This is a letter for myself at 30 years old.
I write letters to myself as self reminders. The semantics help with reframing my outlook on life. Sometimes referring to myself via 3rd person helps, and otherwise introducing a new character can work too. This letter is a call for help, a place for vulnerability and a beacon for accountability.
Dear Mr. 30,
I've got just over 2 years left until I meet you and I'm scared. I'm really fucking scared.
Please don't be disappointed in me. Please don't make me cry. Please don't feel sorry for me. But I plead you to listen, for you are one of the few voices I trust in this world.
Maybe it's the pandemic that is getting to me. The feeling of being caged in. Maybe I'm doing the best I can, but it feels like nothing is going anywhere.
I know about the [[Gap and the Gain]], and I know about progress, not difference, but sometimes that's not enough.
There are evils within me I have not purged.
I feel I have betrayed many people that have placed their trust in me. Clients who have trusted me with doing their work. Friends who I've promised to catch up with. Family members who I have decided to stay close to despite all these crazy times. But I have not kept enough of that up.
I have lost loved ones due to my selfishness. I have gifted them nothing but pain, in exchange for happiness. They mentioned that I have abandoned them long ago, and they feel cheated. That my supposed love for someone was fake and that I never intended to follow through with the promises that were set.
Seeking not forgiveness but understanding, I knew there was wisdom and truth in this exchange, for someone lashing out at me this way comes from a place of hurt, and that I should not respond in violent words.
In that very moment, they have chosen to articulate the pain I have caused them that way. That was how bad it was for them.
These are just one of many stories, most probably untold. How many have I disappointed during my time here? How many have I let down due to my ignorance, my willingness to follow through with promises, my lack of awareness and more?
I feel that my efforts in protecting my sovereignty have primed me into a position for betrayal from this point on. There are flaws I had intended to fix within within me but chose not to.
I am scared. The cost of finding a place in this world is the pain of those I have interacted with.
I want to be given the chance to prove myself: that the years I've spent living, observing, experiencing have been worth it for at least half of my life. All to maintain the sovereignty held under my name.
There are many desires in me that I wish to be made real before I meet You:
- Live my life both online and offline. Either via YouTube, the podcasts I've built over time, the words I write, or embodying my life by dance.
- Sustain my creative endeavors, fictional stories, podcast shows under my name through some kind of paying model (Paid subscription? Some kind of community?)
- Seek shelter within my Sanctuary, a creative studio where all my greatest works will be housed and created in.
- Build the Gimlet of Asia, and grow Asia's podcast ecosystem through Renegade Radio
- Coaching others in constructing their memory palaces and never forget their lives ever again
- Find a home for all the voices in my head, ie. my multifaceted self. By the time I am You, the world can bring up my name for anything and everything.
My Friend, these are all just articulations. Expressions of my existence, my time on Earth. These are only small dots, mere nodes in the graph of my timeline as I breathe in air every day.
On the pursuit of achieving [[Cultural Immortality]], nothing else will matter to me. I am willing to sacrifice the entirety of my being to fade it into nothingness, and leave behind these memories for those I have made an impact on.
That is reality to me, in all honesty. My body is slowly accepting that I have no use for it to be 'alive'. I will have danced my way into the Living, and pass away with every second an entire lifetime.
What about You?
But tell me, My Friend: How does it look like on the other side? Is it worth it?
Am I smiling among my favorite loved ones? Am I close to my family? Is there love in the air, or am I already complete on my own? Have I stopped betraying?
I am aware of the Bliss that can be found in the far horizon, you may laugh at me now. Poor old 27-year-old me, blinded by my own negativty to not see the warmth everyone around me is offering. Not looking at the bliss that exists this very moment. That I'm always wandering outside this country and not within.
I know, I know. I am just talking to myself at this point. It's not helping anyone. But to break the illusion of reassurance now is to potentially deny the hand that may lead me to a better future.
So fix me, Mr. 30. I seek salvation through answers. Faith in a future where you are seen smiling and in love and warmth. Belief in seeing you bloom in such bright light. From a place of darkness, a place of desperation, please. Save me.
Can I pave the way to that future?...Maybe that's it.
This may be the turning point, the crossroad that I may not even be aware of that I want to say yes to. But there is hesitation, and we all know deep down that truly is fear at play.
My friend, did you know? I made two new major discoveries of my life recently. The first is this:
Freedom is a Neon Sign
What is Living but merely the act of seeking Freedom?
There are synonyms for this: some may seek it through God, and others through some kind of epiphany. But for some reason, an image came to mind. There is this strange light at the end of the tunnel of suffering that what I seek, is behind this giant brick wall of Fear.
So tell me, Mr. 30: what does the wind feel like on the other side?
I talked about this with an adored one. We talked for hours and hours on this, with post-it notes laid out on the grey walls, asking questions, seeking answers, turning to each other with prompts. We tried laying down the bricks to reach the end of that goal:
- Why do we seek freedom at all costs?
- Is there freedom without love? Is there love without freedom?
I myself came to a certain conclusion: love is what will help propel you to freedom, but freedom is a wild, fleeting animal in itself. Freedom cannot be chained down - the human soul is immutable and untouched by the thoughts of society.
To reach You, Mr. 30, would mean I must harness some kind of Love as a vehicle to jump over the wall of Fear. I must break through Hesitation to attain Freedom.
It's a simple formula, isn't it? But the hardest to use, I'm sure.
Well, that was the first discovery. The next is my image of what's over the wall:
Embodying my Life's Work
A while ago, I drew this out on a post-it.
I've written some notes on it here.
And also, I drew out this diagram for all to see:
It's weird, isn't it? How can I draw the entirety of my life onto one piece of paper?
Masahiro: It's hard to define one's life work because the fluidity and trajectory of their life stands as the cornerstone of their unpredictability: and that is what makes life so exciting.
That was [[Masahiro]] speaking. See? He speaks with pure Logic. That is the way of the [[The Multifaceted Writer]].
So with all the characters in my head wanting to find a home, [[The 12 Artifacts]] that I'm willing to work on, how do I embody all of that potential success now?
- It sounds greedy to do all this. Selfish, even. I've even imagined it: Dressed in a summer yukata, drowning myself in my own chosen desires, my greed and my lust for knowledge. In the middle of all these hedonistic desires, I serve the world to quench my thirst. That way, once again, there is [[Cultural Immortality]].
Understanding these two main points is where I think my source of energy comes from. The Logic of [[Masahiro]], the Emotion of [[Cloever]], the comedy of [[Duo Desire]], and many other upcoming internal characters: All of that becomes [[Norman Chella]].
Remember the draft I've written on what this time period represented? Yes...the [[Decade of the [[Mad Scientist]]]]. I've yet to declare that out to the world. What am I doing to myself? I've silenced myself out of hesitation.
How is it that I can meet You when I keep parts of myself mute out of protection? This is wrong. Totally wrong.
So, there are some things I must do.
Finding my place in Life
First I must design the environment in which I may rise, fall and lay to rest in. That, is [[The Sanctuary (Apartment)]]. Some [[Environmental Design]] is needed so that I can focus my thinking on the right things.
But moreso than physical (as we are stuck at home after all), therein comes the social place:
Who do I want with me at the end of my life?
I want to always be in the presence of those who push me up to higher planes of existence. The ones who introduce me to great conversations, stimulate my intellectual capacity, and enjoy the time that we have together in the process.
I would want them present for my funeral. If I were ever to have one: it would be my ashes placed beneath a tree so I can return to mother nature. And there would be a party with drinks and music and laughter: a beautiful time in bountiful peace. Prosperity in their voices, and their presence a gift I want to take with me to the Afterlife.
For you can never take the animism out of an individual who, well-ingrained within society, holds within himself the subconscious ancestral pride of a tribal warrior who fought for his forests, his people, and his independence.
Only then will I return to the forests which had nourished my people, and serve Mother Nature In Memoriam. May my withered body sustain the next generation of hopefuls, for a future where we see Humanity grow beyond the confines of its own bodies, and achieve total [[Immortality]].
In order to find the answers to this question, I must seek those who are working hard. And in order to do that, I must become their equal.
I must be prolific enough that I can become the lighthouse for such energy: even if they were lost at sea, they will find comfort in presence with me. Michael wrote an amazing piece for this, and Mr. 30, I know you will still have the same end-dream as I do right now.
Maybe this is excitement instead.
I may have written that I am scared in the beginning. But the more that I write this out and the more that this experience is shared with the rest of the world, the more I can find comfort in knowing that I CAN meet you: The opportunity to arrive at a place where the two of us can talk, play, laugh and cry, and reminisce over the struggles that I am about to embark on.
For I will get over that barrier of Fear and meet you at some kind of Heavenly Cafe, where we will drink our flat whites and laugh in earnest. That we will clink our cups and be grateful of the opportunities Humanity has provided for us from today onwards.
That I, and the sum of all my voices, all the characters in my head, and all of their thoughts and worries, are blown away and hugged by the warmth of your smile.
My Future Friend, I hope to meet you in a place of bliss. I hope to bump into you on a lovely September morning, waking up grinning at the sky. I hope to fall in love with how you see life, like a mirror that smiles back at me.
Though I wish it to be true now, I know I must earn the right to arrive at your doorstep: 'tis a long, arduous journey.
But you must have words that will echo in my head as I send this away. And if I hear their melodies slightly, albeit unconfident as I am, the tune must have gone like the following:
It had always been worth it. All that you are is everything around you, as we set out on a journey to meet who we really are at the end of it.
So with that, this is a declaration of me achieving what I am set out to do, and a celebration of your birthday once I come with all of these lovely gifts.
For now, let us rekindle this fire and keep it burning.
Until next time, friend.
I'll be waiting by the fire.