Self-Indulgent Musing: A Letter To My Younger Self

Dear Ryan,

It’s me. I’m you only, in the future. This is a little uncomfortable because I’m not sure how old you are. I mean are you at the age where you still think “jerk” is a naughty word or are you the age where you think the phrase “Cleveland Steamer” is an acceptable punchline to every sentence. You might even be the age I am now minus five seconds still making you technically younger. However old you are I’ve got some stuff to tell you.

Fist of all cut your hair, you look ridiculous. You have a lot more going for you than that and trying to define yourself through what you look like is an absurd waste of time. Truly interesting people don’t have well manicured hairdos or expensive clothes. And you want to be an interesting person. In fact that’s all you’ll ever want. Forget about being good-looking, forget about driving a cool car, forget about any of that shit. You want to be interesting. Hopefully telling you this will save a lot of time. People your age have a way of wasting time when they could be becoming a surfing prodigy or learning a practical skill. So, don’t waste time. You only get so much and however old you are I know you’ve squandered a large chunk of it on playing Zelda.

Zelda Treasure Chest


I’ll just let you know now it’s full of your worthless life


I can see you’re confused brown eyes staring back at me now as you ask “What does it take to be interesting?” That’s a fair question. I think the answer can be summed up in two words. “Fuck it.” Oh… sorry, I probably shouldn’t swear around you, you’re probably very impressionable. I’d hate to corrupt myself at our first meeting. Unfortunately for us both we want people to find us interesting and that means you’ll have to remember to just say “fuck it” as often as possible. This doesn’t mean you should be lazy or selfish or an asshole. It doesn’t even mean you’ll ever be cool. All it really means is that there’s a bunch of shit that is clogging up your head like phlegm in a sticking to the inside of your mind plumbing and the Drain-o you need is “fuck it.”

Any time some outlandish thought works itself into your subconscious just let it go. When you’re worried about what other people might think or how your parents might react just tell yourself “fuck it” and do what you want. Obviously this advice won’t work for everyone. You’re smarter than most people, as I’m sure you’re aware. But for you Ryan, I know it’s tough to listen to other people when you are almost always certain that you know better than they do. Like, remember that time you knew you weren’t any good at baseball but you didn’t quit because you’d always been taught that “quitters never win?” That was horshit. You should have just said fuck it and worked on your juggling, that’s way more fun especially at a bar that has a jar of whole fruit for decoration and you need to impress someone you just met. How about that time you were miserable at prom but stayed the whole time because people had told you you “needed the experience.” Fuck it dude, go play Xbox with friends because it’s a lot more fulfilling than listening to shitty music that’s being played too loud while you twerk with someone who has already made it very clear she’s saving herself for marriage.

“Abracadabra” and “please” can blow us, “fuck it” are the real magic words. Even though  I don’t know how far back in the past you are I know that in the future you’ll be shocked at how many men take pride in being “beta.” By 2015 there will be plenty dudes who would be stoked to have Michael Cera play them in a movie. The bumbling guy who’s trying to figure it all out is a favorite trope of the modern era. If you’re still not getting what I’m saying, think about what a pussy Ross from Friends is. He’s always stuttering and saying that stupid shit he always says. Even with that, a lot of guys would say he’s the hero of that show because he ends up with Jennifer Anniston (sorry for the spoiler). Either way he’s not our hero, he’s the enemy. As far as you’re concerned being anything like Ross is exactly what you should try to avoid between now and the time you die. You’re a Joey, and don’t fucking forget it. You think old Joe Tribs worries about who’s on a break and who’s not? No, that dude has a cool job and he people love him. Actually… He’s not that bright. I take it back. You’re Chandler, he’s funny and his and Monica’s love is a lot more honest than any other relationship on the show. You know what, fuck it. Worrying about which Friends character you are is something Ross would do and he’s a bitch-ass. The point is that saying “fuck it” is a decision that you’re making. It’s not some wishy washy beta-male nonsense. After all, you’re an adult, or you will be some day and you can’t be hung up on whether you’re making the right choice. Pick what you want to do and stick with it until it sucks then pick something else. That’s how life should be lived.

Ross Spudnik

He wore a potato and a colander and called himself SPUDNIK! For fuck’s sake!

“How will that make me interesting” I can see you mouth to yourself as you read this letter. Another fair question. Albeit that one is sort of stupid. Doing stuff that makes you happy is fascinating to people. If you’re chasing a dream, or already doing something you love because you worked for it people are completely charmed by the novelty. Why should doing what you want be novel? Why don’t other people work hard to make themselves happy? I have no inkling that might lead me in the direction of an answer to those questions. The point is that expressing what you want to do and then putting in the time to do it is interesting.

And, what about your fears, your doubts, your second guessing, your haters naysayers or general Negative-Nancys? What about all the stuff in your way, obstacles distractions and bullshits? Fuck it. anything that’s trying to keep you from doing what you want is a douche and not worth your time. It’s not always easy to disregard the stuff that’s making your life harder. But, no one will fault you if it takes a while to dispense of the garbage that life tries to drown you in. The most important thing to remember is everyone’s got their own garbage and happiness isn’t a competition. The goal here isn’t better to be better than anyone else. It isn’t even to be more interesting than anyone else. Your goal is to be the most awesome version of yourself possible. Not a groundbreaking concept, but there you have it.

Dress Debate black blue white gold

Everyone knows that, the same way everyone knows this dress is black and blue

I’m not super sure how you got this letter or why you would assume it was for you but it’s probably good that you did. Sure, it’s not going to make any difference but if I’m being honest I only wrote it to get this stuff off of my chest. If there’s one thing I’ve learned other than “fuck it” its’ that unsolicited advice is totally useless. No one listens to something they didn’t ask to hear. But maybe if you keep it long enough you’ll read it one day and think it’s a little profound and decide to dictate it to a blog you haven’t written for in a year.

Thanks bro,

Ryan Bell


P.S. Don’t bother with post scripts, they never have valuable information.