seen them every so oftenÖ a person motivated to provide advice
for their younger self.
supposed to be inspirational. Itís supposed to be positive. And
yesÖ Iíve seen a handful that have some pretty cool things to
sayÖ about how the struggles will be worth itÖ how the challenges
will turn you into something pretty fantasticÖ and so on.
got to tell you though, more often than not I donít understand
mean, sure, in general I get the concept. And Iím not talking
about when they slip into cliché. They provide some great
Iím not sure if the advice connects with the new audience that
is supposed to be inspired.
when I was younger, my problem wasnít so much with feeling left
out. (Oh, I was left out. I felt it. And I was often quietly miserable.)
More than anything else thoughÖ the problem was that back then
I had zero grasp of time and life. Itís kind of an amazing contradiction
really, and one for which there is no solution. (Even from a really
well written letter that offers perspective and appreciation for
you are younger, you want everything immediately. You want to
grow up, make your own decisions, and so on. It doesnít connect
that becoming comfortable in your own skin takes time. (And experience.)
also feel invincible. You donít understand how fragile life is
and that the length of your life is unknown. (And unpromised.)
there isnít a true grasp of how things arenít created in a day.
There tends to be little patience for allowing things to develop,
or for relationships that could last for decades.
get wrapped up in those wonderful ďif I had it to do overĒ debates,
when the reality is that the only consistent things about life
are that itís not always fair, it doesnít always go the way you
want, and occasionally, it rains. (Hard. Thunderstorms with gale
force winds hard rain.)
despite all that overcoming adversity stuff, that time dilemma
increases in importance. And thatís a thinker.
donít all get to live to the age of 90 or beyondÖ donít get to
live all of our years in good healthÖ regardless of the decisions
we make. Illness and accidents and life get in the way of longevity
for many. I wish they didnít. They do.
out of the gate, you canít promise your younger self a long and
happy and healthy life.
the advice must be built around cherishing every day. (Thatís
not too shabby. We do need to appreciate every day. So fair enough
there. Cliché though. Cliché.)
trouble is, time is exactly what you need to flourish and grow.
It is time and experience, the scars of life, that bring you to
that wonderful sense of self.
the letter to the younger self misses the hurry up and wait realities
sure if Iím connecting on any particular thought, or even conveying
something worthy of consideration. And thatís ok. This is a train
of thought exercise, sprouting from nothing more complex than
an evening looking at the stars. (Or doing something else of equal
point is, I have no way of telling my younger self that things
get betterÖ things work outÖ all is well. Iím not so sure I could
write a letter to a younger anyone. I have plenty of times when
I want to exchange my adult card for a summer of playing outside
all day, until the eveningís game of hide and go seek moves from
sunlight into streetlight into ending with the call of a parent
echoing through the neighborhood.
the glass is a bit half empty for me as I write these words. And
perhaps I should be looking for ways to inspire and delight the
next wave of difference makers. Iím sure those words will come
to me, and a day with a glass half full is on the way.
now though, Iím craving a drink from the hose and a round of ghost
in the graveyard.