A Message to a Friend

....

Believe me, I know exactly where you are and how you feel. I felt the same way when I was 21, feeling that I had wasted my life and that I was doing something I wasn't really crazy about. Then what did I do? I wasted more time. I may have a book coming out now, but it has taken me over 30 years to get to this point... and I am just starting to learn.

I think we need to remember that life is going on, all the time. We all feel like failures, maybe even constantly. But the fact is, you're only 21, and you have almost 20 years to catch up with where I am now... You have so much to learn, to do, to experience, and your writing ability is LIGHTYEARS ahead of mine. I'm just a hack and I get lucky in finding a publisher.

I don't think it's healthy to compare sob stories. I'm okay about my age and just starting to do something I enjoy and "fuck" what other people think... And you, my dear friend, do have your whole life ahead of you. Gosh, how I wish I were 21 again and able to do it all over. It's not to say I regret my life -- I think it's a great life so far, and I've learned so much. At the same time, I wish I hadn't wasted so many years doing what OTHER people expected of me.

And even if you wake up at 30 and say, "Gosh darn it, I want to do EXACTLY what I want and be happy" --- you'd still be ahead of me.

The same goes with me. It's all relative. I know people who are in their 60s and 50s who are regretting about their lives. Here, I still have another half of my life to go and I'm just starting. It's funny because my parents took me to a senior citizen center and my dad said to me, "This will be you in 30 years." And I thought, "Thank God, I still have 30 years."

Comments

Patrick said…
I'm glad you posted this message to a friend for the rest of us to see. You make good points that I'll have to ponder a while.

I'm 35, still have a long way to go, hopefully, but have plenty of regrets about doing what was expected rather than what I necessarily wanted. Sometimes, it's just easier to do it that way.
titania said…
I'm 40, and feel like I've run out of time to do any of the things I want to do. Your writing gives me hope, but it also makes me despair a bit, because you're so good!

You're really quite amazing! Your writing makes me want to read this thing every day. You're right, absolutely right, about regret, but how do you break the habit of it?
Anonymous said…
I'm 40, and feel like I've run out of time to do any of the things I want to do. Your writing gives me hope, but it also makes me despair a bit, because you're so good!

You're really quite amazing! Your writing makes me want to read this thing every day. You're right, absolutely right, about regret, but how do you break the habit of it?

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