May 6, 2016

A Letter To My 30-Year-Old Self

Dear John,

Tomorrow, May 7, 1997, is going to be a very big day for you. I know you already think it will be, given you have scheduled the day off of work so you can find a new apartment. But that isn’t going to happen. You won’t spend a moment even looking for a place.

Don’t believe me? That’s okay. I understand the confusion. I mean, we both know you need to get the hell out of that toxic living situation. And you think finding a place of your own is the only way to make that happen.

Ha. Not even close.

Okay, okay. Enough toying with you. Let me give you some of the facts. Yes, you will be moving out of that townhouse on 4th Avenue. In fact, tonight is the very last night you’ll sleep there. Tomorrow night, you will be miles away starting a whole new life.

Remember that guy from the Top Of The Park? The Christmas ornament guy, Ric Sanchez? He’s going to message you tomorrow morning and ask you to join him and some other friends out in Palm Springs over Memorial Day. You’re going to tell him that you and whats-his-name have broken up, and he will ask you again even more insistently.

Did you know he already has a crush on you? He’s been trying to get closer to you for months, ever since that first night he met you at the rooftop bar. He has “bumped into you” a few times, always scheming to get you alone somehow but never quite making it work.

Tomorrow, he tries again. He’ll join you and your friends Phil and Karen for breakfast. He’ll listen as you three plan your day of apartment hunting. Then he’ll chime in with an offer you won’t believe. He’ll say, “stay with me at my house until you find your own place.”

But here’s the punchline. You never do find another place. You move in with him. A year later, you two buy a home together. A year after that, he’ll follow you halfway across the country as your professional career takes you to Dallas. (Seriously. Dallas. But not for long, don’t worry.)

There’s so much more to tell you, but I don’t want to ruin any of the surprises. I will say this, though. Over the next nineteen years, you are going to have the greatest and the worst moments of your entire life. You will gain and lose loved ones, be cheered and jeered, and reach great heights and fall to horrible depths.

But one thing will be forever constant. That same guy, that Ric Sanchez, the one who sweet talks you into moving into his home… that man will love you more than you ever dared imagine you would be loved.

Oh, be a cynic. Tell yourself that the fears you have right now will never go away. Keep on believing that you are truly unlovable. Tell yourself that your sad little life will never get better. Tell yourself that each day will be as painful as the ones you are battling right this very minute.

But I know better. I know that tomorrow morning, over breakfast, you will look across the table and see a handsome, kind, beautiful man looking back at you. And you may not see it, but those eyes of his are already full of love for you.

Get ready, John of 1997. You’re about to come face-to-face with the man who will make you believe in love. The man who will help you become the very best version of yourself that you will ever be. The man who will give you strength and confidence and more love than your heart can hold.

Get ready for Ric Sanchez. He’s proof that you have been right all along to still secretly believe in love.

All The Best,

John of 2016


P.S.:  Skip the biscuits and gravy. The restaurant has biscuits from a can and the gravy is thin. Try the banana pancake, instead. You’re welcome.

See? I told you. You won't believe how happy you are going to be!