In high school Philosophy class, Mr. P, a fantastic teacher, made us write a letter to ourselves in 10 years. I did, but I can recall not wanting to receive it. At the time, there had been so much I wanted to forget. Even though it was part of the assignment, I had not put postage on it, and the assignment had required putting extra postage (who knew what postage rates were going to be in 10 years?)
That's about all I remembered from the letter. Just that feeling. That this contained sad secrets.
But the secrets weren't things I'd forgotten. They were simply things that had less impact over time. And the memory that I had feelings once about those things wasn't sad or painful.
It was pretty joyous.
Here it is, in it's entirety, spelling and punctuation intact, but I have tagged it for footnotes. Picture of the letter and footnote commentary following.
Dear Justus Raymond Owen Perry,
Well, it's been ten years. Ten long motherfuckin' years, huh? What are you doing now? Do you remember what you were doing ten years ago? What was happening when you wrote this letter? Well, lemme refreshy your memory... 
Senior year of high school, you're still living with your parents, you're planning on being a filmmaker, you download mp3's and watch tv a good portion of the day.  Socially, you spend most of your time in the Nook at the high school. Some of your best friends are/were: Cassie, Tal, John, Alex, Big Paul, Little Paul, Natasha (Remember her? How's she doing now? Give her a call if you haven't spoken in a while, she's a good friend),  Aniket, Thea, Miles, Luke, Amy and all the others in the Nook? Then there was also Jossie and Jason and Liz, Cora, Alice, Becky, and the girl group? If your ten-year class reunion hasn't happened yet, remember to say hi to them for me, okay?
Anyways, how're you doing? Are you doing what I thought you were going to do? Are you writing books and making films [4.5] and being a generally cool, happy guy? Did you finish Private Shrines ? How about Die A Little Death? If you did, good for you! That makes me proud. 
You'd damn well better remember who this is from.  If you don't, it's you. You sent this ten years ago, senior year of high school for your philosophy class. When you wrote it you were listening to all 1105 songs in your mp3 collection. I wonder if mp3's will still even be around in 10 years. Heh, I doubt they'll be around in three.  After you finish this, you're going to watch Boston Public on FOX, and then probably play some Crono Trigger (remember that game? If you can, find it and play it, along with Illusion of Gaia, the reason you wanted to name your first son Seth).  Do you have kids now? Thinking back to Natasha, did she ever have kids? Did she ask you to be the father like she told you she would? What about Sara from Britain, Bog and Jossie's friend? Did you meet her? Have you been to England? My god man, have you done anything of what you wanted to do?  If you answered no, it's just about damn time you did them. I don't give half a fuck what your financial situation is. You only live once (that is, unless they have by this time invented a pill to make that not true). 
Are you still doing comedy? Are you still writing? Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Are you drinking? Are you smoking? If you are, quit. That's right, don't make it for your kids like it was for you. Break the cycle. 
Man, it must be cool to be you. You'll have had all the experiences that I haven't had yet. But I bet this letter feels good too, doesn't it? Thinking back on all your high school days. You miss those, don't you? Life was just a bit simpler then, wasn't it? 
Well, I hope that you've enjoyed this. I wonder if you'll cry. I wonder if you'll tear it up or burn it. Knowing your sorry ass, you'll frame it or some wack shizzat like that. Anyways, keep up the good work, and if it ain't good work yet, you damn well better make it good work. 
Justus (age 17)
[Awful squiggly signature and little face I used to draw on everything]
 I'm pretty sure that "refreshy your memory" was a typo I thought was charming. I still kind of do.
 Nothing has changed.
 We don't speak as much as we used to, which sucks, but I think of my best friend often.
 I remember each and every one of those people, and fondly for most of them. To me what's telling is who isn't on the list (I can't tell if this is around the time a friend tried to fight me. The fact that I included one name on there, despite how angry I was with them, is also telling.
 I am doing those things and being that guy. I act as a job. I live in LA, doing comedy. I did finish Private Shrines , and didn't think of it for many years until my mom (whom I cowrote the story with) was asked if she had anything to submit to a short story collection. My first published short story is going to be in a collection called Impossible Futures, and it can be preordered from Pink Narcissus press. www.pinknarc.com I find it really funny that this letter came roughly a month before it came out.
I have no idea what Die A Little Death is, though...
 As soon as I saw the envelope.
 At the time (late 2001/early 2002), I would say that was a fairly extensive collection compared to most people. But yeah, no more mp3's, right guys?
 I don't know why I wanted to remember Boston Public, though I do love some Chi McBride. It really bothers me that I misspell Chrono Trigger (which remains my all-time favorite game). I still want to name a kid Seth, but now I have an awesome friend he can actually be named after. Reminds me that I want to do an all-time best games post...
 I don't have kids, though I am married now and it looms on the horizon. I have been to England though, and loved it. I never met Sara, but I had a weird AOL Instant Messenger crush on her (she sent pictures (not naughty) and was very cute).
 Sigh, I yolo'd. But thankfully I mocked it even before I needed to.
 I am writing. I am comedying (come-DYING?!). I am driving for Lyft, so dead-end is not far off. I don't drink very much, and I don't smoke cigarettes. At the time, I hadn't tried pot, and I'll make myself the promise not to ever smoke pot around the kids at least. Should be pretty easy to follow that rule.
 Yes and no. The letter did feel good to receive, and I do miss some things from high school. All those people (even the ones I was angry with, even the ones I purposely left off the list) were all pretty great. I know I was unhappy at times, but still. I didn't lead a terrible life. It sure as shit was simpler.
 I didn't cry. I didn't tear it up or burn it. I know I was depressed when I wrote this, but none of that depression registered in the letters. And knowing my sorry ass, I really want to frame it or some wack shizzat like that.
This whole things makes me reflect on those years pretty fondly, and the years following it as well. All the people I know that aren't in this letter simply because I hadn't met them yet. All those I will still meet. Reminds me it's gonna be a pretty great existence. Thanks for being a part of it, everyone.