A Letter to My Future-Self

I hang out with people who for the most part are within themselves and try to understand why they do the things that they do. They seem to like my company and I enjoy that. I’ve come to realize my true happiness in life and this being–“nothing is everything I could’ve asked for.”  An understanding from being right and wrong is nothing more than just a simple twist of words intertwined with a reality that a person or persons sees fit. But it doesn’t make them wrong. It’s just they see it that way because of past experiences. I experiment in daily life and try to relay some information through the hidden ways that I have been shown, taught, and made sense within myself. And within myself there is a battle going on that no one can see. Because I carry it so well they think I have nothing. And that is everything. When I have everything I need at the moment, why waste time, money, and persistence to obtain an object or anything for that matter. It just makes sense to me to not go after that next object. That means I’m trying to obtain happiness for others instead of myself. It’s just an innate understanding or feeling that I have. I can’t seem to shake it or explain in any other way than just doing the things that I know how to do. And that is just being the person that I am.

New York skyline, April 23, 2022
Portrait of friend, November 16, 2019

Anybody else with a mind can sew words together to try and make themselves come across as a macho-type or a being of high intellect. Yet both of these people are the same in their truest form.  Nothing just happens. Like one of my favorite comedians has said,  “to be a slut you just have to be there.” You just have to be there to understand other people instead of getting information from other people. Get information from the source to understand the whole picture. You have two sides to a story, within those two stories you have other people trying to explain what they saw and then so on and so forth. It’s not rocket science to understand people. So why do we make it so? I think it’s because we will listen to reply rather than listen to/and understand where to interject and say your part. It’s just elementary, my dear Watson. It’s just simple mathematics. There is no other place I’d rather be than to be here at this moment writing my thoughts down as they stream and string together like a river and a spider web respectively. One going one way towards the end with the other being together in many different places. I have said this many times and I’ve gone mad trying to explain this, “Everything is everything. Everything is nothing. Nothing is everything and nothing is nothing.” To have that mindset or ideal is hard to grasp at face value. “…beneath the clothes we find a man and beneath the man we find … his nucleus.” I’ve always wanted to be something in life. I haven’t come to find out what that may be. But in the wise words of someone I look up to said, “have fun with the process of doing something you enjoy. Be happy with the journey, not just the end goal.” Or something like that I know I botched what he said, but essentially, to me anyway that’s what he said.

I don’t know how to meet new people so I just stay to myself.

On the other hand, when I am with people I am comfortable with I become who I am and people are drawn to that. Whether they are the lowest of the low or the highest of the high. The conversation remains the same. I let the person talk and I try to understand them not to be condescending and think I know everything but because I actually care about the other person. I may not have the responses you are looking for but my responses are genuine and that’s all I try to have. On the outside it looks like I’m self-righteous but on the inside I’m soft like a warm jelly donut. Some people also become a mirror and reflect what they see on other people into their own person. And that is fine but people call it fake because they don’t do that. Which is also fine, people don’t need to do what you do to make do. Like I’ve said before people have had experiences where it has changed them and their perception of the reality they see. They can’t see why you see things the other way unless you explain it to them. I speak in metaphors and phrases that aren’t apparent anymore, but they make sense when spoken. “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.” And I think I’m an artist so therefore I am. I am the things that you say I am but you’re not the things I say you are because you’re better than me? No, I say those things to try and help you understand, none of this shit fucking matters. Nothing, not me, not you, not anybody. Until we learn where we can take each other there’s no need for constant connection. We need to escape within ourselves once in a while and be happy with finding ourselves rather than distracting ourselves with materials that don’t mean anything to impress people we don’t even like or don’t even like us. Be the person you are and people will come but don’t be surprised that if you’re an asshole you attract assholes. I’m saying you can be the better person and not have to deal with other people's bullshit by simply letting them talk. To understand why they do what they do to make do. Nice guys will always “start” last because the race hasn’t even begun yet. People think once you get to race that the race is over. No hare, this is a marathon race, and you will be distracted, tired, and upset that I’m going at my own pace.

June 12, 2020

Understandably, nothing in life is ever easy.

You have to go through the bushes to get to flowers. You have to farm to get vegetables and fruits. You have to plant seeds to grow. But essentially, it’s how you water it and maintain that consistency to watch the flower and vegetables blossom. And you do the same with human beings. If you tell them they suck at what they do and then you “hope” they change. And if they’re smart enough to understand why you’re saying what you’re saying they will change and get better. But realistically, tell somebody they’re doing a good job and they will get better and better at what they do and with more confidence.

Landscape, September 23, 2022‌ ‌

With this understanding, you’ve probably concluded that I’m a downright know it all. It’s hard for you to accept that this newly twenty-six year old is at a higher understanding than you, a “full-grown adult” who did what mommy and daddy told you to do.

Is it outside factors causing you to do things? Then change those outside factors by moving away or getting new friends. Is it your inside factors? Change yourself before you start to do things you’re uncomfortable with. And if you’re already doing them and can’t figure out what to do, get out. If you think you can change yourself whilst doing these things, then you must understand that it’s not getting easier the more you go along. You just somehow get better at hiding things more than others.

That’s why I said before: I just got better at hiding things more than other people.

People will say, “Stop being a bitch” or “ stop being so soft” and “stop talking about it and do it.”

Okay big man, if I know I’m going to fail, why should I try? I know my plan is going the way it’s supposed to be so I’m going to trust my process not just look at you succeeding short term in things that I have no interest in. This is not a race, it’s a marathon. And I’m fine with going at a slower rate than most people.

You have to take chances. Scratch that!  You have to take well educated chances in order to find the path you’re looking to follow. But if you can’t do that then be the light and people will follow.

You are the only one that can do this so be kind always. Do one act of random kindness a day and see where it takes you.


Paul O’Connor (he/him) works at Highline Stages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. He writes whenever he has time to himself, whether it’s ten minutes, five minutes, or even a few seconds, like, “oh that sounds good; I’ll expand on it later.”