Tuesday, March 27, 2012

past selves/advice

I thought of writing a letter to my past self about some of the things I know now. Life has changed.

As I thought of writing it I really got into the feel of it; it wasn't just a letter of advice; I couldn't just say 'don't do this', because that wouldn't make sense. Here's an excerpt:

To myself, 1 year, 2 months, and 7 days ago:

Kid, you'll live. You'll lose everything and you'll live. I know, it doesn't make sense. I'm sorry about that.

Forget Mt Holyoke. Go out and play football. Screw being careful, have some fun. And for god's sake go out more often. Should I repeat the first part again? Choro yaar, dafa karo. You've been kicked around before, you'll be kicked around again. Collegeadmissions and school can destroy everything that is good about you if you let them. Don't let them, and keep going even if you feel like you want to die, rest, have some peace. 

Be nicer to your parents. I can't stress this enough. You have no idea what they're willing to do for you.


You'll still want the same things -- you'll just get perspective. You'll learn the hardest lessons for a person like you and you will say What the fuck, what kind of a life is this? well, so it is, so it is. You just keep going. Don't kill yourself.

...and that's when it got really messy. I was giving myself advice and yet it was useless...

I'm sorry if I sound condescending in this letter, I know you don't like that. It's've gotta take it from me, and you know I'm not going to give you any shit (btw, ignore everyone's advice, it's useless), life doesn't necessarily get any better, it just opens up. You know the things you wilfully ignored just so you could singlemindedly work to get into college? Yes, those things. They're important. What you want can wait.

would I take this advice? No, I would not. This would probably have made me want to do something unpleasant. Thinking about it is mildly freaking me out.

And so I'm thinking: past selves. Again. I think about past selves a lot. But honestly, if you could go back in time and give yourself advice, would it be of any use? Would you want to give advice to a past self? And if the past self acted on the advice, would you be you now? Nerd questions for perspective.

Recently, I've been thinking of a poem that's recited in one of my favourite movies, Into the Wild.

don't do it--she's the wrong woman,
he's the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die.

If you could tell yourself (or others) these things, would you? Could you?

I heard this poem before - just didn't think it applied to me.

I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

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