I was in a bit of a creative funk today and wasn’t able to write much comedy or do anything productive.
And feeling unproductive, I let my mind wander to strange places. I looked at old pictures of myself. I imagined what things would be like in 10 years. I went through my old diaries. I doodled incessantly and without purpose. I read more of Keith Richards’s autobiography and imagined the life of a rock star. I brushed my cat until he grew frustrated and bit me.
And then I came across an article that seemed interesting, and it talked about writing a letter to your teenage self – the young, impressionable you – and explaining things to them with a sense of wisdom. And then I remembered a conversation I had with my friend Rachel and thought, “Huh. Maybe I should write that letter.”
This, friends, is that letter.
Hi there, 17 year old me:
Guess what, we’re 27 now (nearly 28). Isn’t that bananas?! Remember how old we thought that was? Yeah, we’re that.
Anywho, lots of things to report that I think you’ll find interesting. Of course, you can’t do shit about these things, but hey, knowing is a part of the non-fun. I know your hormones are like a pack of angry bees right now, and you’re really super busy doing nothing, but hear me out:
1. I’m not a famous writer. Maybe when I’m 38 (ugh, I just threw up in my mouth) I’ll send you an update. Hopefully better news?
2. You’re going to have a span of about 8 years after this where you devote yourself to something/someone that’s not going to work out. It’s going to make you very sad. You’ll feel like you wasted a whole lot of time. But you’ll be happy again, and in many ways better than before. It will be okay.
3. Yeah, that Donald guy you hang out with is going to become famous. Doing the thing you want to do. The thing you had in common. And it’s going to suck walking in the mall and seeing him in a GAP ad while you’re working your shitty jobs and feeling like a loser. But that also gets better.
4. Your boobs will not be getting bigger.
5. You’re only going to have 4 more years with your dad. Try to enjoy them when he’s not being an asshole. Because you’re going to miss him so much more than you expect.
6. You’re going to go on stage and do stand up comedy. And sometimes it will be great. Sometimes it will be not so great. Sometimes you’ll cry about it over a plate of nachos (you’re still going to like those). It will be one of the funnest things you ever do.
7. Your sense of style will be improving. I know you think you dress fine now, but you’re a teenager and don’t know anything.
8. You will at times feel unfunny, unpretty, unsmart (yeah, that’s not a word, fuck you), and unloved. And none of those will be true.
9. Radiohead is still awesome.
10. And there’s still so much time left to get better.
Stay cool, me.
Another unproductive day provides a bit of insight.