In Lettero 2: Unplugged In New York

A few weeks back, I shared an old post where I had written a series of letters to my younger self. The post was inspired by a similar post written by Samantha over at Jill of All Trades. Upon hearing that I was posting more letters to myself, Samantha was very excited, only to be disappointed when she found out they were the same letters. At the prompting of Samantha and others, I’ve decided to write another series of my letters to younger versions of me. Whenever time travelling is invented, if someone could show these to past me, that would be great.

To Tim, Age 8

I understand that hand-me-down clothes suck. And even as an adult, I understand that you’re confused why your mom thought it would be a good idea to make you wear bell-bottom pants to your first day of public school[1]. You will get made fun of mercilessly and relentlessly for the remainder of the school year. On the plus side, you dive into books and schoolwork to get your mind off of things. That ends up working out pretty well for you in the end. Keep at that.

Sincerely,

Future Tim

To Tim, Age 9

Happy birthday to you! I know you want to do something super exciting for your birthday, especially because you’ve never had a birthday party with non-family friends. Since you’ve started at a new school just two months before this point, you’ve obviously made friends, yes? Yes?[2] Really? Well then.

Since you have no friends, you’re not going too be too disappointed that a freak ice storm postponed your mom and dad’s custody court day. Surprise! Your birthday present is that you have to choose which parent you want to live with. Don’t worry about making the right decision — you do that. That said, once you get back to school, get to work on that whole making friends things. Otherwise you won’t have a birthday party with non-family friends until you’re 13[3].

Sincerely,

Future Tim

To Tim, Age 11

You’re not the type of person who typically asks for expensive gifts for birthdays/Christmas/etc. You weren’t at this age and won’t be in the future[4]. That said, you really want a Game Boy and Pokemon Blue for either your birthday or Christmas. When you open your presents on Christmas morning and you see a Game Boy box, don’t actually get excited. Your dad put an Etch-a-Sketch in it. You won’t get a Game Boy until just before your 14th birthday. If it’s any consolation, your stepmom buys your brother a Sega Game Gear for his birthday just six months from now. That’s cool. Right?

Sincerely,

Future Tim

To Tim, Age 12

Congratulations. You just beat the first girl you’ve ever had a crush on to win your school’s qualifying round of the National Geography Bee. I know you feel a bit conflicted right now. On one hand, you’re happy you won. On the other hand, you’re sad because she was visibly upset that she lost to you. If it makes you feel any better, that girl ends up becoming your best friend for the rest of middle school. And you have to take a test to qualify for the state round. Good things.

But then the girl you start dating in 8th grade doesn’t like said best friend. And best friend moves away for a while, but comes back only for the two of you never to get close again. And your social studies teacher comes to you three months after you take the test to tell you that she forgot to mail the test. So at least is was all for nothing, right?

Sincerely,

Future Tim

To Tim, Age 17

During a wrestling match your junior year, you’re going to feel something pop in your right shoulder. It won’t bother you too much at first — you’ll actually finish second place at that very tournament[5] — but by the end of wrestling season, you’ll barely be able to lift your arm above your head. When you start noticing pain in your shoulder, let your coach know. A few weeks off mid-season will likely save a recurring shoulder injury later that spring that keeps you from running track.

Sincerely,

Future Tim

To Tim, Age 20

I know it feels like you need to take a third job while going to college full time. And I also know that it seems like a good idea to take one in a bigger city for sake of getting your foot in the door somewhere. The problem is that said job is a three hour drive away. On top of that, your first job has you working midnight-8am, while this job has you working noon-9pm. While it’s only once a week that you have this schedule, it’s a recipe for disaster. You’re going to make it through about three weeks of this schedule before you hit a semi-truck while travelling over 85 miles per hour. You’ll lose two of the three jobs in the process[6], and you’ll quit the third shortly after. Then you’ll have no jobs, no truck, one less tooth, a broken thumb, and recurring headaches for six months. That said, the car crash does lead to an entertaining story for the next letter.

Sincerely,

Future Tim

To Tim, Age 21

Let’s try a new letter format for this letter. Here are some do’s and don’ts for you.

Do: Break up with your girlfriend who you were dating at the time of the crash above. You’ll call her, tell her you’re too tired to drive and need to talk to someone to make it home safe. She says she doesn’t have time because she has to get ready to go to a party. She needs gone.

Don’t: Try to play flag football three weeks after your wreck. You’ll still be getting a little lightheaded at this point, you won’t pay attention, and you’ll get chopped blocked. Hooray meniscus tears![7]

Do: Date the girl with the lip ring from your early morning class. The relationship ends in spectacularly horrible fashion, but you’ll learn a lot about how to accept the political, religious, and social beliefs of others in the process.

Don’t: Invite your mom to college graduation. Her first words to you will be “You know that no one who went to college has ever amounted to anything”. I wish I was kidding about this.

Do: Go on a spur of the moment five day road trip to Tennessee to spend Christmas with the aforementioned girl. This is where the relationship ends, but you get to visit the original KFC. It’s far more exciting than it sounds, I promise[8].

Sincerely,

Future Tim

To Tim, Age 22

You’re going to be offered a job in Arizona. I’m not going to tell you whether or not you should take that job. I can think of a fairly lengthy list of reasons why that job ends up being a great thing for you, as well as a similarly long list of reasons that job is a terrible thing for you. What I will tell you is that you should take some time and think about the job before you take it. Talk it through with your best friend — or for that matter anyone — before you decide to accept the job. Moving across country on five days notice is an ambitious undertaking, and you really need to tap into that side of yourself more often. But it’s also a foodhardy move that leaves you in a bit of a financial bind for the better part of two years. Just think things through before you go.

Sincerely,

Future Tim

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6 thoughts on “In Lettero 2: Unplugged In New York

    1. Basically parts of the wiper and wiper arm just started flying everywhere. Apparently the motor had burned out and as a result started running at an uncontrollably fast speed as soon as I turned the wipers on. Within a few seconds, the plastic locks holding the wipers on cracked and wiper blade pieces few everywhere. I’m just happy I was still stopped in the parking lot when it happened.

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  1. First of all–what kind of cruel joke was your dad pulling, putting a fucking etch-a-sketch in a Gameboy box?? That’s just MEAN.

    Second–I don’t pretend to speak for all women, but I’ve never found a boy beating me at something to be a turnoff. As long as it was a healthy competition (like, I didn’t get totally obliterated) I never minded losing.

    Third–that wreck, bro. WOW. And yeah, forget that girl, what a bitch.

    Fourth–I TOTALLY just moved cross country on 3 days’ notice. Like, in June. It certainly was an undertaking! I’m glad I did it though.

    These are awesome, because your life has been insane. I’m thinking you probably have material for lots more of these.

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    1. I know, right? He thought it was hilarious, and in retrospect it is kind of funny. But in the moment I was devastated. As for the geography bee thing, I think I felt bad due to a combination of liking the girl (not to mention that she was the first girl I had a crush on), but also the very prevalent preaching in my family that women are the weaker sex and that you should let them win at things. It was a non-issue though.

      Yeah..that wreck was bad. Real bad. I had a very close call about eight months prior to that while travelling in Michigan. That should have been my wake up call, but it wasn’t. I’m happy for my cross country move too for the experience, but the other parts of the move made it a bit rough.

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  2. I read meniscus tears as tears over your meniscus, and I was going to ask why did you cry over your knee (was it a particularly sad knee) until I read your pain spectrum at the end… I’m only telling you because that kind of misread only happens to me a handful of times a year, and I’m always surprised when it does.

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