What follows is a letter I wrote to myself when I was 17 and instructed myself to open when I turned 27, which happened almost a week ago. When I read it for the first time, I laughed so hard I cried. This is a relatively unfiltered look into my brain when I was a very immature 17, although I truly believed I was wise beyond my years.
Please note, I’ve omitted people’s’ names to protect the innocent. I apologize for the excessive amount of smiley faces–emoticons were pretty new and really hip at the time!
Well, this is by far the weirdest idea I’ve had yet. HEY YOU! Where are you in life right now? Are you married yet? Any kids? Jeez! That’s frightening. I hope life has treated you (me) well. Hmm… let’s see. If you’re married to anyone I know right now, I’d say XXX or XXX. I’ve had a high school obsession with XXX since the eighth grade. Maybe something actually happened between us. XXX is just a good friend, but you never know where that could go. But I bet I’m not married yet.
Are you a writer? I have no idea where I’m headed. Where did you go to college? Did you stay at PUC? Or were you gutsy and go someplace else? Hmm… I hope I’m still friends with XXX. And XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, and XXX. These friends have always been there for me. Are you ballin’ down in Hollywood with Heath [Ledger] like you said you would? Are you in hot, steamy makeout scenes in box office hits with Ashton [Kutcher]? Maybe you’re in a rock band. That’s always been one of my secret ambitions.
Do you still shop at American Eagle? If you’re shopping at the Gap or someplace heinous like Macy’s I’ll kill you. Is the number 32 still near and dear to your heart? This Thursday the [basketball] tournament starts. We’ll win. How much will I play? I hope a decent amount. I’m very excited; we finally got our basketball sweatshirts and I adore wearing it.
Is your hair red? I looked hot with red hair, back in the day. GO DYE YOUR HAIR RIGHT NOW. If you’re blonde…! Please don’t be. Did you butcher your hair in college like I promised XXX? Hopefully not! What’s fashionable now? You’re not prancing around in an afro, are you? Ugh.
My favorite songs right now are “Rollout” by Ludacris, “In the End” by Linkin Park, “#1″ by Nelly, and “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters. Were those names a blast from the past for you? I bet those people aren’t even around anymore! Does ‘NSync still exist? You used to be quite infatuated with them! Hopefully by now you can finally play the guitar. Or drums. Mom would love that! How are Mom and Dad? Aging beautifully, I’m sure. Bill Gates took us all to Hawaii, right? And I’m sure David has dated a million girls and is happy, playing basketball professionally.
Do you wear contacts still or did you take the plunge and get your eyes lasered? Did you still work at the Market after you quit the second time? I hope not. Or did you go to Safeway? DO YOU HAVE A SILVER 4-RUNNER?! For the love of God you had better! And no stupid flames painted down the sides either. How old were you when you finally got your license? Wait… you have it, right?! Haha.
Please tell me you stuck with Spanish and got your advanced diploma. Come on girl. Did you ever get crazy? You did slap XXX at some point, right? And you finally got a backbone and put XXX in their place. Sorry if you’re still friends with her. Lately she’s been terrible. All she does is hang out with XXX. It’s the most irritating thing.
My life is all right now, I guess. I would definitely call me a social butterfly. Too many different friends who don’t like each other. Let’s see. Well, I get up at 5:30 a.m. for basketball practice, and get yelled at by XXX. School pretty much sucks. Chemistry blows, but phat props to us for not wussing out. Algebra II is a awful but it’s almost over. XXX is a nutcase. Has anyone gotten rid of him yet?
I’d have to say I think I am generally liked. I’m good friends with the sophomores and the seniors. XXX has become a very close friend. What ever happened to XXX? Did he move to Sacramento? Did you ever manage to get to a concert? Incubus? Weezer? Sugar Ray? I hope you remember going to see the Dalesmen. That was my first concert, and it was just a few weeks ago. You went with XXX, XXX, XXX, and XXX. We had a blast. Remember XXX? I hope he never tried to hook up with you again. He was a real scumbag. Remember? “I’ve had a crush on you for a long time. Do you think we’ll get together?” The same thing happened to six other girls! GROSS! Hopefully you managed to hook XXX and XXX up. XXX and XXX got married, didn’t they? That’s wrong. Hopefully you got over XXX. Not that I’m not right now. It’s just weird.
Is XXX famous? Did XXX win the Nobel Prize? Is XXX a world famous singer? Can we cook? Because I’m pretty hopeless right now. I know…! I grew up to be a professional chef, didn’t I? I bet you named your son Ethan Denton and your daughter Blythe Rose. The thought of me responsible for the upbringing of human life is CRAZY! Did you pierce your ears? No double piercings, please. Did you get a tattoo? Maybe one… that’s okay. Please tell me I broke my horrible habit of chewing on my nails.
I wonder how different you are from me. Are you a sultry temptress sitting in a bubble bath while hot, thong-wearing men feed you ice cream? You’re not a dork, I know. DUH! I hope you’re spontaneous, and run out to the lake to go swimming and ponder the clouds. I hope I”m confident with myself. Being world famous will just be a bonus! Did they take “Friends” off the air? You used to be obsessed! Every Thursday you were at XXX’s at 8 p.m. Do you still write poetry? I haven’t been inspired to write in a long time. I miss it.
I hope I’ve found the meaning of life. Sometimes I think I’m so jaded and on the brink of becoming something, someone, I just don’t want to go in the wrong direction. Destiny awaits! There are many routes, but which one did I chose? Let passion guide you. People like me deserve happiness. Not XXX. Oh gosh, I’ve gone and gotten all serious…
My favorite color is blue! I’m very into both rap and rock. Nelly, Weezer, Incubus, P. Diddy, Ludacris, Dave Matthews Band, etc. Pop is no longer your favorite. I guess I’m your typical teen, in some ways. I like American Eagle. Smiles. Sports. American Pie. Road trips. I’m also a Giugni’s addict. But there is something about me that makes me different. Sure, I’m loud, and happy, but I do have an intense serious side, it can just be hard to find. It’s always easier to be the silly outgoing girl than the mysterious girl. You could accuse me of hiding my serious side. I hope that’s different about you.
Well, lucky you! I’ve got a chemistry test to study for. I hope you’re happy. Love someone. Give my kids a kiss for me. Go change the world. I know you did–or you will. Follow your dreams.
Much love from your past,
(Written February4th, 2002)