Dear Mom and Dad,

I write this letter to you from the back office of a Whole Foods, where I am being accused of shoplifting once again.

Dad, I can already imagine you reading this and saying, “Yeah. I see nothing wrong with that. What’s the problem here?”

This may sound crazy but the fact that I’ve been caught shoplifting and can’t pay for my own groceries is making me feel bad about myself. I know that my pursuit of an unattainable and unsustainable comedy career has been the proudest parenting moment for both of you, but I am at my wit’s end. The level of unfulfillment in my life has reached a boiling point and I must follow my dream of working in the human resources department of a mid-sized corporation.

The thought of one day clipping an ID badge to a pair of pleated khakis gives me a thrill for life that I have never experienced. When I envision myself stuck in traffic on the morning commute listening to 103.5 KISS FM, a smile appears on my face and it gives me the courage to know that I’m strong enough to do anything I want in this world. As a kid I remember seeing people who worked in human resources at Dad’s company picnics and I would think to myself, “There’s no way I could ever do that.” But now I know that I can at least try to do it.

No, I know that I can do it.

Mom, I want to apologize to you. Please know that I am not making this decision to hurt you. I can’t imagine the pain you will have to endure when your friends ask, “So…what is Matt up to these days?” and for the first time in your life you will have an actual answer for them. I’m so sorry I won’t be asking you for money anymore. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had with you were when I drunkenly called you at 11pm on a Thursday night, frantically asking for money because I owed my roommate $5,000.

It was in those moments that I was unaware of how unselfish and empathetic I could really be.

Dad, I’m sorry that you will no longer feel the pride of securing a job for your son, only for it to be squashed because he claims that he is trying to make a living as an artist, even though he has only one show a week sans compensation. God only knows the amount of energy you put into making sure I never developed a work ethic as a child. Few parents spent the time not developing their child’s self-confidence in order to make sure they could never be successful in a full-time job.

Even though I am pursuing a stable career in human resources, please remember that I will always be your emotionally underdeveloped and insecure son who has trouble looking people square in the eye.

To be honest with you I don’t know if I have the talent to work in HR (sorry, that’s an industry term for people who work in human resources). I know that throwing away something unpredictable for something so stable is responsible and mature, but I don’t care.

I know you’re going to tell me, “Matthew, the odds of anyone actually making it in human resources are so large and actually realistic. How can you do this to us? What are we going to do when we’re old and you’re in the position to take care of us?”

I don’t know, but I have to try. I’m so sorry.

Your loving son,

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