I want to let you know, it’s all going to be okay.
Dear 2011 Daniel,
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’m writing this to you because I know that you’re single and you do not have a “Valentine” this year.
Funny enough, I don’t have one either. In fact, I haven’t had one (in the traditional sense, at least) in the five years since you and I last spoke.
Crazy, right? Roses, fancy dinners, sexy lingerie, boxes of chocolate, expensive wine that tastes no different … all will be irrelevant to you for the next half a decade.
First of all, rest assured, you will still have sex (I know that’s where your head went). It just won’t be super cuddly intimate sex, more drunken fumbling sex with a bit of risk involved. But, hey, we’ve always considered ourselves the adventurous types, right?
You will find yourself in dozens of flings over the years that are, ultimately, meaningless. Girls of different backgrounds and varieties. Some you will like. Others you will not.
You will spend countless hours stumbling through conversations with strangers at bars that are too loud for you to actually have a dialogue. You’ll find that your jokes won’t hit in the same way at such an ungodly decibel level but you will try nonetheless.
Dating apps will feel like playing a game of Battleship, except now a miss costs you $40. You will persist on using them anyway because you’ve maxed out of Angry Bird levels and you have too much pride to give into those Candy Crush invites.
Some people you know currently will soon be married. You will learn to inquire in sly ways if they intend on having an open bar. This skill will turn out to be one of the most useful in your arsenal so make sure to exercise it plenty.
There will be one instance where your mother, God bless her soul, will sit you down and tell you it’s okay if you ever “have anything to tell her.” Reaffirm your sexuality, but feel free to leave out the story about how you once got mugged on shrooms in Amsterdam because you met a Dutch girl who you were certain was your future wife. Her heart doesn’t need that kind of stress.
Now, if I know you as well as I think I do, you’re probably laying on the couch of your college apartment playing the N64 version of Super Smash Brothers. I know you’ll soon read this letter, realize what lies ahead, and get pretty depressed about it.
I’m here to tell you that you have nothing to be depressed about. That may sound strange but please, hear me out.
See, over the course of the next four iPhones, you will learn everything there is to know about yourself. You’ll manifest all feelings of loneliness or isolation into vehicles of self-discovery.
You’ll pick up hobbies you sincerely love. You’ll break habits you sincerely hate. You’ll travel to some amazing places. You’ll get in shape. You’ll make friends. You’ll lose friends.. You’ll crash cars. You’ll get mugged in Amsterdam while on shrooms chasing the girl of your dreams.
You’ll make mistakes. Like, big fucking mistakes. And when you deal with them, you’ll only have yourself to thank.
It’s not that these things would not happen if you weren’t single, but because you are they’ll reaffirm a confidence in yourself that is unique.
You may think that being single for so long will only make you more desperate, more willing to settle on someone you’re not happy with it. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Because with every failed attempt at romance you only get pickier. You learn to stop putting up with people that don’t make you a priority. People will learn to do the same with you.
So, today, embrace the scars and stories you have because no one was there to tell you otherwise. Embrace the fact that your savings account will be a bit larger because you stuck with the cheaper wine. And embrace the fact that you are the Super Smash Brother champion of your apartment.
You are about to begin the process of molding yourself into something truly special. Something that is a reflection of you and everything you’ve been lucky enough to see.
There will come a time where this day means something to both you and I. But honestly, what’s the rush?
P.S. You know what…just don’t tell mom anything.
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