advice to my 16-year-old self.

Maria and I, 2001

Christmas 2002

You think you have everything figured out, but believe me, you don’t know anything about real life. You don’t know that as you get older, it only gets more complicated. You don’t yet know what being lonely feels like. You don’t know what exhausted is. You don’t have anything figured out yet so take a breathe and take things as they come.

Don’t assume the people around you always have your best interest in mind. Mostly they don’t. They are quite like you, rather self-contered.

You’re going to be hurt. You’re going to go through hell (and back) and feel like your world has dropped out from beneath you. You’re going to need to cry. So cry and scream and hit something if you need to. But don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid.

Love will be yours, so embrace it. Love him, and let him know you do. He loves you too, but he won’t be yours forever. Some things are tough for even the strongest man to deal with. He’ll hurt your heart, but don’t resent him. Try to understand him for trying to protect himself. It’s all you’ve ever tried to do, after all.

Losing him will make you feel crazy and lonely and guard your heart like you never had to before. You will be fine. You won’t feel like it sometimes, but trust me, eventually seeing him, knowing he is just down the street will get easier. Just being his friend will one day be enough to calm your heart.

Some of your friends aren’t really your friends at all. They will look at situations differently and ultimately do what is best for themselves, not you or your friendship. Cherish Maria, Jessica, and Lindsey. They’ll be the ones that are real.

Be genuinely happy. Don’t worry. Those little things won’t matter later, but you’ll be calmed someday to know you enjoyed life.

College is important, but don’t make it your life’s only accomplishment.

Do what you love. Don’t always do what is expected of you. Your life needs adventure so you can have stories to tell later. Have fun. Cause a little trouble.

Gear up for one hell of a fight and put your smile on while you are out there kicking ass. Prove people wrong.

You are going to be loved and go far. Believe both and you’ll be fine.

You will be just fine.

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2 Comments to “advice to my 16-year-old self.”

  1. that’s beautiful, utterly beautiful.
    i think it’s always good to look back on your life and see how far you’ve come, how many things stood in your way but you managed to get past them. and sometimes a little bit of nostalgia is exactly what a heart needs :)


  2. Just imagine what your 34 year old self will write to your 24 year old self. Coming from a guy in the 30s, trust me, what you didn’t know at 16, you don’t know at 24. The hits just keep on a rollin’. Best of luck – you’re doing pretty well so far! ;)

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