If you could have a guarantee that one, specific person was reading what you write, who would you want that person to be? Why? What do you want to say to them?
I realize you are 16 and will probably not believe a word I write, but everything you read here is true. You will learn how important honesty becomes to you. You may not be able to see it now, or in 5 years, or 10 years, or even 20 years, but you can and will be okay. I know this because I am you and I am okay.
You will have struggles. A lot of struggles. But you will make it through these times. I know because I am where you will eventually be.
You will make plans. Many plans. Some of these plans of yours will work out well. Others will not. You will learn that some of your plans were not right for you. You will make what you think are the best plans possible only to find a detour that leads to something better. Do not stop planning just because your plans do not work out as planned.
The most important things I have to tell you is this, Never give up trying, Never give up hoping, Never give up learning and Never, Ever lose your sense of humor. I may be telling you these things, but you know them already. You just don’t know you know them. If you didn’t know these things, I would not be here today telling you about them.
You will lose things over the years, only to find better things. I wish I could be more specific, but I need to leave you with some surprises. Speaking of surprises, your life will be full of them. Some will make you laugh some will make you cry. Some will make you say, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” They will all make you who I am today.
Lessons. My goodness, lessons. You will have so many of them. You may have to learn some things over and over again until you get them right. Sometimes you will even say to yourself. “How many times does this have to happen before I get it right?” That will be your clue that you got it right and can move on to the next lesson.
I don’t want to get into a discussion over good versus bad, but I must warn you. Great things will happen to you only to find out how not so great they really are. Along with that, be prepared for some not so great things to happen. I will tell you this much, some of those not so great things turn into the best things ever. Again, I wish I could be more specific, but if I tell you too much, you might avoid some of those painful things that make me who I am today.
You won’t believe me now, but someday you are really going to like who you have become. You will be happy with who you are, but not so completely happy that you stop striving for more.
It is not going to be an easy road, but you will do okay. One thing that never changes is your uniqueness. You are and always will be considered unique. Some may see it as being a bit off, but being a bit off is what makes people love you.
There are so many things I want to tell you not to do, but I won’t. I can’t. That might change who I am today. One thing I will tell you is this, when you quit smoking the first time, don’t start again. The me of today would greatly appreciate it. Actually I take that back. If you don’t start again then I don’t get to quit again. I learned so much quitting that second time.
One last thing, something you should do more often is listen to your gut. The more practice you get at going with your gut, the more you will learn to trust it. This will come in very handy when you hit my age. By the way, it has been 30 years as I write this, so listen up. I know what I am talking about.