A Letter To Myself From 1985

I was going through some old boxes that I finally retrieved from my dad's attic ("You're not a real adult until you don't have anything left at your parents' house," he's fond of telling me.)

I found some old keepsakes, like my high school yearbooks, some old comic books, and an almost complete set of Micronaut toys I hadn't had the heart to throw away back then. (I found that heart when I found the box, and pitched the entire broken down, dismembered collection. Now who's a real adult?)

I also found a letter addressed to me, dated June 30, 1985, written just a few days after my eighteenth birthday. I had written it to myself, to be opened when I turned 45. I was a year late, but then it's not like it was a map to buried treasure or anything. The Micronauts were my most valuable possession back then, and they're gone now.

Here's what it said.

"Dear Erik,

"Hey, there handsome! It's me, well, it's you from all the way back here in 1985. Hope you're doing awesome and are just as cool as ever. Or are at least cooler than we are right now. Seriously, man, I hope you were able to find a wife or at least a girlfriend in the next 27 years, because I am striking out worse than the Chicago Cubs during a playoff run. Hopefully they've also won a World Series or two by the time you read this too.

"I'm also hoping my plan of taking good care of myself, eating right, and exercising regularly works out too. I'm in great shape from bicycle racing, and I love how my hair blows in the wind, so I've got those going on for me. I'll bet you're still sporting that sexy part in the middle too — there's only so much you can do with all this hair, right? I'll bet you look amazing at 45.

"I'm typing this on Dad's old typewriter, because he's using his computer for work. It's about the size of a television set, but it has a couple cool games on it. I'll bet the computers are so much bigger and more powerful in the future. Our friend Mike said he thinks we'll all have to have extra rooms built onto our houses if you want to store a computer in your home.

"This September marks our freshman year at Ball State. The plan is to major in Public Relations and then go to work for some big PR agency. The other option is to go into Journalism and work for a newspaper. Man, that would be so cool! Those guys make a lot of money, and there's a stable future. We're always going to need newspapers, so that may be a place to spend the next 20 years working.

"I could also go to work for TV news, but they'll probably make me get a haircut or something. That's okay, I guess. Mom says it's important to dress professionally for work, which is probably going to mean suits and ties every day. Wouldn't it be cool if we could have a job that would let us work from home in jeans and a t-shirt? That sounds awesome. We'd probably have to drive into the office to deliver memos and have meetings though. Too bad we couldn't do something about that with our giant-assed computers.

"What about our tastes in music? I hope that didn't change too much. I've been listening to a lot of British New Wave lately. I love those synthesizers! I hope that stuff is going to be around forever. Dad is still listening to the Rolling Stones. Jeez, aren't those geezers dead yet? With the lifestyles they lead, I keep expecting to hear that Mick Jagger died or something. I think Keith Richards died years ago, but no one has had the heart to tell him yet.

"Also, the Colts moved here from Baltimore last year. They're okay, I guess. They kind of stunk up the Hoosier Dome this year. Oh well, they'll be Indiana's lovable losers. Bet you ten bucks the Cubs win a World Series before the Colts ever make it to the playoffs.

"Well, I'd better sign off. There's a new show coming out this fall called 'Misfits of Science,' and there's a special summer sneak preview tonight. I've watched the commercials, and it looks really cool. I think the show is going to be a smash hit and will lead to some amazing careers for its stars.

"Stay cool, and take good care of your hair.


The second edition of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), and my other book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing are both available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.


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