May 6, 2009


Dear 16-Year-Old Me....

Now here is an exercise we should all try. Write a letter to your 16-year-old self. The linked responses are wonderful.

Start yours, I'll do mine tomorrow. You guys get to do your anonymously...I'm not so lucky :)

Off to play with Harley-Davidsons. Pray for me.

Edit: Here's my Letter to Me:

It became 1980 last week, and you really need to lose the leg warmers and the side ponytail. These pictures are gonna embarrass you, though not half so much as the towering bangs that you will, for some reason, cling to for another four years like a life raft.

As others have noted, quit bitching about your body. It's as good as it's going to get - clothe it better, show it to a few more people, and quit fussing.

It's going to take another 24 years for you to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Really. I'd tell you to dodge the marriage, but the kids are too damned wonderful.

You are about to lose someone you love, suddenly and tragically. The blow will level you, but it will also define you. Never take another precious person in your life for granted.

Spend the time listening to Dad. You will ache to talk to him when he's gone, and while he's annoying as hell, he's also right. Pay attention.

Make room for being different than Mom. She loves you, and while she doesn't always understand you, that love is real. Your life is not her life - you both will have to realize that to appreciate each other.

Stop being scared. Start taking risks earlier. Don't worry so much if people don't like you; there will always be someone who doesn't, so quit chasing your tail trying to please everyone.

Learn this early: People who try to take you down are rabidly insecure, and doing battle with their own demons, not you. There is enough glory for everyone, and sharing it is makes you stronger, it never diminishes you.

You're going to meet a professor at Mac who will change your life. Treasure him. Find Arlene sooner, you're going to the finish line with her. These teachers are gifts.

I won't tell you about the hurricanes you are going to withstand, only that you can and will. Amidst the rubble are so many gems it's worth the hell.

You can count on Roz and Gilly. Truly. Don't even spend a moment doubting it.

You will be betrayed. Don't waste a moment disbelieving it, just move on and cut the line. You will have a group of loyal and wonderful people around you who will stun you with their loyalty and dedication.

You aren't going to be a lawyer; you are going to have 2 sons. I know, I know. I can hardly believe it either. Those boys will change you to your core - you have no idea how blessed you are about to become.

Floss more.

Never, ever eat something they're going to invent called Smart Food popcorn. It's deadly addictive - don't even start.

Let go of your crush on Rod Stewart. Everyone will be laughing at you. Go find a guy named Bill Gates instead.

Never live without a cat.

Start keeping a journal.

Listen more; talk less.

Good luck with that last one.

9 Comments:

Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

First of all, young man, change your name. You will become so famous that all sorts of clingers on will want to be you and will choose... of all the names in the world... yours. Secondly, short is cute. Short and bald not so much. Grow more hair, damnit, and no matter how hard it tries to flee, hang on for dear life. Like virginity, once it's gone it won't come back.

Speaking of which, saving yours was a waste of time. Have fun. Remember that cutie Connie? She's not going to marry you, so go ahead. See what it's all about.

The flying thing? Do it, man. You love it and it loves you. It makes you complete. Without it you will shrivel up and die. Do not hesitate. No one really understands what "the gusto" is, but go for it. It will complete your soul.

And you know how everyone says that a son completes a man? That's crap. Girls are where it's at. They will make you the happiest man on earth. Treat them well... they are put on this earth... in your hands... for only a brief visit. Make it an adventure.

Most of all, be content with who you are. As much as you might want to be "Mr. Life of The Party" that is neither who you are or what everyone loves. You are who you are and your family will love your for that. Without family you are nothing. Be at peace.

Enjoy.

May 06, 2009 9:39 PM  
Blogger FibCarver said...

You're right about your parents. They don't get you and never will. They do love you, though, and won't be around forever. Stop being ashamed of sharing your crazy, imaginative, creative self with them. Deep down, it's really want they want from you. Eventually, they'll be proud.

Don't run away from high school. You'll end up stuck in unrewarding administrative positions in the business world, catering to stupid people with blinding egos who will always make way more money than you do and you'll become bitter and disappointed. Instead, go to university, study literature, keep writing. You have a lot of stories to tell.

Take singing lessons before you turn 40. You have a powerful voice -- use it, even if your mother never stops saying you sound like a sick cow. She's only one opinion.

You will fall in love ... repeatedly. Enjoy it but don't marry too quickly. Especially don't get hitched to that guy you're going to meet in an Oakville bar when your best friend loans you ID. He's weirder than you could ever imagine.

There's nothing wrong with being impatient and stubborn but remember, your biggest strength is also your biggest weakness. Trust yourself and your instincts. Most of what you believe is right, even when a lot of the people who'll be around you for the next few years keep telling you it's 'not acceptable'. Give it time, believe in yourself and things will work out just fine.

May 06, 2009 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Me,
I know you are impatient to get started on your life, sick of school, parents, family etc. but realize that life speeds by a lot faster than you realize. Don't panic that you don't have all the answers right now, believe me - when you know, you'll know. Men are like busses, there's another one in ten minutes. Just because he likes you doesn't make HIM special. Take your time, believe in yourself, you're prettier than you think and don't concentrate on the negative. Stand up for yourself and don't tolerate any bullies. DO NOT take singing lessons as your voice sucks.

May 07, 2009 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring on the Harley's. I would never listen to anyone anyways, so I am not going to listen to myself, although some great advice from the crew on the blog that is not to be taken lightly.

Rob...

May 08, 2009 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Me,

I could tell you what the next 30 years will bring, but you’d never believe me.

What I can tell you is that you don’t need to change your name; you are not your father. While you are afraid that you can’t live up to the name you’ve been given, you can do one thing: make it your own.

You don’t need to be aloof from your children to gain their respect (hey believe me, you will have children). They will remember the silly things like car rides and ice cream more than getting a smack on the arse for pulling the cats tail. Read to them. Talk to them. Share your experience with them, even though they likely won’t follow your advice either.

Wear your glasses and stop squinting.

Don’t sweat that your friends have girlfriends and you don’t. Eventually, you will find your match. By the way, just wait and see what happens to them in ten or fifteen years.

You will break hearts and yours will be broken. That can’t be helped.

Don’t dwell; forgive and forget. You’ll be more content that way.

Don’t blame others for your problems. It takes a man to face them and a coward to hide.

Try lots of things. Stay with the stuff you're good at, lose the stuff you’re not so good at. But retain all the experience you can, you’ll draw on it almost daily..

Whatever you choose to do, be the best you can be at it.

Don’t drop math.

Help others. You’ll never know when you might need others to help you.

Be prepared to keep learning. What you will be doing five years from now may not be what you’re doing ten years from now.

Learn to weld, you’ll never be out of work.

May 08, 2009 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Me,

On March 5, 1987 Mom will ask you to come for dinner. You'll tell her you have to work, but you're actually just tired of listening to your Dad tell you all the things you're screwing up in your life.

The next time you see him, he'll be in the hospital. He'll never wake up again, and you realize he only wanted the best for you.

Go to dinner.

May 08, 2009 7:07 PM  
Blogger DJ said...

Dear DJ

In a few years, you'll get your Javelin.

NEVER SELL IT!

NEVER!

You'll regret it 30 years from now!

May 08, 2009 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey kiddo!

Some things you won't believe.
You are going to have two wonderful daughters. Yes, you! You are going to marry your best friend and be happier with him than you ever could imagine possible. You are going to be a fantastic cook(really,you are!) and a lousy housekeeper. And you will be perfectly okay with that.
But most importantly you are not going to regret the 'mistakes' you make along the way. Because to regret means you would change things. And you won't want to do that. Your life will not be perfect. But it is yours and as such it will be perfect for you. Enjoy every second of it.

amw

May 09, 2009 6:14 AM  
Blogger Nursedude said...

Hey:

You're probably not going to listen to me but I'm going to tell you things anyway:

Put off buying a car as long as you possibly can.

Go to see Dad as often as you can. You'll miss him when he's gone (and that's really not too long from now).

Go sailing with Ted whenever possible. It's the one place you feel like you are centered.

You'll keep on reading so either find someone who likes books as much as you do or get used to using the library alot.

You'd like to think that when you get older your heart won't get broken as often but it does, even by people you will never expect it from. Take heart: You'll get through it. You always will.

Your health will not always let you do what you want (ie. the army) but take comfort in the fact that there are many paths to choose from in life and as Frost said: taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

Remember: Tough times don't last, tough people do.

Watch out for your little brother.

May 10, 2009 2:52 PM  

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