Letters to Myself

I just started watching a new show called Orange. It’s under the 2016 Summer Anime list, if anyone is wonder. It got me thinking about this project I did back when I was 16, where we had to write a letter addressed to our past selves. I can remember giving my 13 year old self a huge lecture on how I should have been more out going and less occupied with what others thought about me. At 16, I thought that I knew everything. My parents still say that I think I know everything, and that I enjoy correcting people (mostly my mother). My mom thinks I’m egotistical due to the fact that I’m a musician. I couldn’t deny it because there are days when I spend hours just looking at myself…and I do take a lot of selfies (I don’t share them anywhere).

To be honest I think what happened was, after being a moody 13 year old with a low self-esteem, I went to high school and decided I no longer cared if I wasn’t with the in-crowd. As you can see, I’m no longer ashamed to admit that I watch anime. One of my closest childhood friends from when I was 3 or 4 was from Japan, and so they used to buy me animes on VHS. No I don’t call myself an otaku. Yes I also read manga, but I enjoy comics in general (Archie anyone? Gotta love Jughead). So basically, to get back on topic, I realized that just because my hobbies have always consisted of writing, watching anime and music didn’t mean that I had to hide it from people. I figured, if people liked me for who I was then that was great. It was stupid trying to lie about what shows I watched and what sports I liked when I wasn’t really into any of that. While all my friends played football (American), I was more interested in pretending I was a Jedi knight…or petting the stray cat that liked to visit us at recess.

So I suppose my 16 year old self had a reason to be so harsh towards my 13 year old self. The thing is, looking back now, being 13 and 16 was equally stressful and I went through experiences that…well at the time made me feel like the sky was falling. Now that I’m considered an adult (who drinks mountain dew instead of beer and uses a starwars cup while using the worlds best Spiderman bookmark), I think I can say that I’ve realized that each part of my life is a new challenge. It seems hard at the time but once I get over it, it feels like it was a breeze.

From my first time being extremely jealous to my first date. My first experience with death to my first time holding a new baby. From bad grades to bulking down. From writing an entire novel without chapters or page numbers to becoming more organized and actually planning things out. The big and the small, all molded me into the somewhat adult I am today…although all the 16 year olds I work with think I’m the same age.

So, I’m not sure what I would say to myself at ages 13 or 16…or even to myself ten years from now when I’m 30. Wow…I’ll be 30 some day. Hopefully I have my life in order by then. To be honest I feel like I got myself where I need to be now. I try not to lie awake at night regretting the decisions I’ve made in the past. I try not to ponder the future too much either these days. Kind of makes me feel a little down…knowing that certain people won’t be with me anymore. All I can do is keep going forward. If YOLO taught me anything in high school it was that I should spend more time laughing and less time fighting. I should make time for friends and family. I should go into a career that I know I will love and will give me the most fulfilment. I shouldn’t jump the gun on decisions, and I shouldn’t put them off too long either. I shouldn’t think too much, and I should know when to take the time to think. I should step outside of my comfort zone, and I shouldn’t be afraid to stand my ground. If this were a letter to my past self or the person I’ll be when I’m 30…I’d probably say “You’re doing great. Just remember right now is a challenge but once you get over this hill, you’ll find the next will be a little easier to climb.”

— R

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Friday Mornings with Ryder. “You Wanna Date?” ft. Orion.

“Alright. Puff up that chest. Keep that head up. Good, now make sure you’ve got your shirt on frontwards…we don’t want another one of those incidents. Good. Good.”

I blankly stared at myself in the mirror. “I didn’t sleep last night.”

“Forget sleep! Who needs sleep! This isn’t about you sleeping this is about you being confident and awesome and going out there and saying, ‘Why hello there’.”

I groaned. “Dude…can’t I just like not?”

“You wanna date?”

“Yes.”

“Then don’t be such a little–.”

“OH KAY! Sheesh…no need to be so hard on me. I’m still figuring this stuff out okay?”

“Well figure this stuff out faster Ryder! You’ve only got so much time!”

I dragged my feet back to bed. “Wake me up when the sun’s actually in the sky.”

“The sun waits for no man!”

“Yah…that’s why I’m waiting for the sun.” I sighed. Then I sighed again and rolled onto my back. Then I rolled onto my stomach again and propped my chin up. “I can’t sleep.”

“Love will do that to you.”

“I’m not in love. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I snapped.

They chuckled. “Then why were you so excited for Friday?”

“Because. I have lots of exciting things to do on Friday.”

“Like what, you don’t even go out for drinks in the evening like normal people. What is wrong with you? Who sits at home and watches cartoons until bed?”

“We do that Orion. We do that.”

“Yah well…I want to do something different this weekend! Let’s get ourselves a date!”

I rolled onto my back again. “I dunno bruh.”

“It’ll be FUN!”

“It’ll be fun…it’ll be fun. Go by yourself.”

“Why are you in denial? Stop denying your true feelings!” cried Orion.

I sighed. “Because I’m not going to let myself get caught up in my emotions and have my heart torn out again. Remember last time?”

“Last time was different. This time it’s for real!” Orion shouted, shaking me. “Doesn’t it feel different?”

“Remember how I felt like throwing up yesterday?”

“Yes?”

“Stop shaking me…my stomach feels gross.”

“Oh great! Getting all gross on the weekend! How could you! You planned this! You planned this Ryder! I’ll never forgive you!”

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

“Hey Ryder, your alarms going off.”

“Hooray…” I moaned, pulling myself out of bed. “I’m going to blog now.”

“But…but YOU NEED TO PLAN FOR YOUR DATE!”

“I don’t have a date! Do you see me dating anyone!? NO! I’m going to blog like a respectable person and then I’m going to get dressed and blah, blah, blah, blah!”

Orion frowned. “Fine. Be that way…jerk.”


Enjoy your Friday folks.

I’ll be getting ready for class now…since I’ve got nothing better to do. I love my life.

Peace!

–R.