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Excerpt from the Memoirs of Craig Retsnimde

Excerpt from the Memoirs of Craig Retsnimde

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Craig X. Retsnimde
Appendix B: Correspondence and Rough Drafts

Context Unknown

I can give you a shoulder to cry on, but nothing more than that. I can tell you things in an attempt to make you feel beter, but my heart is my own. I can offer sympathy, but not romance. From what you have told me, your former flame was a horrible person; you must learn that not everyone is like that.

You seem to think that I am a perfect match for you, but please rest assured that this is not the case. Sure, I look good on paper, but you would quickly tire of my ideals. I have very few ideals, but I would do anything in pursuit of them. Because of this, I really do not expect to reach my Thirties. I burn hot, and I burn bright.

I am not what you are looking for. You are hurting right now, and are looking for something to cling to; someone to claim as your One and Only. I can be a friend, but do not confuse this with romantic intentions. I can offer advice, and dispense words of wisdom.

You have been burned, and burned quite badly. Let the fire harden you, tempering your emotions and outlook. Give it time, and you will recover. It may not feel like it, but trust me on this. You will survive. A little wiser, a little hardened, a little more resolute.

You must learn from this experience. Things that are too good to be true often are, as you have discovered. Skepticism will get you through life, but be careful to not let it cut you off from everyone else. Be more careful with your heart. You only have one, and it does not like being given haphazardly.

This next section of advice will probably hurt, but please understand that it is necessary to hear. I want you to know that it is not intended to seem mean-spirited, hence this warning. Ready for it? Here goes.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You made a mistake in handing your heart to someone who treated it harshly. Mistakes are just that: errors in judgement. It is time for you to stop wallowing in the pain, and start realising that it does not matter in the long run. Fifty years from now nobody will care that you once made a common mistake in your youth, so get over it.

Life is meant to be lived, not moped about. Life is also much shorter than you think; you may die tomorrow. Do you really want the last day of your life to be spent crying over spilt milk? It is a far better thing to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue on.

I am serious about the fragility of life. This is not meant to scare you into inaction, though. Rather, it is meant to spur you towards actually *living*. Every breath you take, every blink of the eye, every keystroke may be your last. Make sure that you savor every moment, because you don't know how many more there are.

I don't pretend that any of this is going to be easy. In fact, it may be one of the most excruciatingly painful moments of your life so far. I liken the process to surgery without anaesthetic. While it would be nice to have someone else do the repair work, you have to learn how to do it by yourself.

It is important that you perform the operation dispassionately. If you have any hatred as you excise the sorrow, you will end up disfiguring yourself beyond all hope of repair. I can't teach you how to cleanse yourself of hatred, because everyone has a different technique. Personally, I forgive those who wronged me to cleanse myself.

You have the opportunity to change your life for the better. The longer you ignore it, the harder it will be to accomplish anything positive. I have faith in you. I believe you will weather this rough patch, and you will turn out a stronger person for it. All it takes is persistence.
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