Letter to Myself

Hope is a curious thing.

Against every insurmountable odd, every violently vehement doubt, it has the audacity to have us wishing that the extremely unlikely will happen, or that we’ll have what want, or that we’ll surpass some unimaginably great hurdle, force the powers of unlikelihood into pitiful servile submission. Hope makes us simultaneously strong and weak: it strengthens conviction, but in case of failure translates into disappointment, with the aspirant fabric of hope turning to foul disappointment; it isn’t the most pleasant of things. Hope, interestingly, is why I’m writing to you. I don’t know you yet, but I imagine you will be a lot like me, yet as astonishingly discrepant that I cannot render an accurate image of you if it were to save my life or grant me the riches of the world (though I use that phrase with abject hesitation, because riches don’t interest me). You see, I can’t know what you will be like, but I certainly have hopes. Expectation is inherently faulty, and given the unfathomable complexity of life, happenstance, coincidence and occurrence, whatever approximation of your character and likeness I can construct will be inaccurate, erroneous to the point of complete wrongness. Whatever image of you I have in my head will be wrong, because the odds dictate that, and because I’m not prescient, and because of course they will be! I can’t predict the future any more than I can lift Mount Everest with a thumb.

Far that be form discouraging me, though. I’m writing you because, as subtly insidious it might be, I have hopes for you. I wish things upon you, because eventually these will be upon me. If I don’t join the ranks of those who die young, I’ll become you. In time.

Are you taller? You’re taller than most now, but adding a few inches to that wouldn’t hurt, would it? And if baldness really is genetic, I hope the gene skipped a generation like it did with your cousins. If not, fret little, you can always shave completely bald. The shiny head look isn’t so bad. I wonder if you’ll ever gain weight, too, but that’s a small concern, because you’ve always had the metabolism of a Russian weightlifter called Sven who barrels down a dozen eggs at breakfast in a single bite, and you’ve always eaten like it was your last day of life and you’ve never grown heavier than your spindly thin figure. Everyone’s quick to tell you to “eat!” and ask “do they ever feed you at home?” and you’re always quick to return that you do, and they do. It runs in the family, that excellent metabolism, but of course you know that.

The vain and frivolous aside, though, I wish much more for you. I hope you’ve perfected the art of listening, because in the experiences of others there’s much to be learned and drawn moral from. I hope you speak less now, you so often dominate conversation that later, once it’s over, you wonder what the sound of who you were speaking to would’ve sounded like. Listen to advice and heed whatever warnings they carry. There is at least some truth in most things, if not directly then indirectly, inconspicuously and in the vicinity, but probably there still.

I hope you’re less confused. You will have had plenty of time to efface out all the inconsistencies, and arrive at a coherent sense of self. I hope that phase of confusion becomes a thing of your past that you can perhaps look back on fondly, but nevertheless look back on as you do things long gone, long drained of all potency, things surmounted, defeated, learned from and swiftly made a relic of the bygone. Do you remember your confusion? If time has done its job (and it never fails to so it very likely has), I’ll remind you. It was a feeling, far from momentary, but completely distinct and immediately recognizable, like sadness and happiness and fear. The quintessential quality of happiness is that overpowering lightness it brings the mind, and that of fear is its shocking immediacy, and that of sadness that slumping of the mind, and confusion, like those aforementioned, is entirely its own, although it is slightly similar to sadness. It feels of screaming disorientation, a kind of fragmentation of the mind and its thought process. It’s potent in its own way, and with it comes a litany of questions, so many and so frequent and so unanswerable, at least now, and a sense of dissatisfaction at the continual failed inquiry. I couldn’t hope more that that has ended.

I hope you continue trying to figure everything in life, and failing unequivocally every time you try. It’s not out of masochism that I say this, but your inquisitive nature is something I’d hate for you lose; though you might not find the answers you seek (often because there isn’t one), the road of your failed attempts is rewarding, and flings toward areas interesting and worth the visit, however fleeting or hasty. I hope you continue to see the beauty of life, despite the all too obvious disparity of the ugliness that blemishes its face. I hope you continue to find the littlest of thing wonderful, and retain our appreciation for selflessness and kindness – don’t ever lose that! If you’ll remember, your younger self resolved to appreciate only whatever truly merits appreciation, and to him kindness ranked highly among the most valued.

Out of some sense of self-love that I don’t think is wholly outrageous, I hope life doesn’t disappoint you, even if it doesn’t take the course you imagined or hoped would be taken (which is likely). I hope that you are continually and mercilessly proved wrong by life; because that will help you, better your understanding of things: the foolish presumptions of your youth are better discarded. Those who spend their lives clinging to that edifice of the knowledge they acquired in their youth also cling to gross naivety and are crudely simpleminded. Always realize that you might be at fault, and never have your head harden to the point of dogmatic stupidity. I hope you grow to become deftly discerning and logical, insusceptible to fallacies of logic and mental conduct, and that you continue to value your mind as your asset of greatest value. Speaking of your mind, I hope you continue to feed it relentlessly.

And … wait …

About being wrong, maybe, reading this, you’ll realize that this set of hopes is plagued by the same naivety and youthful ignorance that I warned about earlier, and was just another blunder of an attempt at intellectualism and amateur philosophy that pretended it was something greater.

In which case, disregard everything I just said.

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3 comments

  1. I actually read the last couple of paragraphs again and again and smiled every time I read it 🙂 What did I want to say yesterday? What can I say? “…another blunder of an attempt at intellectualism and amateur philosophy that pretended it was something greater.” lol Not really, at least not all of it 🙂 and especially not the last couple of paragraphs. I find intelligence and philosophy worth reading & pondering upon in those last words 🙂 “Speaking of your mind, I hope you continue to feed it relentlessly.” That would be something I will earnestly hope you will tirelessly keep doing as you have been doing in school 🙂 Amin 🙂

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