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An open letter to my 18-year-old self

I just thought I’d write a fun, little article that directs to my past-self. It’s a refreshing exercise to write to a part of yourself from a place where all the questions have been answered.

Dear 18-year-old Alden,

So that’s you back in 2003 still studying in junior college. You thought you had all the fucking answers eh? You were so wrong. Dead wrong. I know you had good grades, a good number of friends and even a harem of girls who thought you were hot shit. That’s cool. That gave you your confidence.

But honestly, you were still so far off. You didn’t know shit still. You were lying, or rather, your friends lied to you in the sense that they accepted you for who you are, but never dared tell you the things you needed to hear to improve yourself.

I guess that was kind of inevitable, since you guys were all still only 18. Don’t believe me? Think about it. Despite all your “credentials”, you never even had a real girlfriend yet. You were awkward around new people and you couldn’t handle rejection well. Remember that girl who stopped talking to you and you lost it?

The year you turn 19 is the year you were enlisted in the army. That was when your confidence hit rock bottom. You’ll realized that being away from your parents can be really tough. And being shouted at by your commanders isn’t going to be cool. But stay strong. Nobody likes being treated like crap and doing menial tasks all day long. A good way to make use of your time these couple of years would be to find ways to improve yourself in all kinds of ways. Learn to meditate. Read more books. Exercise more. Get your driver’s license. Time will pass a lot faster that way.

Oh the year you turn 20 is the year you met your girlfriend and she turned out to be a total bitch. You guys met in church. Haha. Church! I can’t believe you believed back then. More on that soon. You guys will have a good time for a while, but it wouldn’t last. It’s going to a hurt, a lot. You’re going to wake up every morning for a few months and immediately feel like crap. But the pain will pass. The first breakup is always the hardest for everybody, but usually it’s the biggest blessing you’d ever have.

Your stint with the army ends the year you turn 21, but that is the same year you’d be hit with one of the biggest, worst news of your life.

Pa dies. Okay? He will die a few months before you turn 21.

It will come as a big shock because you kind of didn’t see it coming. You’d know something was wrong in the years to come. He was literally disintegrating. You’ll see the signs. But Ma and Pa will not be telling you anything. They just wanted to protect you and your brother.

So well, honestly if you can, clear aside all your usual, daily mundane shit of meeting your friends, playing video games, Bboying and spend more time with him. Because if you don’t, you’ll feel that pang of regret.

Hope that helps.

From 21-24, you attended college. Frankly, there’s nothing much to say here. You were pretty much done with studying in a formal institute already. Hell, you were pretty much done with A LOT of things.

That is the impact of someone you grew up with being taken away just like that.

You’ll stop believing in Jesus or any kind of idea of a benevolent god because you cannot find it in you to believe there is one out there anymore. You don’t think the universe is a complete asshole, but you accept that reality is filled with shit sometimes, and on some level, that is okay.

You’ll also lose a lot of friends, but that is a good thing. These people do not belong in your life as you realize you shouldn’t have to please everybody in your life. You’ll have your few, close friends and that’s close enough. That being said, open your eyes now. Whoever is in front of you, they won’t be there for long.

Fast forward a few years, you’re going to embark on a crazy journey where you’re pretty much struggling a lot. I won’t spoil the surprise, but yeah, you become one of those “quit my job to follow my dream” guys. It will be very challenging but fulfilling journey.

Plus your girlfriend today is pretty fucking hot.

All in all little dude, I’d say stop being so angry so much. A lot of shit lies ahead of you, but you’ll be fine. You’ll come to accept that your life, despite all its little pitfalls is simply a way of life telling you that reality is nothing but a constant flow of motion. Whatever happens happens. It all usually finally leads to a point where you realize everything happened to give you what you have today so you can become the best version of yourself.

That is, if you tweak your perception.

Did I mention you’ll be a Bboy for the rest of your life?

You’ll be fine.

Alden

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1 comment

  1. Absolutely Tara - April 2, 2015 7:06 pm

    I’m commenting to say, after reading this, I just sat quietly with no comment in mind… just nodding my head and understanding.

    -Tara

    Reply

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