To: Me, From: Me (with love)

October 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

There may come a time in your life when you wish things could have turned out differently, that you knew exactly what the consequences of your actions would be.  Well, Yiran, here is your chance. Your letter from the future. Your guide to what will be.

First of all, let me call spoiler alert. Those things are very useful. In fact, speaking of spoiler alerts, in the future, do me a favor and don’t read that one issue of Entertainment Weekly that comes out right after the sixth Harry Potter book does, because let me tell you, there are major plot giveaways in that magazine. The ending of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince will not be as much of a surprise as it could have been, all because you had to read that Entertainment Weekly before reading the book.

If you’re smart, you will throw this letter away. Right now. Burn it, shred it, eat it, anything to get rid of it. You don’t need anything telling you what’s about to happen. You’re the only one in your family who likes surprises, remember? So just let life remain one big surprise.

No? You’re still reading? Very well. You are pretty stubborn and curious, after all. You know something else about yourself, though? Sometimes, you enjoy being contrary. Trust me, I know. So just to be contrary, I won’t let you know exactly what happens. Nope. Instead, I’ll just dole out advice like a motherly figure.

You may be shy now, but you’ll soon learn to open up to complete strangers and make fast friends. Go out and meet new people. Talk to them, get to know them, learn their life stories. Listen to what they have to say. Some of your very best friends in the future will be made in this way. It works.

You know what else works? Your conscience. So, if you have any doubts about how accepting your parents will be about some things you do, like randomly leaving the house for two-hour excursions or dating someone they wouldn’t approve of, thinking twice usually helps you make the right decision. And save them a lot of stress. That little voice inside your head that’s instructing you to tone down your teenage rebelliousness could very well have a point.

There are so many more things I want to tell you to do. Like put more effort into piano your senior year of high school. Or procrastinate less. Stress less. Dance more. Spend more time with your friends instead of holing yourself up writing college application essays. Definitely study for that first organic chemistry midterm.

In all honesty, though, I wasn’t kidding when I said I hope you never read this. It hurts my head to wonder what would happen if you actually paid attention to my advice and changed things. Who I am today is a collection of all my past experiences—the good, the bad, and the in-between. If something changed that, namely, YOU, then my current self would be changed. And then, that changed self might not even want to write a letter to my old self. So then, the past self wouldn’t receive that letter. But it did, in order to change, in order to not write the letter in the future…

My brain hurts.
I think I’ll stop now.
Good luck, and stay classy, kid.

Yiran

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