Words of wisdom for a younger me

Wyatt Massey
Feb 3, 2016 · 3 min read

Here are some things you should know, youngling. Trust me.

Note: This post is part of #PublishEveryDay, a writing challenge I am doing to publish seven blog posts in seven days. I asked the social media sphere for writing prompts. Today’s prompt comes courtesy of Tim Cigelske.

A letter to your past self. A letter to your future self.


Dear youngling Wyatt:

There is a world beyond the rolling hills and cornfields of rural Wisconsin. In the coming years, there will be much for you to discover as you venture beyond the fences and farmland, the woods and winding roads. Yes, younger me, you are going to learn to write nauseating prose like this. Get over it because, spoiler alert, you turn out to be an English major.

As I write, I realize that much of what I am about to say are warnings — What not to do, things to avoid, etc. This is not to say that your future self only worries, but there are a few things you need to know.

Enjoy the moment. Do not pin your hopes on being “complete” when you get your driver’s license, win that track race, graduate high school or go to college. The present will never be perfect and neither will you. The insecurity you feel now will never leave your bones. Embrace the good you can see and stop planning your perfect next step.

Say no to drugs and, especially, cargo shorts. Seriously.

In your later years, you will chuckle at your ignorant ego. You will come to know a frightening world that will challenge everything you believed. These experiences are as unavoidable as they are necessary. When the time comes to sit beside drug addicts or embrace those who cannot find shelter, you will realize how powerless you are to help. Do not worry about feeling weak, though. In these moments of turmoil you will come to know God. Your faith will change your life.

Stop gleefully reaching for the razor every time a hair sprouts on your face. Actually having to shave sucks.

One man will forever alter your journey. He will always be a stranger and you will never be able to thank him for his impact on you.

Cherish those afternoons drawing comic books and building your wildest dreams out of LEGOs. By the time you are my age, you will realize how quickly time goes by. Also, you will scold yourself for sounding so old and saying things, such as, “by the time you are my age.”

That girl is going to break your heart. No, you will never get over it. Fall in love anyways.

I refuse to give you any advice on investments in the stock market or bets to make. Are you mad? Trust me, a million dollars is not going to make you any happier. Just remember, avoid cargo shorts. You will actually thank me for this later.

Start saying “I love you” more, especially to your family. Finally, make sure you go to bed early tonight. Say your prayers and get some sleep, because each new day will give you another challenge. Most importantly, though, I hope you are proud of the person you will become.

Sincerely,

-W.

Note: I actually wrote a letter to my future (graduation) self a couple of weeks ago. Stay tuned for that!


Wyatt Massey

Written by

Human rights journalist.

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