viernes, 21 de diciembre de 2012

Letter to my 23-year-old self

Yo, dork!

So you went ahead and did it, didn't you? Or rather, I did it… We did it, I guess… We (you and/or/plus me) went ahead and fell in love with that girl, didn't we/you/me/us? For five years you learned to love her slowly, little by little, as a friend and as a person, until you finally realized that you must also love her as a woman, and you went ahead and married her. Oh, crikey!

I'm writing you this letter twenty years in the future, and, no, there are no flying cars yet, sorry for the spoiler. But I wanted to write you this letter so that you understand what you're getting yourself into, and what kind of life you can expect from now on and for the foreseeable future.

I'm writing you this letter not to scare you, but to prepare you for what's to come. There will be children, oh, yes. And they will test both you and the girl you love in all your weaknesses and all your strengths, and you will love them like there is no tomorrow. So don't worry too much about that: You may yet be man enough to be a good father for them. Time will tell…

I'm writing you this letter, though, mostly to warn you: your sappy romantic ideas of an idyllic life full of ecstatic rapture with your beloved may be a little unrealistic. There will be tears, sometimes. There will be weariness. There will be pain. There will be titanic struggles the likes you have never experienced before, which will challenge you to the very limits of your strength… and your sanity. There will be anger and fights, but not many. Don't get cocky, though, because those hard times will make up for their scarcity with their intensity. Mostly, I want you to understand that those moments of pure undiluted joy will exist, and there will be many of them, but they will only be moments in time. Not just because you're now "married" do you get those moments automatically. You are not entitled to them. Marriage, you will discover soon enough (and much sooner than you'd ever wished for) consists of daily efforts. It takes discipline. It takes consistency. Minute by minute you will exercise your lovingcare muscle, until it becomes second-nature to your dealings with that sweet girl, or I'll kick your ass next time I see you.

I'm writing you this letter so that you won't be surprised: when in your anger or confusion you might consider for a second or two to reach out and perhaps squeeze that lovely neck, maybe just a little, you will be reduced again to that wide-eyed amazement at how soft her skin is and how lovely the curve of her neck, and your hands will only remember tenderness and the need to caress. Yah, she will do that to you, time and again, and though it might drive you up the walls at times, you will still be delighted by it.

So now you know: This will be your whole life, not just a part of it. Do you now begin to understand? Oh, boy, are we in trouble now! But you asked for it.

And for that, I thank you.


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