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Adho Go-na! (To Cerno @ 16)

Mon, 30 Nov, 09

Yes that’s you, the puss flecked 16 year old diarrhoea stain with a face in a Biggle’s book. This is a message from the 21st century by your adult self. You wouldn’t be getting this if not for the coercive powers of an angel and an anthropologist. Before you drift off here are some gifts of hind sight.

You are going to get through the O’Levels with results you have never dared to dream about so don’t commit suicide (you actually can’t). You are not as stupid as you think you are. Its the result of 3 things -

  • setting standard impossibly high
  • putting down your hard won achievements to luck
  • viewing mistakes as proof of inherent stupidity

The really important thing though it to trust your first instincts without question and doubt all secondary thoughts. Your first instincts about a person, situation or a place is almost always right. You will find this out the long hard way later. Particularly in regard to women (you’ll be shocked to know there will be a lot of them).

Women (not girls)

Three women will declare that they want to marry you. You should run from them as fast as possible. Bail out to relationships your instincts tell you are dead. Or you’ll end up going down with the burning wreckage. It will hurt pretty bad but you will survive and be toughened. I won’t give you relationship advice because you’ll need to go through all the duds before you eventually find THE ONE. It will take a while but the journey will be worth it.

There is nothing wrong with having diverse interests. People will call this weird because you will impossible to pigeon hole. To a surprising lot this will make you a frightening character. Don’t wait for institutions to adapt to changes you see coming. Ditch them for more enlightened places.

You are right in feeling uncomfortable about divides between art, technology, and the “social” sciences. Trying to find connections between them will be interesting, lonely, fulfilling and without any safe harbours or clear routes. You’ll have to hack your own path which is the only way you can feel true to your self.

Computers are going to be a big part of life, not just yours. Two big tips

  1. Computers will be the new oil paint in art.
  2. Avoid tinkering endlessly with-something called Linux – you won’t save the world with it.

In a few months, after you’ve passed the O’levels, you’ll be picked for the rugger team. Don’t leave it because your mother’s scared that you’ll break your spine. It’s the best game you’ll ever play. It will show that you can be a team player without compromising things you care about. Leaving the team is something you’ll regret your decision the rest of your life (if you do stay on the team after reading this I hope you don’t end up in a wheel chair).

In a few years you are going to travel to places with snow and realise that snow is not as fun as it seems in the books you read. The good thing is that you’ll finally make life long friends from people all over the world. You’ll get to travel and work in interesting places.

When you start feeling worn down by the life you are leading head home to Sri Lanka. Even thought it might mean the last thing you would want to do. It will be the only place you’ll truly feel at home. Going back to the insane island is the only way to realise that. I know you won’t relived this but the LTTE will be totally destroyed within the first decade of the 21st century. That won’t fix everything but it will be a big step.

A few last tips from the future. In 2004 buy shares (never-mind if you don’t understand the term or how to do it) in a small American company called Google. Don’t forget that. To answer some of your more pressing questions about the early 21st century: There are still no bases on the moon, and humans haven’t gone to Mars. There will never be another Blake 7 series (sorry to traumatise you). Orwell’s 1984 was metaphorically spot one. Colombo at least has more than 2 TV channels. The rest you’ll discover sooner and later.

Sorry I had to yell at you but that’s the only way I could get your face out of that Biggle’s book. All the best and don’t forget what I told you about google.

I here by tag Herr Java Jones, Indi, the libertarian and Sanjana ;)

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Mon, 30 Nov, 09 11:00

    lol :D

  2. Mon, 30 Nov, 09 14:55

    What she said :lol: Good one :D

  3. Mon, 30 Nov, 09 17:28

    Happy I was able to induce some laughter :D twas fun pecking this one out.

  4. Mon, 30 Nov, 09 17:33

    Hey Cerno – there would be no point to the letter, as I wouldn’t want me as a 16 year-old to change a thing. It’s been a pretty wild and wonderful ride and any small change would, no doubt, alter that reality.

    Cheers!

  5. Mon, 30 Nov, 09 18:53

    See, I told you about Java didn’t I? Grumpy old bugger!

  6. Mon, 30 Nov, 09 19:33

    I would write a similar note my younger self too ;). Anyway my game is baseball which I never got to play seriously.

  7. Chavie permalink
    Mon, 30 Nov, 09 21:05

    oooooh goody!!! loved this Cerno! :D

    I didn’t you played rugger?! :D and “Avoid tinkering endlessly with-something called Linux – you won’t save the world with it.” – I think that piece of advice is going to help me a lot in the coming years! ;) lol

  8. Tue, 1 Dec, 09 03:56

    Great post Cerno :) Spot on about snow not being as much fun as you expect along with cold weather in general :( The weather is really getting to me these days, even with the lack of snow.

  9. Tue, 1 Dec, 09 16:29

    javajones : :D I think you just wrote the shortest “Dear 16″ letter ever!

    RD: :lol: Didn’t think he was grumpy ;)

    chanux: You could be the only one not on the band wagon :)

    Chavie: :lol: glad I could be of help ;)

    Vindi: My sympathies. After all those exiles in frozen place I’m still not a cold weather animal myself :) so I know the feeling. Keep warm out there!

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