If you could tell your former self a few things...what would they be?
There you are, walking down 5th Avenue in New York City with less than 300 dollars to your name. You're clutching Pete Doherty's collected writings in one hand and hanging on to your broken backpack strap with the other. On a good day, people may mistake you for a rock star, on a day like today they might think you're a junkie, or someone who may be just tired enough to fall down the subway stairs.
This is where you ended up after college. After all the work and sacrifice. You took a one way flight to New York City without knowing where you'd be in a month. And for you, that was just fine. You must remember that in dreamscapes, nearly everything is possible. Even making it without money all alone in New York City. Reality is another thing all together, but it hasn't stopped you yet. You're not going to have an easy time. And in moments of absolute chaos you will find your balance, as strange as that may sound. It's just where you live, shambolic and natural. At times it will appear that your life is being held up by safety pins, just don't get scared when they snap. All you'll have is your job, and the hope that something will happen. You'll always think about being plucked from obscurity, as you believe it will save your on-the-verge-of-being-a-total-catastrophe self. That might be true. Even I don't know what will save you yet. You'll like the same bands. And you'll still think your only friends are rock stars you've never met.
Despite all of the people who love and support you, you'll still feel alone. And you won't be able to help it, but just know, on a logical level, that they will always care and love you. And when you get into real trouble, they will come running.
Above all else, you'll still have the compulsion to create. Never lose sight of the funny things that make you different.
Some days you'll sit in the subway car and spin out of control in your head. You won't even open Doherty's poetry book because just holding on to it gives you comfort. The sleeping thing will never get better, and you'll learn to live with it rather than substituting substances for a better night. You'll start drinking more water and less booze, and you'll try and create a life for yourself. It may be in shambles, but at least you're trying. The ruts you dig for yourself will not last forever. It seems like you're coping with something...a disconnect maybe, but that is natural and above all else is OK. Your body won't make you happy for a while, but part of that is induced by your fear of failure. You don't have to live up to anything physically, and those thoughts are silly and irrelevant. But if you want to change, do it. Do it for yourself though, not for the scene and not for some dude. Don't give up and just stay conscious of what makes you happy. Things will get better once you're out doing things you like to do.
Never let go of the music. It is who you are. But balance it with the practical, the fucked up, the destructive and the hopeful. Everything will get stronger with time and one passion, writing, acting, music...will lead to the others.
Make sure that you try to live steadily. It doesn't mean you must live like a bore. Steady implies that you're not shaking and groveling. You must remain upright, keep moving forward and never succumb to the snooze button.
No amount of words can ever describe the millennial disconnect you feel, and it's alright. Because in the end, all you need to do is make a difference, and to some you already have.
I'd also advise you to start being proud of yourself, and stop turning to the destructive forces that you think will help. They almost never do. Thinking and feeling and music and art will always be there, but the words? Sometimes they won't come, and that's okay too. Never let go of the wisdom your mother and father gave to you, and don't stop calling them either. They will serve you in times of great sadness and joy. The latter of which, will not come to you often, but that's not the most important thing. You come from a long line of horrorshows and renegades, people who in times of trouble, move inward and forget, but you...you're different...you could be something great.
Although this fact terrifies you on a daily basis, you have nothing to fear, because if you make an effort every day, you'll live up to it.That's what you need to tell yourself.
Don't be afraid to challenge your reputation, and what others think of you. They do not and will not matter. All that matters is the moment you're in. And you'll never get that fully, it's just not how you're wired. But if you can put forth an effort to make the best of things, and not retreat into darkness, it'll make the free fall worth it. Trust me. Signed, With a great amount of admiration and disgust, Your Future Self
Feel free to tag someone else if you decide to post your "Open letter". XX