Dear Younger Self,

Dear Younger Self,

They’ve figured out some way to get a letter back to you. I’m you, but I’m 46 years old. This is wild. I think they want me to say something to you like, “you’re doing great,” or “you’re enough.” (People say “you’re enough” a lot in the future). But who are we kidding? We’re Capricorns. We’re driven, pragmatic, and ambitious. We’re using this letter-to-the-past loophole to our advantage. So let’s get down to business.

First, some specific notes:

1) When you move from uni, you are going to think you want to sell your Nirvana records (and Mary J Blige, What’s the 4-1-1) DON’T SELL THEM. Bad idea. What were we thinking?

2) Virginia is going to disappear from you. She’ll start standing you up and not calling back, and you’ll take it personally and just ignore it. FIND HER. Call her. She’s in trouble. She’s not okay. It’s not about you. If you call her, maybe you can help.

3) Just go ahead and break up with Danny. It’s going to hurt like hell, but it’s the best thing for you both. And listen: you guys are going to be dear, old friends when you get to be my age. Love never ends.

4) When you try to come out to J.T., and she tells you that you should “pick a team,” tell her to fuck off. I know you think she hung the moon, but when she tells you that, she’s doing you harm. Let her know it. She’ll still love you.

5) Go ahead and cut your hair. Get a proper pair of hair scissors and cut it short yourself. You love it that way. It looks like you. It helps you feel more like yourself.

Okay, those are the little, picky things. In terms of the bigger picture, I could say a lot, but I don’t want to scare you. Let me just say this: life in your future is pretty fucked up and lonely. There are a few good things, like it’s cool to be queer and weed is legal in a lot of places, but otherwise I am sorry to say that things are pretty bleak. It isn’t your fault that things are this way, but we have to admit: we’re a little lazy. You know that feeling that the world isn’t the way you would’ve designed it? That feeling doesn’t go away; it gets worse. And you know that feeling that if you just wait until people like us take over and fix things, it’ll be okay? We don’t. It’s not. If you want your future to be better than now, you need to really work hard with other people to make it better.

I know it sounds harsh for me to tell you you are (we are) lazy, but you know it’s true. Here are some things I hope you’ll keep in mind:

It gets harder to make real friends as you get older. Stay close to the ones you have. Make them your family, like really. Consider living near each other, sharing property. Find ways to live out your political & queer ideals now. Commit to it.

Build coalitions with your Black friends from high school. If you don’t intentionally keep those connections, systemic racism will make it hard to be in touch. They will need you to show up for them during some very bad shit in your future. If you start acting now, maybe you can avoid the bad shit.

Finally: use your coalitions and friend-families to act to end US/Canadian dependence on fossil fuels. Do it now. Make the policies radical. This will also probably require working to make your governments and institutions more socialist. Do it. Do it now. Maybe it isn’t too late.

I love you. You’ll be okay.


P.S. Have more (safe!) casual sex. You overthink things. You can afford to slut it up a little more.

Connect with Dr. Maddalena on her website.


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