A letter to another version of me

Hi me. In my mind you're younger me, a past version of myself, or a different version. Forgive me I don't know which one, so I'll write as much as I can.

To childhood me: I guess I want to say sorry. I think I wanted to say that because I am wallowing in self pity right now. But I am sorry about your circumstances. In a burning house, the world looks like it's on fire – but it's not. It's just the house you're in. One day you'll get out of there, but a little part of that house stays lodged in you and sometimes that fire sets your surroundings ablaze again. Just remember it'll stop. Eventually at least.

To future me: Does that piece of home ever burn up fully? I forget it's there until I walk past some kindling and everything lights up again. It's on fire right now, and I don't believe things will ever change. At least fundamentally. Does it change?

Even if you could respond, I feel like you'd tell me it would be ok no matter what. The same way I'd tell past me. Where does that hope come from? Is there some grander belief that everything will be ok, and that I am not some exception to that rule?

To the version of me who never queued up with L. How did life go? You don't know about this, but from a game with L I friended someone who was playing with T. From them I joined a custom with S and Y. I then met A, M, and plenty other people. Over 200 now in the server. I met L while playing with some others on OW. I met her a few days ago. I even flew to Canada and finally met most of them in person! I stayed with S. That week was one of the happiest of my life. Those people are my family. We may not be nearly as close as other people are with their friends, but they're a core part of my life and who I am. They have been with me from that burning house and are still with me now. All because I played games with a stranger. Who would have thought this all would have came out of that. I hope you had your own chain of random events that made life more full.

To the version of me without Hash: Hash is the name of my pug. He's 4 years old now, I got him at 8 weeks and he's been with me since. I named him Hash after hashmaps. I always say Hash like hashbrown to people. He's incredibly smart, almost too smart. He's a master manipulator. I love him. When you got him, COVID started and he stayed with you 24/7 and ended up with very bad separation anxiety. It was a horrible nightmare for years, but eventually it worked out. I'm able to leave him alone now and everything is pretty much fine. He sleeps with you every night, cuddled up as the little spoon. If you lift up the blanket, he will come up and lay down against your body and he loves to be hugged. I'm never alone because of him.

To past me: I used to say my only goal in life was to be happily married. I later learned I need to be happy without a relationship to be healthy in one. I'm struggling to want a relationship now. You'd never have thought of that huh? I even have people wanting to pursue a relationship with me that I've had to reject. How surreal is that? I guess a big part is I became more confident in myself. I also started workout out religiously, and I've become way more attractive to myself. But the most important part is it helped my mental health so much. I'm not on SSRIs at all! No anxiety medication either. Turns out we also have ADHD. I started medication a few months ago, and I've been learning how to be able to focus and have motivation. Do you know how much fun reading is? I read every day now. I even have a mini bookshelf with books I've read. How crazy is that? You're also way stronger than you think. Don't sell yourself short, no one will believe what you were capable of. I don't want to spoil it, as I want you to aim higher. Turns out you also can learn to cry – it's actually really nice. I know crying used to be reserved for attempts, but turns out all the documented science is right: crying helps. Do whatever you need to in order to cry, it's ok lil man.

One thing you and I will both learn is that people come and go. It's come out of nowhere for both parts of that. Do your best to not get jaded of it, that's the cost of life.

I know that most likely you're a fucking loser like I am so let me tie back into what you used to tell yourself. Life is like Kassadin mid. Lane phase was hell, but if you get out of it you're a demon. Just play for late, but also don't give up every wave. Funnily enough when I finally played Kassadin I figured that out too. Just because you're setting yourself up for the future doesn't mean you can't do well now. Don't go fleet + ROA every game. Go electrocute lichbane, maybe your team ffs at 15 and you wasted your chances. You could die in a car crash at any time. Plan for the future, but enjoy the present. What a crazy thing to semi-publicly write. But also, how could I hold shame against what I think? I think it's a strangely slippery slope to not be cringe or weird sometimes. I'd rather look back and feel shame at what I put on display rather than look back and see a life that isn't me. We both grew up as a shell, meant to please our parents. Turns out we're more than just that – we are individual living people with a unique episode. You'll never get to do this again, nor will anyone else. Even if someone had an identical life to mine, they aren't exactly where I am right now looking at this purple flower. Even if it's trivially different, that gives you the freedom to do whatever you want with this one chance.

To present me: think about what you just said. I will never get this minute back. What is a better way to spend it than looking at the sunset. I can't think of a single other thing.

Thank you for having this conversation with me. Even if there was no one to read this, it helps me. So thank you.