Sunday, September 16, 2012

If I Could Tell You Everything

Underneath your mattress is a letter you wrote to yourself that is the only thing in the world you don't want anyone to see. Every time you read it your eyes tear up and you practice holding it in. Also, in your closet there is an orange plastic briefcase that used to have art supplies in it, but now holds all of the folded notes your friends have passed you over the years (including the one about Tomato Boy).

I wanted to tell you some things, so that perhaps we will never meet. I want us to make up a wholly different person. I think you can do it where I have failed, but you need my help to know a few things.

It isn't cool to say nasty things like "thank you captain obvious" and "duh" and "you think I care?" Someday you will have alienated people by saying these witty remarks in jest. And you will wonder why you were ever so mean.

The people who will be your friends for your whole life are sitting right in front of you. However, who you are close with will change. People will come and go. Those who make an effort to stay friends with you (and who you make an effort to spend time with) are true friends.

When you learn to drive, don't lose the nervous feeling you get every time your turn isn't wide enough or you blow through a stop sign. Pay special attention to left turns. The lights will get you every time, so always look for the green arrow first. When you eventually get one, don't use your cell phone in the car. Eventually they'll make a law, but it's better not to start. That way you won't rely on it.

Do not pick a major. Plan to study abroad. Live at home. Stop making lists of assignments and spend more time at the top of the football stadium screaming to people how bad they are at boardgames. Practice jumping over people. Don't ever stop moving. Do cartwheels in the street, ride piggy back, and run. Oh, run everywhere. And not with poster board in your hand or trying to protect your portfolio from the rain. Run so you can squeal when someone catches you, so that you can dart back and forth so no one can. Smile big and bright and then lay on the floor and belly laugh.

Date. Don't fall in love. Tell your friends whether or not you approve of their choice in boyfriends. Try and remain objective. Explore. Yourself and what you like. Don't join a sorority. Don't drink in bars.

Spend a lot of time in hugs. Enjoy being lifted. Spun around. Don't ignore the looks in their eyes, it tells you so much about how they feel. Tell them everything. no censors. If they can't handle it, oh well. Before it's so late you can't tell them, tell them.

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