Dear younger me,
Not too long ago, I passed the house in which you are growing up. Nothing had changed at all; the door handle was the same, the windows were the same…even the washing line was kept in the same place. I thought about knocking at the door in order to visit you, but I imagine I would be told the same thing that our parents would tell everyone: that you were too busy reading books and playing video games to be sociable to people you’ve never met before.
Overcome with the emotion that I would not be able to meet you, to hold you, and to tell you about what would happen to you in the next 10 years and more, I sought refuge in a non-descript corner to sob quietly, passionately and privately as my way of connecting to you, because I know that the threads of space and time do not allow us to meet.
There is so much that I want to tell you. There is so much that I wish I could protect you from. But destiny is not human. It (or they) understands that true growth can only come from pain. And since you have been painting Ancient Egyptian figurines in your bedroom, clutching a physics book around you wherever you went, or too busy requesting your dad for another book from the library, I know it is all too clear that your triumph and crime is to want everything from reality- and that you don’t care what price you have to pay.
I see so much in you and you do not. I can see that your precocious spirit was a gift from the angels.
You may not realise it, but for the last few months, we have both been using the same train station. Every day I have to fight back tears of happiness and of sadness when I see your phantom stride beside me. As I wait for my train to work, your train to school is harder than usual because you insist on carrying every book in your bag, even for the subjects you are not studying today. Your shoulders ache and your feet swell, because at such a young age, you have already decided to take the burden of knowledge upon yourself.
If I could talk to you, I would tell you not to grow up so quickly. I would tell you to put down your hunger for the abstract worlds and to talk to the people around you. I would tell you to learn how to play football. I would want for you to stop using academia as an excuse for fear, and to be proud of making mistakes.
My boy, I say this because there will be times where your solitude will break you. It protects you from ridicule now, but there will be many nights where your solitude will shake your body so violently that you will wish to leave it.
I also want to tell you now that your journey to learning what love is will put your life in danger. I honestly wish I could protect you from that. But destiny has written a path for you. Even I can’t stop that.
If you survive (and you shall) you will discover much more than you might be willing to learn.
You will begin to understand that the small ego that has been nestling under your care has swollen in you like a tumour.
You will understand that the universe (like time) does not operate as a linear thread.
You will find out that God’s message takes place in the biggest and longest game of chinese whispers ever made, and that when it is time for the truth to be whispered in your ear, nothing will make sense to you anymore.
In your darkest moments, you will discover that there is a light within you.
That, even while you are dying, something within you that you cannot name will fight every last second to stay.
Mein Kind, despite what everyone says, I am glad you spend so much time playing video games. Because life is the best game you will ever play and when it is your turn, your guardian angel will finally have a break from protecting you, because you would have learnt to do it yourself.