I’ve always wondered what I would do if I somehow got a letter from my future self whether it be magically or in a sci-fi type manner. Would I take heed or completely blow it off? Will it affect the outcome of my future self if I go in an opposite direction? Ah the endless possibilities.
I could dwell on the many outcomes but the one thing that fascinates me the most is if I had to craft a letter to my younger self, specifically my teenage self.
What would I write?
What do you say to a teenage boy who “thinks he knows everything”?
Choosing the perfect words to convey what I want my teenage self to know is truly daunting. I’d probably overthink things and my prose would be just mindless ramblings.
It would have to be short, simple and straight to the point, because if you really think about it a teenager doesn’t really have the time to read something that looks like a page from a boring novel.
If I had to write a letter to my younger self, it would just be something that’s spontaneous and from the heart. And this is how it would go:Dear Teenage Mark,
When I look at you, I see someone with so much potential. Don’t stifle that, don’t limit yourself and settle for what’s the easiest. Sometimes taking the most difficult and challenging path is the one that will be the most gratifying.
There are going to be tough times ahead, so feel free to lean on others for support. You don’t have to go through it alone. The words of wisdom and unconditional love of others is what will give you the strength to endure everything.
Take the time to step back and savor the moments, even the most mundane one. It may look like nothing to you now but as you get older, you’re going to wish you could relive those memories.
Don’t be afraid to try new things! Step out of your comfort zone and experience life. There’s a world out there beyond the five feet in front of you. AND if you start something…DON’T QUIT! See it through till the end.
I strongly suggest that you listen to other people who know more than you because it is sound advice. You DON’T know it all and if you think you do…you’re truly a dumb ass. Cut that out before I travel back in time to slap some sense into you.
You’re going to meet a lot of people, just remember that not every one of them is going to like you. And you’re not going to like every one of them. That’s okay! Just don’t be afraid to express your opinions around them, you’ll be better off for doing so.
Friends will come and go in certain chapters of your life so learn from your experiences with them because they’ll help to shape a part of your personality.
Lastly, pursue your dream of writing with extreme vim and vigor. DON’T obsess over finding representation or getting published, it is not the “be-all and end-all” of your writing…it will come in time. (With a lot of luck and sheer dogged determination!) All those writing classes that you’re contemplating on taking…DO IT…it’ll help you in more ways than you know. So start NOW…write constantly so that you find your voice, develop your unique writing style, build your passion and expand your imagination.
You are in store for one hell of a ride, so embrace everything that comes your way and keep your eyes wide open so that you won’t miss a thing. It’ll all be worth it.
Be yourself and be eternally optimistic.