The Last Letter to the Future, Teenage Daughter


Dear Harper,

This is going to be your last letter for now. Or at least, the last one I post for a hundred eyes to see. Writing these to you has been one of the clearest spots in a year riddled with sadness. It’s been bleak, but I’d be lying to tell you if there weren’t some crazy beautiful moments. It is California, after all. So now, I’m going to indulge in some serious Microsoft Word Narcissism and tell you about your future father, this time in his life. Post grad, Mid-20’s, clueless, and susceptible to all forms of sunsets.

  • Books make him feel less alone
  • He loves LCD Soundsystem and still dreams of the day when they get back together.
  • Some of his favorite films of the past 15 years are Far From Heaven, The Social Network, Blue is the Warmest Color, Whiplash, Her, Short Term 12, and Before Midnight.
  • As you guessed by now, he writes a lot of letters and stories. It’s the only way he knows how to get anything out of his head because usually when he opens his mouth nothing good ever comes of it. It’s like stupidity to the third degree of dumbness divided by idiocy times nonsense.
  • He’s terrified of wasting the best years of his life.
  • 17% of his heart is somewhere in Brooklyn, 24% is in Barcelona, and the other 54% is in Manhattan Beach. The final 5% is at Amoeba Records.
  • His life was changed for the better when he heard a character say “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.” It was from Almost Famous. He can’t wait to show you the bootleg cut.
  • He’s afraid no woman will ever be crazy enough to love him, but this trivial fear is sometimes replaced by the fact that some days, he even has trouble loving himself.
  • His guilty pleasures include Panda Express, Carmel Apple Cider from Starbucks, the 1991 masterpiece film Point Break, the 1975, the Apple Pan, spending nights at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard. Also Swedish Meatballs from Ikea.
  • He used to be fat. Like really, really fat. Like Schmidt from New Girl. Then he lost some weight. And he hadn’t even discovered Panda Express yet.
  • He’d rather not tell you about the few women he’s fallen for in life just yet. This thing is ridiculous enough as it is.
  • He lives in Los Angeles and if it were up to him, he’d spend every day at the beach, eating fish tacos, making new Summer Spotify playlists with wildly original names like It Feels Like Summer’s Heating Up, Can I Leave With You?

And as gorgeous as it’s been out here, some days are harder then others. But along the way, I’ve acquired some fruitful knowledge in my 47 years on this earth (kidding! Or am I?). Here are my final pieces of life advice to you:

  • Take too many pictures. Listen to Jenny Lewis and the Alabama Shakes. Eat a lot of sushi.
  • Drive down a long, beach highway blasting the song “Young Blood.” It’ll make sense.
  • Be kind to people. Especially your Grandparents. They’re going to spoil you to no end.
  • Be witty. It’s totally a lost thing these days.
  • Fall in love with someone who comes from a good family. And when you do fall — and it’s going to happen — there’s literally nothing you can do to avoid it (except maybe move to Berlin). It mostly sucks — this unbearable drop of vulnerability for another person. But sometimes they’ll catch you in that drop. Other times they won’t and you’ll fall even harder until you hit the ground aching.
  • When this happens, watch Roman Holiday or Love Actually and wish that everyone around you was British and charming. Also, read these letters.
  • Keep people around you who are just as imperfect and wonderful as you are.

A few people have asked me why I started writing these to you. The truth is, I don’t have a smart or sarcastic enough answer for them. I think it’s because for the last few years there were some incredible, original women in my life who made me better. They believed in happy endings even when I laughed at the notion of them. The time I spent with them left me joyfully tired, teary-eyed and vindicated. As it turns out, one of those women introduced me to a song written by a female singer whose music I’ve come to adore. The song was written to the daughter of a man that she used to live with, before he left her out of the blue for someone else. The song was about the world and how she could conquer it all if she wanted to, how she had nothing but time to do all the things she wanted. She was trying to tell her that despite the fact that it’s a big, bad world full of twists and turns, she was going to be so much more than ok. She was going to fly.

So Harper, I’m telling you; it’s up to you to be like nobody. You will be magic.

I’m going to say good night. This weary soul is finally going to try and take a breath.

Eternally Yours,

Matt