12 October, 2008

Letter from the past OR I was funny then, too

So sometime during my senior year of high school, in my last semester, my economics teacher Miss Cobb made each of her students write a letter to herself to be read in five years. We were supposed to focus on "values," things that were most important to us at the time. I am glad I actually put some thought into this letter, because I wrote a similar letter my sophomore year that was so inane I was embarrassed to receive it five years later. It said something along the lines of, "You have a job, right? Good. I need money. Today I went to Starbucks. Bye." I must have been in a foul disposition that day.

Anyway, it has been five years. My parents actually received this letter while I was on my mission and forwarded it to me. I just found it today while I was cleaning my room, and I thought it was pretty interesting. Here it is:

Dear me in many years,

Well, I suppose many years isn't the most accurate phrase in the entire world, but anything further than tomorrow seems like a long time at this point in my life. I mean I'm really excited to go to BYU and all that, but right now I'm just trying to get through one day at a time.

So I'm supposed to write to you about my values so that you can laugh at how superficial we were back then, back now. This year I have really gotten in to spirituality. I have really been making an effort to improve myself, break bad habits and make good ones. Sometimes I wonder why, if I am working so hard, people don't seem to notice me, especially, well, guy people. I am starting to get past the desperate need I had for a boyfriend last year. My mantra has become "I'll be married in five years, so I might as well enjoy being unattached while I can." Oh, you are married, aren't you? If you're not I'm sure I've hurt your feelings. My plan was always to marry right away, but maybe that has changed. That's OK! Really! Anyway, I'm sure we will get married, eventually, even if it's only because some crusty old haishya takes pity on us. Do you remember that phrase Haishya to kekon suru tsumori desu. But seriously, money isn't really what matters to us, is it? Family. Children. That's something we value a lot. I hope our uterus is capable of doing the job, but anyway, that's disgusting. This year I have really learned to value my immediate family as well. I'll bet you miss Mom and Dad, now that you're living away from home (you better be, you loser). How often do you get to see them? Are they still alive? I'm not trying to be morbid, I'm just considering all the possibilities. I also wonder how David and Carlos are doing. Let's see, David would be almost sixteen, yikes! And Carlos would be about nine. Isn't it strange how far apart we all are? I mean the fifteen years between us and Carlos ... by the time he gets married, our kids will be practically grown up!

So now that I have totally depressed you if you aren't married yet, let's move on to another subject. Writing, our second love. You're in grad school now, are you not? I hope you got a position that involves a lot of teaching. You know how much we were looking forward to that. I really want you to keep on trucking and get that freakin' PhD. I don't care what it costs. If you want to be a real writer you have to earn it. You have to deserve to be published. And I hope you don't care about being famous, because we won't be. It doesn't really matter, anyway. All that matters is that you write all the time and get better. You know how much we value hard work and dedication.

How's Cori? You've kept in contact with her, haven't you? So how long did that Derek disaster last? Tell me they're not married or anything like that.

Also, I hope you are riding your bike and working out every day. We have to stay in shape for our admirers. And I hope you're eating right, taking vitamins and all that junk. You know how much we value health.

Good luck and I'll see (be) you really soon!

(My signature)

A few clarifications:

The Japanese sentence means "I intend to marry a rich old man," and was an inside joke in our fourth year Japanese class. Much to my dismay, I had to think a lot and use google before I could remember what that meant. Then again, I haven't studied Japanese in many years. At the time I intended to study it for the rest of my life.

At the time, Cori was dating our mutual friend Derek, and though I was a fan of him as a person, I found their relationship annoying and gross. It didn't last. Hallelujah! Shoot, Derek doesn't even play for the same team anymore, if you catch my meaning...

Obviously, at the time I was planning to get a PhD in English and become a writer. The writer part hasn't changed (though I haven't written poetry in a while ... that's embarrassing) but the desire to be an English Professor has. At the time, I assumed I would be married young and wouldn't have to be concerned about supporting myself. Ha!

Additional commentary:

This letter is pretty solid evidence that I have at least minor psychic abilities. Note that all the things I am concerned about came to pass: I am not married, I am not in graduate school, and there is a distinct possibility that I will be unable to have children. On the other hand, I do still bike, take my vitamins, and write, so my life isn't too shabby. I have not yet succumbed to the temptation to marry a rich old man about to die, but that was a joke anyway. Still don't care about money, or fame. Still best friends with Cori (Hi! Love you!). I am not living with my parents. And I'm still very much taking my life one day at a time. That's still about all I can stomach.


Ashley said...

What a neat exercise. And I think you're turning out quite nicely, just for the record, even if things hadn't gone as planned.

I mean, if I would have written a letter to myself when I was in high school to open five years later... I would been writing to a nanny on the East Coast getting ready to serve a mission (and months away from meeting her husband, actually...maybe you are too).

Yeay for nostalgia!

Sterling and Cori Anne said...

I want my letter!!! That's hilarious I loved reading that! BTW I'm going to Seattle tomorrow (Surprise! That's what you get when you don't call your best friend) and am hoping to see your family while I'm there. I'll send them your love. :)

PS I think you should drive up to Seattle and see me!

PPSS Call me!