Letter to Future Me

Letter to Future Me

Remember a few months back, when everyone was writing letters to their teenage selves? Well, because I’m contrarian, I decided to reverse that and write a letter from my younger to my present self. And apparently that younger self is pissed. thewheelhousereview.com

Dear Future Self:

Get it together.

Seriously! I mean, have you let yourself go or what? Not totally in the physical sense, although those dark circles definitely beg for some more sleep or at least a decent concealer. Not to mention that you might look into Botox? No, I’m talking more about the details of your life, the day-to-day stuff that has left you all over the place. You need to rein it in, sister.

Oh, I should mention that this wisdom is due to a bit of future-peeking that I did. Call it a flash-forward, whateverI’ve been watching a lot of JJ Abrams’s stuff (do you even remember Felicity? I know you own the DVDs and NEVER WATCH THEM). That dude is way into time travel. But my glimpse into y(our) life in 2015 from here, your mid-twenties, is downright frightening. Allow me to offer some unsolicited advice from your younger, possibly wiser self.

First, I’m glad to see you’ve finally managed to land a man. I’ve been worried about that one for awhile. But don’t you think you went kind ofI don’t know, safe with the one you picked? I mean, he always returns your texts and calls and leaves no mystery to the way he feels about you. Um, predictable much?! Where’s the excitement? Where’s the drama? Where are the turbulent yelling matches that leave you constantly guessing whether this relationship will stick? For God’s sake, he gives you flowers for every special occasionhow mundane.

Then there are your kids. This is where things go really off the rails. As you know, our career puts us in a position to observe all kinds of parenting, and damn if we haven’t seen some doozies. I thought we agreed that we would be firm and unyielding with the progenyno back-and-forth or give-and-take, no resorting to bribery, no separate meals for the kids. Just last night I spied you lying beside the three-year-old, rubbing his back until he fell asleep! What’s that going to teach himto never go to bed without you there? And I’m pretty sure you gave the one-year-old a cookie, which is definitely not on the recommended foods list.

Now as you know, I’m currently doing a research paper on autism. And I realize this may be a touchy subject given that the older one tested on the spectrum a few months ago, but here it is anyway: doctors are always right. If that developmental pediatrician took a questionnaire you filled out while shrugging your shoulders with uncertainty, then spent thirty minutes max with your kid, who are you to question him? It’s kinda the same as how the criminal justice system always works and cops are always right: some things are just true. So it might do you well to start defining that kid within the parameters provided in that report you gotthat way you can at least always know what to expect, and exactly what you’re dealing with. We always have been good at following rules and going by the books, as you know. It worries me that you’re not using those skills as much as you used to.

Let’s move on to the little matter of your dignity, which at this point has shattered all over the bathroom floor. When we chose this career of ours in order to allow time for a family, this was not what I had in mind: afternoons spent wiping butts, washing hands, playing in dirt. It’s all so messy and, to be honest, makes me want to run the other way. Don’t you think you’re spoiling them? And shouldn’t the older one be potty-trained by now? I think there’s a rule about that somewhere…

I do like to see that you’re finding time to write, though it’s not really exciting stuff like I’d hoped for (seriously, still no agent? What are you doing all day?). It’s all about this small-seeming life you’ve bought into and some vague-sounding stuff about grace that has none of the bite and force of the religion we grew up with. Remember how Jesus turned those tables over? You spend more time talking about love and peace and a bunch of other hippie nonsense. It appears you’ve also changed your mind about capital punishmentgive me a break, you pushover! Did you not hear what I said about the criminal justice system?

If you ask me, it seems you’ve headed down a way different path than the one I’ve spent a lot of time trying to ensure. I’d appreciate it if you’d put on a bit more makeup, get out of Old Navy, and work on your/myself a bit. I mean, we’ve only got one life to live. What have you got to show for ours?


Twenty-five-year-old You

P.S. I can’t wait to find out what happens at the end of Lost!

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