Dear Jess – A Letter From An Old Crush

Dear Jess,

I saw you with your mom and dad at KFC yesterday. I was eating with my family there too. I had mostly potatoes since I don’t like KFC’s chicken that much. They were great!

I hear that you and Tim are getting married! That’s good to hear. Although I personally don’t believe in marriage, I wish you both the best.

Feeling Embarrassed About Myself

When I saw you come in to KFC, my first reaction was to hide. To be honest, I’m embarrassed of where I am in life right now. I gained weight in college, but I did lose most of it (I’m at 212 right now). I’m not nearly as embarrassed about my weight as I am about being a college dropout, unemployed, and still living with my parents. Granted, I’m not 33 yet so I shouldn’t be so ashamed of myself as I am.

I guess I’m just jealous of what seemingly everyone our age has. I’ve been keeping in touch with a lot of our old classmates and they’re graduating college and getting ready to move out on their own. Some of them are married and already have kids. Of course, they may not be living under the best circumstances (using food stamps just to get by, living in ratty-ass apartments and trailers, etc), but I feel that they’re better off than me; someone who seems to have failed to launch.

What I’ve Done In Five Years

I was just like you and them almost 5 years ago; a bright-eyed high school graduate ready to go to college and take on whatever life had to offer. Things didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped for.

I went to ITT Tech almost right after high school. Not even a month into it, my dad passed away. Although I didn’t see him for 2 years prior to his death, it still tore me up inside. One of my dad’s friends asked me if I had inherited any of his musical talents (he was a musician), and I honestly couldn’t answer him. I spent the next year mulling that question through my brain before I decided to do something about it and I bought a guitar. I practiced a lot and although I became frustrated with not being able to play complex songs like Master of Puppets and the like, I did enjoy playing guitar and decided to do my own thing with it, which I still do today.

Now as far as how I got kicked out of college, let me tell you.

In the winter, my van broke down. I didn’t have enough money to fix it so I leased a car (big mistake!) out of desperation and continued to go to ITT Tech. Because of my added expenses, I had to work more and more at McDonald’s. This began to put a strain on my schoolwork and after several warnings and attempts to help boost my grades, I was kicked out of ITT Tech.

Being a college graduate, you most likely know how loans and all that stuff works. Once you graduate or stop taking classes, your 6-month grace period for your loans kicks in. I didn’t see myself being able to pay on my loans in my current situation so I decided to go back to college, this time to a private 4-year university. Now how does a guy who got kicked out of ITT Tech get into a university without boosting his GPA to a satisfactory level? I have no idea, but I think it had something to do with pleading to them.

I then went to a real college and I felt free for the first time in my life. I relished in my new-found freedom and was thankful that I got in. Thinking that the bulk of my work was over, I then became a lazy bastard and was put on academic suspension after the first semester. I wrote them a lengthy and well thought-out letter of appeal. After several sleepless nights during Christmas Break, I was given one last chance to prove myself.

For the first half of the next semester, I worked like a dog. I was completely driven to succeed and raise my GPA sky high. But then, some bad news came my way. You see, my mom and stepdad married before I went to college and they collectively make too much to get a lot of federal grants, but they don’t make nearly enough to put me through college by themselves. This left me with a huge bill with no grants or loans to help me pay it off. I fell into a deep depression. I believed that no matter how well I did in college, it wouldn’t matter since I couldn’t continue the next semester. My grades began to slip and I’d hardly ever go to classes. Near the end of the semester, I decided to go out in a blaze of glory and did my best on the homework and final exams. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. I was kicked out of college again, but this time, with a bigger bill.

Living My Life With Purpose

I moved in with my aunt and cousins for about 6 months and contemplated what I would do with my life. I had no car, no job, no degree, and seemingly no future. This is when things began to turn around for me.

I decided to work on my personal growth and began to visit websites like StevePavlina.com in order to help me on my way. I began biking 20 miles a day and lost a lot of my college weight. Things were looking up again.

I began to get annoyed by my aunt’s constant negativity and felt trapped living there. I then asked my parents if I could move back in and they allowed me to. I thank them for that even today, although I feel trapped living here too.

I feel that I have a greater purpose in life than being another cog in a machine. I want to bring joy, happiness, and hope into peoples’ lives through my writing and musical talents. Going to college gave me the knowledge I needed to start a website, but life gave me the will to use it. It feels good to share my thoughts and feelings, however random and weird, with the world like this. I know that I am not alone on my journey to self-discovery and personal growth.

I guess the main reason I feel trapped living with my parents is because I have progressed beyond that, but my financial situation is holding me back and it’s frustrating me. I do plan on moving out and rooming with some buddies of mine sometime in August. I just can’t wait!

Fond Memories, But Only Memories

I still remember that day in the auditorium when they auctioned off the homecoming queen candidates for cancer and I won you like it was last night. I remember picking you up and swinging you around (clumbsily, but still) right in front of Tim and a roaring crowd. The reaction of the audience when they announced my name and while I was swinging you around stays with me to this day, as silly as it may be.

I want to tell you that I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure if I ever did to be honest. I will admit, I lusted after you big time. You were in many an adolescent dream, but I never really got to know the real Jess and I feel so bad for not doing so. I’m sure you’re more than just a hot body and that you’re a great person. I feel that I really missed out on something great, but I’m ready to move on with my life.

If you see me around, you don’t have to ignore me and I shouldn’t have to hide from you. Let me tell you what I didn’t have the courage to say at KFC; “Hi.”

Wishing You All The Best,

Andy.