Dear Young Self

No one can give you better advice than yourself. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

#dearyoungself. For the last few days this hashtag has inundated Twitter with scores of people offering knowledge they would impart on younger versions of themselves. And, why not do this? What wouldn’t we give for an opportunity to change certain events in our lives? We’ve all had moments where we wished we could do things differently. The problem with that is where we are right now is a direct reflection of the choices we made in our past, some for good and some for bad. The problem with changing the past is you run the risk of erasing the good events that happened along the way. Would you really take the risk?

If I had the chance to sit down and have a talk with my younger self, I’m not exactly sure what I would say, but it would probably go something like this…

Dear Young Self,

You have such a brilliant mind and so much potential for greatness. You never had to put much effort into doing anything because it came easy to you. You used that ability to coast through the first part of your life and it worked. After you leave high school, things will not be so easy; and, someone should have told you that. Honestly, they probably did, but you were too arrogant to listen. Your pride will hinder you from achieving many things. There is nothing wrong with being proud and wanting to be self sufficient, but everybody needs somebody sometimes. That truth holds no less value for you. In the next 10 or so years you’re going to have to make some serious decisions. I won’t lie to you. Some of those decisions are going to be life changing. They may seem scary at first but I encourage you to take the risk. These years are going to go by in the blink of an eye (lol that rhymed). Don’t waste the time you have. Your mom and dad may seem overbearing at times but they have your best interest at heart, so you should learn to trust them more. Your brother and sister are annoying; and, I can’t tell you how to relate to them. But, know that if you need them, they’ll be there for you. You might get an earful, but they’ll still help you, well more so your brother than your sister, I’m not sure where her head is at sometimes.

Watch out for people that promise you things that are too good to be true because they are, and you’ll regret it if you trust them. Learn to manage your money better. You will learn to do so later, but it’ll benefit you if you start practicing now. Stay away from credit cards, until you’ve grasped a better understanding of them. It sounds like a sweet deal but it isn’t. You’re going to meet a certain person in a few years, and she’s going to change your life forever. Follow your heart, and try not to say anything too stupid. Call her more. You won’t understand what that means right now but you will. In fact, call everyone more; and, don’t be such a recluse. Don’t let that person leave. Put up more of a fight. Take this time to figure out what you really want to do in life. You already know. You just have to think about it. Now that you’ve figured that out, go after it with full force and let nothing stand in your way. You may stumble and fall sometimes but don’t let that dissuade you. Get back up and keep going. You’re strong and people will come to depend on you. You’ll be the best friend they ever have.

On your journey you’ll make some mistakes and that’s okay. No one is perfect. Some of the mistakes, however, have harsh consequences. Put some serious thought into what you’re doing before you make that final decision. Things are going to get rough later on, not just for you, but for everyone. Some of the choices you make will either help or hinder you. Whatever happens, don’t give up. See you soon.

P.S. Don’t let your camera get so close to the water. You’re not going to be too happy about what happens.

The conversation with my younger self would probably go something like that. I wouldn’t get too specific about anything because I would still want to be able to make decisions without knowing what was going to happen afterwards. I think life would be pretty boring if I knew what was around every corner. If given the opportunity, what would you tell your younger self?