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Dear Future Self,

I am writing to you from my on-campus apartment at Ithaca College. It’s February 3rd and we just got a whole bunch of snow. Almost too much if you ask me. I hope you’re not too busy shoveling to read this. You should be 49 now, just about to turn 50. I am trying to wrap my head around everything that must’ve changed between now and then, and hopefully some things have stayed the same. Loss is inevitable but I am hopeful you didn’t experience it alone.

Very recently I have started to question what exactly it is I am doing with my life, so I hope I have that figured out before I’m 50. Are you someone we’d look up to when we were 20? Are we still advocating for underrepresented voices in contemporary music? Are we still playing music? Sorry for all of the questions but I really am in a place of uncertainty in life at the moment. Certainty is something I’ve been lacking for a while, both in my life and in the world. I feel like I’m asking so much from you, but I swear to work in order to become as great as you are.

The world right now doesn’t isn’t in a great spot. I find it hard for you to have forgotten but I am still in the middle of a global pandemic, but more than that the world isn’t doing so great at preserving itself. It hurts me to think that some animals will only exist to our children and their children in textbooks or images. With this pattern of deforestation forest fires, are there still clean and standing parks for them to enjoy?

Ethan, I hope you can look out your window while you read this and see a world that we’re happy with. A world that will treat our children well. It is our responsibility to leave a place where future generations can live healthily and happily. This is bigger than us.

With light,
Ethan

Hello Ethan,

It’s me again. It is now May 5, 2021, and I wanted to check back in with you. A lot has happened in our lives over the past few months. We turned 21 and Caroline, Elli and Anna threw us such a nice party. We performed our junior recital, and it went very well! But these things aren’t the reason I felt the need to touch base with you. I wanted to talk about injustice. Last year we saw a major rise in the Black Lives Matter movement after videos were taken of police brutality. Just this year we saw the rise of the Stop Asian Hate movement. Even now I am finding it hard to put what I feel into words. I really hope that this feeling is not one our kids must feel or try and describe. I promise I am working to educate myself and amplify the voices of these underrepresented populations. My recital was music only by living black composers, and I am trying so hard to do what I think is right. I truly and sincerely hope that you never stop working against and fighting injustice.

I know it is tough Ethan. We have expected to be an advocate for ourselves from the second we have been in school. Please, please never stop advocating for yourself or for the ones you love. Your voice is so much more powerful than you’ll ever understand. We have the power to enact change. Stay strong and stay true.

With Light,
Ethan

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