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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Letter to Past Self

I did this just for the fun of it, but it made an interesting writing prompt. What would you write if you could send a one-page letter back in time to when you were eight? For mine, I made sure not to be too specific and ruin future events for me. I tried to stay vague on the details while still giving useful advice. I even made it unclear how many future siblings I would have. Anyway, I think a letter like this can say a lot about your personality, as well as your current situation and the events of your life in between.

* * *

To:     Austin Ballard         From:   Austin Ballard
        June 22, AD 1997             June 22, AD 2014

Dear Past Austin,
            How are you? I love you and miss you. I miss your innocence, your playfulness, and your creativity. I miss the world you live in, the people, the different cares and worries.
            Life is good for me right now. I just graduated from college in a degree that I will love to use for the rest of my life. I am married to a wonderful, beautiful woman. I know you don’t need to worry about this now, but this letter will give you solace a decade from now. At this time I also have two children—One a daughter who looks just like you.
            I want to thank you, Austin, for all that you do. Thank you for having fun, for making time to be creative and make good memories. Thank you for drawing and writing, and keeping the things you have created safe. Please continue to keep all of the things you write or make secure, in a box with a label on it warning others to keep it safe. Make sure if you move from that house that you don’t misplace a single tablet or drawing. This is even more important: Make sure that you don’t misplace digital files—sound files, maps you make, Word documents. Your littlest brother will be interested in games too, and he will inadvertently delete some files. Make a safe folder now and keep backups of everything. When you switch computers, transfer the files over. If you have issues, ask Scott or Dayne for help. Keep a personal journal whenever you get a chance, and write about experiences you have.
            Continue to play computer games. Play them together with your brother, side by side. This won’t last forever and you will miss it in future years. But don’t play too much. Stick to the time allotted you by your parents, and when your time is up, go play outside with your siblings. Cherish your time with them, all of them. Treat them nicely, especially your sister. There is no honor in teasing to the point of tears.
            Always choose the right. When you are in junior high school, you may be tempted by many things. Don’t give in. Never give in. Fight the temptations. Keep the friends you have now. Do not let popularity tear you away from them. Junior high is a dark phase that will end in only two short years. In high school, popularity ends and everyone is friends. Push forward and make it to that point and beyond.
            Don’t be jealous of others. You have much to be grateful for. Know that drawing is a choice gift for you and few others have it. Draw together with your brother and your other siblings. Draw comics and stories and ideas for computer games. Write ideas you have for stories down, and I promise to make use of them someday.
            Above all, know that you are precious. You are significant. You are destined for great works. Never forget this. There is much in store for you. Lastly, cherish the simpler times. Times are coming when networks , cell phones, and the internet will take over people’s lives, even the ones of those you love. Form relationships with them now so they can remain strong.
            Everything will turn out right. No matter how hard—or wonderful—experiences are, they will soon be over. Enjoy them. Hold them close as choice experiences that you will relate to years later. Stay strong. Have honor. Cherish your time as a child. When you grow up, take risks. Some will be mistakes, but others will give you priceless experience.
            Yours wistfully,
                        Future Austin

P.S. Tell Mom to buy twelve bottles of Sprite Remix and bury them in a box in the backyard. Mark the spot on a map and keep it safe in the box I mentioned earlier.

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