Letter To My 45 Year Old Self On My 30th Birthday…

Dear Jeremy,

I’m not gonna lie, I’m scared for you.

With all that’s happened over the last couple of years, I can feel my newfound flinch response to thinking about the far future. How dare I cast out hopes that far? To raise my voice with my desires for you seems like an open invitation for life to sabotage us. But if I shy away from my aspirations, what remains? The other stuff. The rougher stuff. The stuff that I haven’t liked to talk about.

I guess this is where I need to start. Because at the very least, Jeremy, I hope you’re still there. I hope you’re alive, that you feel healthy and that you feel connected to your body. Because from this vantage point, it’s that heady disconnection, that calm fog that comes over me when things get really hard that has me wondering if you will be. I hope you’ll make it. I hope you’ve at least made the choice to keep sticking it out.

I hope you feel far less lonely. Recently—and increasingly—I’m realizing the seemingly obvious: that it’s not for lack of other like-minded people that I’ve felt so lonely these last 30 years, but it’s my own fear of connection. To be real with how sensitive and passionate I am, to open myself up to how much I actually do feel in this life and world is profoundly vulnerable. I hope that you’re sharing that vulnerability more. I hope you are sharing and transcending your insecurities and your blemishes, because we both know that everyone around us is feeling their own version of them too. Who are your communities? Who are your close people? How many secrets are you holding onto right now?

I hope you still feel love. For Glendi. For your family and friends. For your co-workers, whoever they might be. I hope you still cry sometimes in simple appreciation of them. What is love feeling like for you right now? What are the things you’re feeling most deeply, most regularly? What are the things that are making you laugh?

But beyond these broad things, I’m frightened of hoping for more. Instead, I guess more questions:

Are you still organizing and/or doing popular education work? What has felt most successful? What lessons have you learned in the last 15 years? What is the state of social movements in the US and globally?

What is your relationship to place? Where are you living and for how long? What roots have grown?

How is the family? How is Glendi? What about children?

How are things in Guatemala? What projects are you involved in there? Has anyone else in the family made it up north? What about the Alaska family?

Have your relationship wounds healed? How social are you, and how well are you keeping up with people who are in our lives now as I’m writing this? Are there people in your life who you feel like you can’t talk to? Why, and are the reasons worth it?

What languages do you speak? What happened with Mandarin? Any luck with K’iche or Mam?

How are you getting by financially? Do you still hate working? Do you actually feel like you have a career or calling? What is Glendi doing for work?

What are you writing? What are you reading? What music and art are you really appreciating?

Damn, what is technologically like? What is the political economy like? White supremacy? Heterosexism? Patriarchy? The strength of the dollar? The US’s geopolitical power? Climate change?

Are you still playing games? If so, what and with who? What is your relationship to consumerism? What sport type activities are you doing? What recreational technologies are around that I wouldn’t even know about now? How did the real-life roleplaying game turn out?!

Right now, at 30, I feel so many tensions that make me scared, but I also recognize my conscious work to change and grow. I hope that this work has made a difference for you. I hope that the things I’m doing now, the reflecting, the pushing will have some concrete impact on you over there. I hope that it will keep you in this world and that it will keep you fighting. Beyond that, I’m prepared for the winds of life to blow you far and wide. But please at least be there to be present and feel them. And please, if you are there, feel deeply inside yourself for your thirst for justice and inspiration. That’s gotten us far, and if you’ve lost your connection to that, please trust that I have some wisdom too and try to feel for it again.

Throwing all of my love, pain, and fear out there for you to feel again,

Jeremy

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi