Dear 11-20 year old Me

As I sit here acknowledging another year gone by I thought I’d take this time to reflect and send the past me another note. My last letter brought me to the 10 year mark. This next decade will be a little more difficult to get my head around…

Dear 11-20 year old Me,

Congratulations, me! You have so far beaten the odds and you’ve come out fairly normal! The younger you was ‘ok’, but let’s face it: having a conversation with him wasn’t all that easy nor intriguing. He was just a kid while YOU are on the verge of entering adulthood.

Plus, did you see the get up he was wearing? What was up with the shiny, silver shirt and the cowboy boots and cowboy hat? He looked like a disco farmer.

Anyhow, now that you’re more likely to be able to comprehend and discuss your life let me take the opportunity to give you some advice regarding what to expect over this decade.

First things first – you are a raging pile of hormones. Seriously. You have no idea how this is going to shape your future. You will be able to channel this energy into something that will make you easy to talk to, will make you tons of friends and acquaintances and get you far. However, during these formative years it will only cause one thing: your desire to jump almost anything animate or inanimate.

You’re going to have to grips during this time that you are teetering on watching cartoons and riding your bike around the neighborhood and farting around with your friends playing arcade games at the airport, the 7-11, and FlipperMcCoy’s/Putt-Putt Golf versus growing aware of the presence of women.

Your family life will have its ups and downs. Your mom and pop will work all hours of the day to keep your fed and clothed while your sisters will be considerably smarter and more popular than you. Man, you should really appreciate your parents more. You are, for the most part, a good kid who doesn’t cause many problems. It isn’t until your teen years that things go haywire.

First off: attempting to kill yourself for no real reason is a bad idea. Trust me. These days we have Dan Savage’s “It gets better” videos. I wish we had those growing up. Now that I look back I see that it definitely does!

Second: maybe dating Marissa during freshman year wasn’t the best idea. Ok, it wasn’t bad but the way you did it completely wreaked of over-emo, teenage love. The problem with that is that it will completely crush you when things take a turn for the worse. Be forewarned: you’re going to lose that first girlfriend in probably one of the cruelest ways possible so make lots of friends fast and build up a support group to see you through.

Third: you should go out more and be more active. Start building those healthy habits early. Trust me! Having a heart attack at 41 sucks. Try to avoid it as much as possible.

You’ll do things a little differently than your sisters. Rather then straight academics and sports you’ll take up drama. This will help you conquer so many things in the future so don’t be scared of it. In fact, your life will diverge radically from your sisters because, well, they’re smarter than you. But working at a young age will help build character and allow you to meet a lot of new friends. You’ll work yourself to the frigging bone but you’ll find that friends like Mike Hendricks and Ramon De Ramos will show you that you really can enjoy where you work regardless of how difficult it may be.

Which reminds me – when you’re 18 and working at the Cavalier, hooking up with a 42 year old woman for the summer will completely rock your world. Try to remember as much as you can because although she uses you and spits you out after 2 months she’ll catapult your knowledge of wooing women into the stratosphere.

Finally, the following tips will help you through college and beyond:
Be confident
Look people in the eyes
Smile
Give firm handshakes
Be polite
Give compliments