I know you like everyone to call you Jake, but you should start to get used to being called Jacob. As you grow older, you will outgrow the youthful façade you currently inhabit. Soon enough, you will leave the shell your childhood has built around you and sprout your wings, like a penguin, because penguins can’t fly and neither can you.
I have a lot of admiration towards you, you know that? Living on your own, paying your own bills, doing your taxes, it’s a lot more than I can say for myself nowadays. I have an accountant, a financial manager, and a wife with two dogs. That’s right, a wife, are you surprised? I was.
I am you, but at the time same time, I am not. Our faces may look similar, one roughly tattered, the other more taught, but they are not the same. Your body is fit and flexible, and you make think you have arthritis now, just wait, you have no idea.
We are separated by more years than you have been alive and I can tell you, those years will be your hardest on this Earth. The past decade of your life has been a closer resemblance to the bombing of Dresden than a stereotypical adolescent storybook:
• You attended more funerals by the time you graduated high school than most people see in a lifetime
• You cried for more hours than most sixteen-year-old girls by the time you were twelve
• You’ve had more sleepless nights, than ones well rested
• And you’ve hoped for your own death more days than you’ve enjoyed watching the sun come up
Yet, after all of this, you are not lost. If anything you are more found than those who sit around you. Even when they look well-knit or fashioned properly and you sit, alone, burying your head into a pillow that is all out of dry spots; just know, you are not lost.
You have found something more essential to your life than their Prada bags and political correctness will ever get them. You have found, yourself. Under the giant pile of rubble that is your life, you have an undeniable sense of who you are and the person you want to be.
Most of your blood relatives, to put it lightly, are deplorable at best. What I am going to ask you, is to not let your relatives keep you from having an open heart. There are over ten billion people on this Earth in my time, and about eight billion in yours. Out of those eight to ten billion, I promise, there’s going be at least ten people you enjoy spending a lot of time with. I know you might think of this as an optimistic estimate, but the cynicism we share has faded from my bones in my old(er) age.
Please value your independence and freedom as much as you can but once it comes the time to open your heart, don’t fight it. You’re a good person, not the best but not the worst, and there are going to be people who want to love you, just please, give them a chance.
I apologize for the piece meal presentation of my sentiments, Jake, but it’s tough to give advice to someone who thinks he already knows everything. Although you may think that, I know, that you know that you still have much to learn. I only ask that you keep an open heart and stick to those instincts that have gotten you this far.
All the very best in the years to come,
Photo: Getty Images