SWAK (Sealed With a Kindle)

I’ve been gearing up for the last two weeks (read: Hibernation of the Spongebob Kind) to present some kind of record of this life moment — an account of those first pre-steps to my first, big, official move. I have approximately 12,000 video ideas and an equal amount of accompanying blog ideas. It’s 11:00pm the night before my flight to JFK that I finally sit down to do it.
Except I don’t.
I find myself (literally, find myself; I must’ve mentally blacked out from the exhaustion of  this weekend’s roadtrips to Vegas and back within 48 hours. Guys, what am I doing with my life?!) —

I find myself writing a letter. To myself.


I did this before I went to Milan, completely forgot about it, found it while I was moving out, and cried happy tears of angsty reflection and WTF, LIFE all the way home.
And I’m down to do that again.
How sweet would it be to open this up, one long, obese-with-change year later on the anniversary of my big move to New York? By then, I imagine, I’ll have a favorite corner in my new apartment (which will probably consist of 3 corners total, 3 feet apart), a favorite pillow to sit on, a favorite type of not-FDA-approved-but-cheap wine in my favorite Tigger mug from my favorite corner store, all with which to read my letter.
Then Joey & Ross & Rachel and those guys will wander in with their shenanigans again, maybe their duck — you know the one — and I’ll have to shoo them away. Ugh, you guys. Not now!

Right? So annoying.

Anyway, I ended up writing my future self a 6 page letter (Somewhere, Aaliyah is rolling her eyes, like, Overachiever). I’ve clipped off a few excerpts and because I’m tired of getting unsolicited graduate advice, I’ll pass some along to you:

Do this today.

Give yourself something to do a year from now besides Tumblr.
…And then alright, go Tumble about it.

Dear 2012 Berna,

So the world’s not over? That’s cool. Remember when you were obsessed with the Y2K apocalypse when you were 10? You sat at this exact table, depressed and watching SClub7 in the dim kitchen light like it was a freaking mid-afternoon dive bar, thinking thoughts like “How could a show and storyline and entertainment at all exist when the world is about to end? Aren’t there other things the world should be doing?!” And somehow SClub felt like a sweet escape from the perils of the “real world,” you pretentious double-digited mother(bleep).

If it did end and someone found this, you have my expressed permission to publish it, granted that all proceeds go to the last surviving Mangubat. And I know one of us stubborn turds survived.

Mom has said the word “packing” more times in the last 2 weeks than lifelong nomads might, ever. You get agitated by it easily still, like Minaj-blasting-from-your-Sansa-Clip irritated, which goes to show that while you’ve grown up a lot, after 4 years on your own, you can’t deal with being parented from an understanding-adult perspective. But hey, we’ve all got (bleep) to work on.

It’s been 2 weeks of hibernation, eating, sleeping and watching movies while struggling with feelings of “Should I be documenting this? Or is this gross?” against monstrous bouts of un-motivation and life-on-pause-ery. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. Duh. But you’re ready to call it a comeback. Kinda. You’re speeding forward like Sonic le Hedgehog, if only to create that protective blue orb around you that blocks out threats:
That you’ll miss home, your town, your usual haunts, your ability to drive. That no one in the world could replace your best friends, or the void they leave. That YOU are doing the leaving — it’s not an “inevitable” life-leave that people expect, like college . You’ve seen that by the way 99.5% of your friends have chosen to stay/go home post-grad. This is your first you-and-only-you-driven world changing decision; you’ve chosen to abandon your current life. You’re creating a different one for yourself. As amazing and terrifying and jarring and wild and irresponsible and brave and stupid and exhilarating as that is.
That your family is undeniably boss; that they see you as the “genius,” “hero,” “the one that made it out” because I have the balls & skill (read: naivete) to pack up and chase a dream across a continent. That — and this is the worst part — as heartbroken as they are to see you leave, they will bend over backwards and sacrifice everything, anything to help you do it, simply because you want to and they’re pimps and they love you like that.
We’ll leave that for when my mom leaves and I can cry into my subletter’s pillow (sorry, girl).


Alright, the rest gets kind of personal; it involves a mandatory dictated text to my current-future NYC lifelines, surely-inaccurate Cher references and several word association games. The question is…

How much wine will I need to read this one year from now?



PS: America, skip the freakin’ iPad and get your new grads a Kindle.
Same free 3G capabilities, same threat to codependence on technology, but a less direct path to crippling nearsightedness and $300+ cheaper! I’ve swallowed up Bossypants and Hunger Games in 3 days — in neglecting my Facebook, I’ve lost nothing; in reading those books, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for all things Greek, Jewish, and left for dead with a spear through it (not in that order nor combination).

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