Dear David Hancock,
Do you ever feel like you have absolutely nothing in your head but the same stuff that’s frantically replaying in your head over and over? Oh yes, of course you do, you’re me. And I am you. Weird.
Anyways, why do you do that? Why do you focus so much on things that you cannot change or just have to deal with instead of focusing your thoughts on the here and now? Why do you let your mind wander out of control, sometimes for hours on end, when it just makes your life more difficult? Why do you think so much about college and going away and the fate of the universe and neglect working on your research paper for English when finishing that will help you in life and you will get nowhere thinking about the impossible issues in your life?
Well David, allow me to answer some of those questions you so kindly asked me (or you, whatever). I like thinking about the abstract things in life. I like letting my mind go from its shackles of the here and now and exploring the infinite vastness of everything. I enjoy pondering impossible to answer questions like “what’s the meaning of life?” and “who am I?” and things like that. In fact, I’m planning on majoring in philosophy in college, so it’s actually better for my future to go away from the world for a while and just explore thinking. Plus I get all my work done anyways, so don’t worry so much.
But David, I worry a lot! I stress over all the things you can’t change. This election is terrifying me because I’m seeing firsthand all the corruption there really is in the government I once thought was flawless. I’m worried about the direction the country is headed in, especially because the next president will be president when I go out into the world on my own. He or she might make it near impossible for me to get a job, afford a house, start a family, or even just survive! And I’m planning on going to college in New York. Do you know how hard it is to make it there? I’ll be on my own, a whole country away from anyone I know (except Emma, who’s already in college over there), and no one’s going to help me. And do you seriously think it’s smart to major in philosophy when it’s so impractical and nothing you learn will apply to any job you will ever get (if you even get a job)?
Well David, I think you worry too much. Chill out, you’re gonna be fine. Philosophy isn’t very practical, but your goal from college isn’t to make money anyways. You want to take philosophy to learn about yourself and the world in a setting that allows you to use your head-in-the-clouds mind to your advantage. And you’re not just majoring in philosophy, your college combines politics, philosophy, and economics into one awesome major that you’ve loved since you first heard of it! You’re gonna learn how the world works, how the economy works, and how people work. If you know all that, I’m pretty sure you can get a job anywhere. And didn’t you pay attention at all when you saw Into the Woods? [sung] “No one is alone. Truly, no one is alone. Someone is on your side.” You have friends who will pick up when you call them, even if the time change makes it 3am for them, they care about you. And you will make friends. And you love the city. Just run away to central park for a while if you get overwhelmed.
You’re gonna be fine, just relax. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. You’re never gonna be able to keep your head out of the clouds, so don’t. Just remember to come back to Earth every now and then. You can do anything, you just have to believe you can. Take deep breaths when your heart starts racing out of control, and listen when other people are talking to you. Plug in your beats and tune out the world when you need to focus, and take them out when you need to listen. You know what I mean. Give yourself time in the sky to recharge before you become grounded again, then finish what you came to do before you take off again. Keep writing, it calms you down. Keep writing crazy letters to yourself. Keep writing to organize the mess of thoughts in your head. Keep writing to let the world know who you are.