Part of WordPress’s writing course Finding Everyday Inspiration.
Today’s prompt is a cliche which knows it’s cliche but pretends to convince people it’s not. The task is to write a letter(!). That’s not only an analog anachronism but also a subject whose inspiring potential has already been mined out.
In a stroke of genius, however, I remembered I had a letter among my very few relics from the past which I had written for my future self. It’s more of a questionnaire, actually. It was written on 13 May 1996 at 2:55 PM (I see I was meticulous about meta details as a kid already) at the tender age of almost thirteen. (I can’t believe I ever was thirteen.) The instructions on the sealed envelope say to open it when I’m fifteen. (I can’t believe I ever was fifteen either.) Here’s the authentic artefact.
The questionnaire contained in the sealed envelope is cringeworthy, idiotic and hilarious, all at the same time. I had some important questions for my future self, such as:
- Do you like a boy?
- Have you been kissed by a boy?
- Do you go to discos?
The bonus is that the envelope also contains my answers to these and other questions written when I was eighteen. (Yes, I can’t believe I ever was eighteen.) Being a teenager is a mental diagnosis on its own. The bloody things (I mean, young people) believe that they know everything, that they are special and that the world is for them. They are the triumph of positive psychology, in some ways.
Teenagers (at least my teenage self) also believe that everything is for ever and that neither they nor other things will change yet. They might admit it as a theoretical option but they don’t really believe that. On the other hand, there are things to be learned from your young self. Such as, Don’t be that person!
I’m kidding. Now, seriously, I have discovered at least one curious finding about my young self. Already as a dumb teenager, I manifested surprising drive, determination and diligence. (I deduce this from the way I was talking about my study efforts.) I also see I was interested in psychology back then already. (Little did I know that I wouldn’t become a psychologist but a psychiatric patient instead.)
For the sake of entertainment and education, here are a few questions that amused me the most:
- Do you still study at the grammar school? (Duh. I’ve graduated from a doctoral programme.)
- Do you still have long hair? (Ha. Since you’re asking, I have half my head shaved and the other half shortish-to-shoulder-length. In case there is any doubt, it is a deliberate design.)
- Are you still scared of people? (Dear silly young self, it’s called social anxiety and it’s not something you grow out of. Don’t worry though, there will be advances in psychology and you’ll learn a bunch of management techniques in the nut house. Also, you’ll be prescribed Lexaurin for emergencies.)