If I could write a letter to me/And send it back in time to myself at 17/First I’d prove it’s me by saying look under your bed/There’s a Skoal can and a Playboy no one else would know you hid…
Okay, so lots of people do this as mandatory school assignments and this might be totally cliche. (And I know saying it sounds cliche, sounds cliche. Maybe I’m being cliche. I don’t care. Cause I am what I am…Wait. That’s Popeye. [five imaginary points to the person who knows that quote]) But everytime I’ve heard this song lately, doing this blog post comes to mind. And what better time than now? I become a real adult tomorrow. No more college, no more school. The real world awaits.
Dear 17-year-old Jess,
So, it’s older, not much wiser, 22-year-old Jess. Yeah, we tend to use Jess a lot more often. It’s like third-grade and Jessi, only something I don’t think we’re going to cringe at 10 years from now. There’s really no way to prove it’s me, just because our room is so unorganized, it’s hard to remember where I would have hidden anything.
First off, something is going to happen soon. It’s something you’ve been fighting. And yeah, it makes sense, and it’s there. And it sounds horrible to say, but you were right. There’s a thousand different ways that could have made it better, but you weren’t forever. And it’s going to hurt. But one day, you’re going to wake up and realize the ENTIRE thing made you stronger, better. And it hurts a little less everyday, until it becomes a fond memory.
And on that, always go with your instincts. They’re pretty much always right. The experiences are building moments, blah, blah, blah. But they still HURT. A lot. Avoid at all costs. Okay, maybe not all of them. Some of them WERE kind of fun.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Ever. Changing for people makes it worse in the end. No one ends up happy.
Mom and Dad are usually right. But they still don’t get it. Yeah, I know. It’s confusing to me too.
Study more for chemistry. And accounting. And don’t start with Spanish 103.66. And then you’ll be golden.
Ohio State is IT for you. Don’t bother with the other places. Seriously.
Don’t procrastinate so much.
Be careful when you go to Hocking Hills. When Mom offers a spa day instead of hiking on the rainy day, take her up on it.
At the end of college, things aren’t going to be anywhere near what you thought. And its okay. It’s okay that its not that, and it’s okay to be hurt by it. If you need to cry about it, do it. But don’t dwell on it. It’s going to be okay. We’re going to make it through this.
The end of Lost is going to blow your mind. It’s not what you expected at all. Just stick with it. Just…maybe don’t read into things so much? Well, that is going to be the majority of the fun….
Conan IS going to get the Tonight Show finally. But only for seven months. Jay Leno is still not funny.
You’re going to watch Battlestar Galatica and Firefly and love every moment of it. I know it sounds odd, but it’s completely true.
Don’t get your hopes up with Ohio State outside of the Big Ten.
Don’t ever consider a Mr. Collins. Ever. That IS a mistake. Hold off for our Mr. Knightly. And yeah, I know, two different books. You know what I mean.
Dale Jr isn’t going to drive for DEI forever. Or the 8. Or the Bud Car. He’s going to drive for Hendrick and you are going to cheer and enjoy Jeff Gordon. Jimmie Johnson is good. Or cheating. I suspect a combination of the two. And Kurt Busch? Yeah…he’s the GOOD Busch.
I’m afraid to tell you about some of the musical interests we have now. Just…go with them okay? It’s fun.
Did I mention boys completely suck and always go with your instincts? And Disney ain’t real life, kid. Neither are romantic comedies. As the great philosopher Chelsea Handler once said:
At some point during almost every romantic comedy, the female lead suddenly trips and falls, stumbling helplessly over something ridiculous like a leaf, and then some Matthew McConaughey type either whips around the corner just in the nick of time to save her or is clumsily pulled down along with her. That event predictably leads to the magical moment of their first kiss. Please. I fall ALL the time. You know who comes and gets me? The bouncer.
Mom keeps saying that these are nowhere near the best years of our life. Believe it. I don’t know what the best years of our life is going to be yet. But I know that this isn’t it. Because if it is….I want a refund. Not that it sucks, just…there could needs to be more.
And believe me. You’ve got so much going for you going right. I wish you’d take band in college. I wish wouldn’t be afraid to be yourself. I wish you’d be confident and happy. This isn’t the end.
I wish you wouldn’t worry, let it be/I’d say have a little faith and you’ll see –Letter to Me, Brad Paisley