An Open Letter to My Older Self

16 October 2008

Dear Refugee at 50 Years Old,

This is your late 30something self writing to apologize for a few things, explain a few things by way of reminder, and hopefully, to show you just how optimistic I am for you and your life.  R50YO, while I address this letter to you, I openly acknowledge that I write this letter at least in equal measure for myself and all versions of us between you and me.

I apologize for the years we wasted trying to fit amongst the privileged class.  The energies expended trying to disavow the trappings of our lower class upbringing could have been better utilized in so many ways.  It was grade school but even then we should have known better than to lie to ourselves and others.  This led to years of seeking comfort in our own skin and squandered opportunity.  I also apologize for deceptions I created and failed to repudiate before they reach you. 

R50YO, after our horrifically awful attempt at marriage, we have lost the taste for promises and absolutes; so I know you will appreciate the significance of this statement: I promise to not take you for granted again.  You will be a larger factor in my decisions and your welfare and fundamental existence shall be of paramount importance in my major life choices.  R50YO, rest assured I will continue to live, embrace and cherish the moments.  I will continue to collect experiences to store in our memory bank (surely there will come a time when past shall eclipse future and withdrawals will need to be made.)  However, collections will not come without consideration to you.

For the sake of our karma and reputations, I will live more righteously.  For the sake of our physical health, I will exercise more.  For the sake of our relationships, I will be more vulnerable to the subset of my friends who I hope/think will be yours too.  For the sake of your economic health, I will be more careful with my finances.  For the sake of preventing you from being mocked as the 50 year old, twice divorced guy at the bar, I will be more careful in my relationships with women.  For the sake of your intellectual health, I will procrastinate less and read more.  For the sake of your mental health, although I am not sure exactly how, I will take greater responsibility for your happiness.

R50YO, I know that I have some time to get this right and I am slightly impatient.  However I hope to take deliberate and measured steps towards change, and I hope that you will be more patient with me than I have been with myself.

Sincerely,

Restaurant Refugee