Editor’s Note: These letters are corrected only in the case of spelling and grammatical errors, for the sake of readability. YFH protects the privacy of its readers and uses a pseudonym in the title.
Dear five-year-ago self (15),
There are some very important lessons that you’ll learn over the next five years.
I know last year you learned that mum is gay, and that she’s leaving dad. But please don’t take as long as I did to learn that her sexuality was not her decision. I know you’ll figure it out eventually, but the sooner you do, the sooner you won’t be wasting precious time with your ignorance.
You are also going to learn that you’re not the honest man you think you are. In fact, you’re just as selfish and deceiving as the rest—but I’ll let you learn that the hard way, and then you can slowly start figuring out how to be a better person.
You’ll find that you don’t honestly believe in a god, that the only reason you ever thought you did was because of your upbringing. It’ll be scary for a while and you’ll have a lot of sleepless nights, but you’ll eventually learn to deal with it. Hurry up already, because once you do, your world will be a much more mysterious and exciting place.
You won’t be famous at twenty by the way, but that’s okay because you’ll have a whole new outlook on life. You’ll eventually learn that money isn’t what is important to you, and that it’ll never make you as happy as the beautiful art you’ll create, the beautiful people you’ll meet, and the beautiful places you’ll see.
Best of luck,
P.S. Stop thinking so much, and go have some fun.
READ PAST YFH FIVE YEARS HERE.
Five Years Ago is an initiative about perspective, direction and acceptance. It’s simple really: write a letter to your five-year-ago self and explain what’s happened in the five years they’re yet to live. Send us yours: firstname.lastname@example.org.