E-Mails to My Past Self: 5 Facts I Wish I Could Send Back in Time

Let me be perfectly frank: I didn’t pick this topic on my own and I never would have. My editor at PJ Media came up with it. He liked the idea of my writing something that dug deeper into my life. I’m not exactly sure why that is since I’m a professional writer, not a UFC grappler. I’m not even one of those haunted, drunken writers like Edgar Allan Poe who’s trying to disgorge the horror in his soul onto the printed page before it bursts out of his chest like the creature from Alien. So, there aren’t going to be any emails that say, “After you kill the hobo, bury him in the woods instead of under the pile of leaves in the front yard.”

Worse yet, the idea of changing things that have already happened in my life is scary. When everything is going great, the natural tendency is to keep doing the same thing. On the other hand, my failures are what have spurred me to work harder and reach for more. If I went back in time and fixed those issues so that it was all smooth sailing, I might be a poorer male version of Paris Hilton — and who the hell wants that? Then there’s the frightening possibility that I could make some small change to my timeline that would have major ramifications today à la The Butterfly Effect. Come to think of it, that’s the one to really fear…

1) Dear 15-year-old John:

I’m writing to you from the future to let you know that you’re going to have some people try to bully you. It’s not going to be your fault. You don’t start trouble with anyone or cause problems; you just try very hard to avoid conflict and bullies can smell that the way a shark smells blood.