It’s been almost 20 years since we first met. You with the long brown, always a little messy, hair (still is by the way). Your perfect vision always trying to see into the future, never truly understanding the present (20 years on and some things don’t change). In this year you will get your license, which subsequently leads to your first car crash – don’t worry it isn’t major, get your first job that doesn’t involve flowers or babysitting – although I guess the golf course had flowers that needed to be watered, go to some great parties in locations named after destroyed beverage containers, and move from your tiny and familiar home town to a city approximately 1000 times bigger and you’ll think it’s the end of the world – it’s actually the start.
If I could tell you anything to prepare you for that ginormous high school you are about to enter it is this:
- As much as you think you have friends back home and don’t need friends here, turns out this is your home, you will make friends, and at least one of them will last for life
- Try out for the junior volleyball team, even though you’re a senior the date of your birthday makes you eligible, and not finding that out until half-way through basketball season is a real bitch
- Being the nurse in Romeo and Juliet will lead to the best friend you could ever hope for
- Start a running routine now so that you keep it up and don’t have to start in your 30’s when you are fat and tired
- You need to stand on the east side of 116th st to catch the bus to school – I know they didn’t tell you this when you asked, but it’s true. Save yourself the time, frustration, and embarrassment of showing up to school on your third day soaking wet after standing out in the rain waiting for a bus that would never come
And then, there are the things I want to tell you about life, not to alter it, because dammit you turn out to have a pretty great life, but I think there are some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t take yourself so seriously – you can get so wrapped up in your beliefs and ideals that you sometimes forget to laugh, and laughing is awesome, and infectious – and you get a lot of compliments on your laugh so you should do it more
- Education is important – but what is more important is getting an education when you are ready – if you try to push it, you’ll give up, but when you actually go for it, you’ll learn a ton and meet incredible people
- Buy the shoes – just always be okay with buying the shoes – although I don’t think I need to tell you this, based on the collection at home…
- Keep running, you have this one life, and this one body and you want to make it last because there is going to be some awesome in your life that is worth lasting for, turns out running is something you enjoy doing so don’t stop, get off the couch, stop drinking metaphorical gravy, and run your ass (turns out “run your ass” is the name you’ll give to your Chromecast that streams TV in front of your treadmill – I’d explain TV streaming and Chromecast to you but it’ll blow your mind and you ain’t ready for that shit!)
- Just be you – like I said, things turn out pretty great, so keep believing those beliefs, laughing the laughs, dreaming the dreams, and taking the steps towards who you are growing into, because while things might seem difficult at 16, 21, 29 or 33 those difficulties are the training ground of life so never stop training
That’s really it. Turns out, looking back there is nothing worth regretting, because everything that has happened has made you who you are, and who you are is happy – so bottle that shit and sell it so you can buy more shoes!
Love yourself – daily!
35.5 Year-Old You!