Jo’s Notes for the Future

To those of you still alive,

To us?

How should I go about defining the word “alive?”

Anyway, I have some things to say.

To whom it may concern,

Know what it is to feel pain. Know rejection. Be familiar with the dark. It’s important.

Life is a long journey. Not like a rollercoaster, but not unlike a bike ride. Sometimes you fall off the bike. Your elbow burns. Your knee bleeds. There’s now dirt and grass in the cut, and it’s stinging. You want to go back and be more careful, but you can’t. You don’t have a time machine readily accessible to you. Your mother says the scar adds character. You look for tools to build the time machine.

In all seriousness, there’s no going back. Not to get something you lost, whether that be your ring, a hair clip, or a piece of yourself. I’m not exactly the shining example of having no regrets, either, though. I often dwell on the past, especially when I shouldn’t. Earlier today I looked at someone’s social media I used to be involved with. He was a friend. A very manipulative, dangerous friend. It made me feel...empty? Guilty? When I have nothing to feel guilty about. I seem to be using this letter as a diary, which you can too, whoever’s hands this eventually ends up in.

I often feel like I’m wasting my life. I go to school. When I’m home I watch TV and sometimes do dishes. I love to travel, but I have a terrible gut feeling that I will end up working a 9-5 day job, living in the suburbs, unhappily married, with children I don’t particularly want. Nothing scares me more. Not even death. Not by a longshot.

I’ve decided to try to brighten my idea of my own future. Or at least I’m trying to. You should too. Let’s do it together. We will get the life we deserve, and the love we deserve. Which, by the way, we both deserve a happy life and a partner we both have a good, loving relationship with.

Back to my letter to you, and my point.

Sit in the dark for a while. And I mean, like, actually in the dark. Think towards the future. Even if that future is just, “What am I doing tomorrow?” or, “When’s the next time I can see my friend? Let me go make plans with them.” Because though life is long, like a bike ride, it can go by quickly, smoothly, bumpy on some parts, or even unexpectedly end. Thinking of all the caskets I’ve seen with people inside of them whose journey ended early, I always think, “I wonder if they were happy with the bike path they chose.” Sometimes they were. Sometimes it was obvious they weren’t. I digress.

Do what you want with your life. Even if that means going for a job or path that doesn’t supply you with copious amounts of money, who cares? Wealth in happiness is worth more than dollars could ever amount to. Even if your parents seem disappointed in your choice. Looking after yourself is important. Make sure you don’t need to scavenge for tools to build a time machine.

By Jo


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