dear future ash…

Dear Future Ash,

I’m writing to you today out of desperation.

No, that’s not right. Out of hope. Hope and desperation are so close, you know, so close. They are opposite sides of the same coin.

I am writing to you today in hope. In the most faithful, hungry hope. I am writing to you because I need to know that you’re okay. I need to know that you’re making it through. That this part that I’m in right now is over.

I know you can’t respond and that’s okay. You’re only a sparkle right now, a glimmer, a figment of desperate need, but that’s all you need to be.

For you, it’s somewhere in the second half of 2012. Not too far from now. It’s easier to see you that way. We’ve probably got a lot of the same clothes still and the beaten and loved 3GS you’re reading this on and the same girlfriend snoring behind nearby in bed. (Or maybe in your time she’s awake because you’re awake at a reasonable hour instead of three am and you’re having mutual internet time and it’s lovely.) I know you’re still making the same dumb fart jokes on the internet that I’m making now.

I hope you have a job, Future Ash. One that doesn’t make you miserable and that respects your ideas and efforts. I hope it makes you happy or at least doesn’t make you crazy. I hope you life is settled because right now… it’s not. It’s really not. I hope that everyone is settled. And wherever, however, that works out is good and safe.

I hope you’re comfortable. I hope you’re cooking more and taking your iron and eating more greens and remembering to take your pictures every day. I hope you’re sticking to the posts you want to make here and that you’re reading and writing more. I hope you’re still throwing yourself into pop culture things enthusiastically and with joy because I’ve just rediscovered how wonderful that can be and how much I’ve missed it. I hope you’re sticking out all this hard work I’ve been doing to Unfuck Our Habitat and that it’s making you feel like a grown-up still and giving you a sense of control.

Future Ash, I hope you’re happier than I am. I hope you’re less anxiety-stricken. I hope you’ve embraced change and banished the word FLUX from your experience. I can say I hope you’ve got it all figured out, but it’s the middle of January and even if I’m talking to the Future Ash of December 2012, that’s a hell of a lot to ask.

I hope you’re hugging people more. And spending time with them. And reaching out to them even when they’re not reaching out to you. I hope you’re asking for help when you need it. I hope you’re still not giving up. I hope you remember how bad it is right now and appreciate how good I hope it is for you then.

Future Ash, it’s not all doom and gloom here now. I don’t want you to think that or think your memories are tainted. There are wonderful things, even if they’re small and hard to remember — forgettable — from where you are now. There’s Sherlock and friends that want to hang out with you even though you’re having a hard time leaving the house. There’s a wonderful, supportive, incredible partner who respects and loves and treats you so much better than you deserve. (I hope you’re paying her back tenfold for these hard times, Future Ash. She deserves so, so much.) There are parents who you not only love, but LIKE, a sister who’s also one of your most important friends. There’s Disneyland. And pets. And a bed that comforts you in a visceral way that makes your heart feel less brittle and your bones feel a little bit more brave.

Future Ash, I’ve got a lot to live for right now, but the glue holding it together is hope. Hope that 27 is better. Hope that your life is different than mine. Hope that next Christmas won’t feel like the last. Hope that you are where you want to be.

So keep this letter for me, Future Ash, and when we meet we can talk it over. You can tell me which bits I got right and I can remind you why you should be grateful even when I got it all wrong.

Here’s hoping. See you soon.

– Ash