deactivated1484545980DTessStevens
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An Open Letter To My Former Self

If you could tell your former self a few things...what would they be?

Tess,

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


I'd like to tag a few of my Vingle friends to write one too: And anyone else for that matter! @jordanhamilton @danidee @alywoah @allischaaff @esha @hiakym @painttowrite @anna2682 @VinMcCarthy @paulisaverage @lizarnone @TerricaRiley @buddyesd @marshalledgar
Feel free to tag someone else if you decide to post your "Open letter". XX
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Ahhhhh! this card def put things in perspective. I would love to write all my thoughts in this comment box, but I will save that for my personal post. Literally shed a tear. Keep remaining positive and all your dreams will soon come to fruition. Great card, literally!
This is great, Tess! Thanks for sharing this. It's insane how much we learn as we grow older. :)
@esha ๐Ÿ’—
@Richs14 You might enjoy this, too.
words can not express my admiration for the person you have been, the amazing person you are and the immeasurable person your becoming..thank you my beautiful Bella
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Hello there!!
I have walked through my mind, seeking answers to issues related to the manner in which we create our reality on the basis of feelings and thoughts, trying to draw a map for those who venture in the search for a truth in themselves... But after so much searching, digging into my thoughts, has come to the conclusion that it is sometimes necessary to be lost to find ourselves... I know, because after so much searching, digging into my memories, seeking simple answers, I could see that the simplicity as such does not exist... It is for this reason that I have returned, with the discovery that many times, without realizing it, we are increasingly away from ourselves, so it is necessary to realize the importance of our existence in our decisions... With that conclusion, I invite you to think about that point of your existence you are here now, and the extent to which you intend to arrive in the future, because many times we forget to ask these questions and, therefore, we forget the sense that lead our actions... Just remember that the farther apparent be yourself, it is the closer you are to the answer. You must remember that the ego has double-edged sword, and therefore can be used as a cure for uncertainty, or as a weapon to finish with the oneness... Well, an apology for disappear suddenly, some even came to ask me if I was good or if something was wrong. I thank those who have provided me with a place in his thoughts as to do such a thing, and I hope we can continue to share moments, thoughts, pieces of existence...until the universe decides to give us another utility... C ya soon then, and have a beautiful day...
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Throwback: My Grumpy Dad Parties With Guns N Roses
The title may have thrown you, but this is an entirely true story. Before the grump, dad did some pretty cool things (and still does). I'll let the story speak for itself. If you are unfamiliar with the Grumpy Old Man column written by my father @MattStevens here on Vingle, then you've been missing out. Check out the previous three columns in his very own collection: here. As always, my notes are distinguished by a "Tess' Note" precursor, and remember that everything you read here is absolutely true. Happy #ThrowBackThursday and remember that the Grumpy Old Man column runs here every Monday! Tess' Note: If you're really into 80's pop culture, this post will blow your mind...if you're not, it'll still blow your mind. I'm going to hyperlink every name you see if you want to put the time period into context. Happy reading everyone! Tess' Note: Before we begin, if you've ever seen the movie "Money Talks", Charlie Sheen's character is pretty much inspired by my dad. The "jeans on bottom, formal on top" look was started by my dad because well, "They only shoot you on TV from the waist up." The second picture is of dad reporting around 1988, the third is one of him covering a wildfire in Oakland in 1991, a year before my ass was born. Here we go. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It was 1988. Iโ€™d been working as a reporter at KNBC in Los Angeles for nearly three years, so the star-struck kid whoโ€™d arrived from Tucson in 1985 was long gone, replaced by a grizzled veteran of the Hollywood media wars. By this time, I could eat a burger at Hamptonโ€™s in Burbank and barely notice that Anthony Perkins (famous for playing serial killer Norman Bates in Psycho eek!) was dining in the adjacent booth. Heck, our anchor woman (Kelly Lange) was married to film director John Landis (director of Michael Jackson's Thriller music video); a fellow reporter, John Marshall, was married to Knottโ€™s Landing star Joan Van Ark; and anchor man John Beard was dating Charlieโ€™s Angels star Kate Jackson. I had interviewed the likes of James Stewart, Bob Hope, Raquel Welch and Bo Derek for various stories. I even sat next to Vanna White (from Wheel of Fortune) in the makeup room a few times. Truthfully, I was never a celebrity worshipper. I was a โ€œhardโ€ news guy. I preferred to tell stories about common people whose lives had been devastated by earthquakes, floods, fires and gang shootings. I had won my first L.A. Emmy two years earlier for coverage of a jetliner crash in Cerritos that killed 84 people. [Tess' Note: Any Breaking Bad fans will know this event, as it was the basis for the plane crash over Albuquerque that ends Season 2] Iโ€™d won others for covering wild fires, major earthquakes and high-profile murder trials, like those of the Menendez Brothers and Marlon Brandoโ€™s son, Christian. So, it was with limited enthusiasm that I listened to the urgent request of our managing editor, Pete Noyes, that I leave Burbank at 3:00 p.m. in search of Axl Rose, who was said to be living in an apartment in West Hollywood. [Tess' Note: As an avid rock and roll fan and musician, this assignment would have sent me through the roof with enthusiasm, but alas, I am not a grumpy old man, but we continue.] โ€œApparently, heโ€™s being accused of all kinds of things,โ€ said the man who was the real-life model for TVโ€™s Lou Grant. โ€œThe assignment desk has the details. We need something on the air by six, so youโ€™d better hit the street.โ€ โ€œIโ€™m more of a Neil Diamond guy,โ€ I admitted. [Tess' Note: COME ON DAD] โ€œDo they have a picture of the Rose character?โ€ โ€œI think they might. Bring it by here when you get it so I know what he looks like, too,โ€ said Noyes. Tess' Note: This is before the internet, smart phones and even cell phones for most peeps, so don't keep asking questions like "why didn't he just look it up?" Throwback Thursday people. The assignment desk had acquired from a friend of a friend of the agent of Guns N Rosesโ€™ guitarist Slash [Tess' Note: one of my favorite blues guitarists of all time] the address of a building in West Hollywood where Rose might be living. It wasnโ€™t one of those basic assignments where you could call ahead and set up an interview. It was more like a hostile wild goose chaseโ€”one of those complex assignments that reporters and photographers dread because even if by some miracle they find the subject, he wonโ€™t want to be interviewed. On top of that, KNBCโ€™s newscast producers were the kind who assume that every story assigned will come off without a hitch and will be reported exactly as expectedโ€”no matter the degree of difficulty. (This oneโ€™s degree of difficulty was an 11 on a scale of one to 10.) At about 3:30 p.m., my photographer (who shall remain nameless for reasons that will become obvious) and I arrived at the Sunset Boulevard address the assignment desk had provided. We did not expect to find anyone there, least of all Axl Rose, who had been criticized for writing what could easily be construed as racist and homophobic lyrics for the new Guns Nโ€™ Roses hit One In a Million. We were there to get his response to the allegations, as well as to inquire as to his involvement in some sort of vague (to us) drug-inspired assault case. I knocked on the apartment door with my camera man rolling just in case someone actually answered. A few seconds later, someone did. A rock-star-looking guy with a marijuana joint in his right hand and a can of beer in his left asked, โ€œWho are you?โ€ โ€œMatt Stevens with KNBC,โ€ I said. โ€œWeโ€™re looking for Axl Rose.โ€ โ€œLet โ€˜em in,โ€ yelled another rocker type from inside the smallish apartment. It was Slash. We walked inside and saw half a dozen people, all males, sitting on a couch and three chairs. The one in the middle on the couch looked like Axl Rose. โ€œWhat can we do for you?โ€ Rose asked. I explained our assignment, fully expecting to hear โ€œno commentโ€ or something foul. Instead, I heard this: โ€œSit down and have a beer with us and Iโ€™ll give you an interview.โ€ โ€œI canโ€™t really drink on the job,โ€ I said. โ€œItโ€™s pretty much frowned upon.โ€ โ€œCome on! Have one!โ€ said another fellow, handing cans of beer to my photographer and me. So I asked myself, โ€œIf you were in the newsroom and took a poll of those who mattered, would they tell you to drink the beer and get the interview? Or would they tell you to maintain your professionalism and leave without it? Tess' Note: THAT A BOY DAD! I guzzled the beer and said, โ€œWeโ€™ve got a pretty tight deadline, soโ€ฆโ€ โ€œSo have one more,โ€ said Slash with a straight smile. โ€œNo. I couldnโ€™t,โ€ I said. โ€œOne more and you get the interview,โ€ said Axl. โ€œAll right,โ€ I said. โ€œWhat the hell. But then we really have to go.โ€ After weโ€™d guzzled five beers each, Axl finally said, โ€œOkay, Letโ€™s talk.โ€ By this time, I was totally buzzed, but managed to pull myself together and ask the right questions. His answers were straightforward and articulate. We thanked them all and staggered from the apartment. I suggested that we call one of the NBC couriers and have him pick us up. โ€œWe donโ€™t have time for that,โ€ said the camera man. โ€œIโ€™m fine.โ€ He managed to negotiate the drive down Sunset and over the hill on Barham Boulevard to Alameda Avenue. I ran the tape into the edit room before anyone could stop me for a conversation. I called Noyes from the edit bay and told him to come and look at the tape. He brought the executive producer. โ€œYou got him?โ€ Noyes asked. โ€œYup,โ€ I said. โ€œBut hereโ€™s the deal: They made us drink beer with them before theyโ€™d do the interview. Iโ€™m pretty drunk right now.โ€ Noyes never raised an eyebrow. He watched the video and consulted with the E.P. They had the editor put some sound bites together. They wrote an introduction for the anchor to read. โ€œOur exclusive interview with Axl Roseโ€ aired at five, six and eleven. They had to mention that I had done the interview because I appeared in the shot a few times and could be heard asking questions. They never explained why I wasnโ€™t fronting the story. [Tess' Note: Dad couldn't appear on camera because he was wasted. Let's face it.] Until now, only a few people ever knew the truth about my encounter with Axl Rose. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now, Dad spends a lot of his time with my cat, Miss. Tuffsey and calls me to ask questions about his iPad. He also wins the occasional poker tournament. Here he is at Binions Casino in Vegas. Join us again for #GrumpyMonday next week! So how's that for a throwback? We never know how amazing our parents' lives were before we came along, that is until they tell us, and the whole internet. Any cool stories in your parents' back catalog?