen months, for all intents and purposes, your ‘Teens are starting now.

My most succinct piece of advice to you as you’re about to start this time period:

Grab onto something, and hold on tight and for dear life, and expect the unexpected.  Because things are about to get wild, way more wild than you’re used to or have ever known.  These times are going to try our soul.

And I don’t mean just for the big news and events and circumstances of the coming eleven and a third years — Those will be heavy enough, including something that will happen to St. Louis that we never thought was possible, because St. Louis just didn’t do that, unlike all those other cities.

I’m talking personally.

You’re going to have some really major ups and downs in every facet of your existence. Among your downs will be two major extended lengths of depression based on bad events and circumstances, wherein you’ll wonder if you’ll really have a future. The second will be much worse than the first, because the predicating event will come that close to killing you, literally.

But you’ll make it in both instances.  I’m here to write this letter to you, as evidence.

Along the way, time and experience will finally teach you something that people heretofore have been unable to get through your thick skull, that patience really is that much of a virtue, and that persistence and perseverance are the master switches of success.

You’re also going to have to leave behind some people you’ve known for quite some time and, as far as you know right now, have greatly benefited from, and you’ll have to do it for your own good. It’s going to hurt to do it at first, and as it so happens, you’re going to have to start within a matter of days from the time you’re reading this. But then you’ll eventually come to realize that, in the case of a few of these people, you should have never been as close to them as you currently are. You’ll learn those lessons and apply them well in the coming decade and change, and be all the better for it.  You’ll have a much better set of instincts on what kind of people to let close to you and which ones to keep at several arms’ lengths.

But in the final year of the coming decade, many of those open sores, and even a few older and incumbent ones you’re currently dealing with, and some that won’t even open up until after you read this, will come full circle and heal.

It won’t be all bad; you’ll have quite a few ups;  You can’t have serious downs without serious ups, after all.  Enjoy every moment of the ups, and realize that the major ups will daisy chain with each other to help make the next up even better.  Also realize that some of these ups should be enjoyed while you have them, because they are tenuous and will be gone forever with the next down.

Just hold on, and your life at the end of the decade is going to be something to behold; You’re finally going to make it in life, really, honestly, genuinely make it.  Doing what?  I won’t tell you now, because you won’t believe it.  I will drop a hint that it, and the aforementioned two major bouts of depression, are intertwined.  Which points to something else you’re finally going to learn and execute in the coming decade and change, that networking is just that important.

Might I add, the final month of the decade, the one I’m writing from, well, I don’t want to spoil it, because something that happens mid-month will be that good — Here’s a hint:  It’s something you back there in 2008 don’t think is ever meant to be for you.  In fact, your opinion in that stead is only going to grow more strident during most the coming eleven and one-third years, because nothing that happens to you in that department will dissuade you from your resignationism and cynicism.  But then, at the tail end of that time period, out of left field…

I won’t even tell you where I’m writing this from, because you’ll never believe we would ever live there.  On top of that, I’m not even going to tell you who is President of the United States on this day, because you would believe that even less than anything else, and if I told you, you’d think that older me is playing a four-dimensional practical joke on you.  Telling you that you own a BMW and have a Swiss bank account?  You’d probably sooner believe that you’ll hang the actual moon some time in the twenty-teens.

You’ll be ready for what is setting up to be the best decade of our life, the Roaring Twenties, or should I say, the REEEEEing Twenties.  (By mid-decade, you’ll get that joke.)  The decade that will probably mean that we’ll finally have everything we could have reasonably wanted and was practically attainable out of life.

Like I said, if you can just hold on tight and not let go.

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, ONE…

Signed,

Me, December 31, 2019.

P.S.: Spend as much quality time as you can with our two uncles, and try to get along better with our father in his late life, because all three will be gone by the day I’m writing this.


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6 responses

31 12 2019
countenance

If you think the style of this post seems a little familiar, you’re right.

I was originally going to write it more conventionally, but then I remembered this Brad Paisley song.

31 12 2019
countenance

We’ll be celebrating the New Year and Decade in a nice safe indoor party. Because you don’t want to be outdoors in the heart of Cologne during Silvester, as four years ago tonight taught the world.

Interesting recent subtext there: The city won’t have official fireworks, and is not allowing domestic consumer fireworks or sparklers to be brought into the event, and this is an exact quote, translated: “Based on the lessons learned of four years ago.” Except I don’t quite remember four years ago having anything to do with fireworks or sparklers.

31 12 2019
Puggg

Couldn’t be any worse than all the shooting off of all the guns, or have you forgotten so soon?

1 01 2020
countenance

There was a significant mini-riot that involved attacks on firefighters and cops at Frankfurt’s NYE celebration. Smaller such attacks in Hamburg and Leipzig.

My sense that it’s a combination of mystery meat and Antifa using the celebration to take out after first responders. Attacks against uniformed first responders has been a big problem in the last two months.

31 12 2019
countenance

Yes, I’ve been following this WDR-Oma clusterfuck; WDR is based right here in Cologne.

What has amazed me the most is how outraged Germans are over it, but not outraged like that over their demographic dispossession.

31 12 2019
Anonymous

Beautiful writing, made me cry.

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