Monday, December 22, 2014
On Sunday, I read an article penned by former Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden, entitled 'Letter to My Younger Self.' This short article stood out to me because of the introspection and because it shows that Gooden has learned from his past mistakes.
As a person who journals, I understand the therapeutic power of releasing your demons through writing and I encourage putting pen to paper to express yourself. But my words will never be published to millions of people. Still the same, it is chicken soup for the soul to write out your problems, make the paper into an airplane, and then throw it away.
In fact, Gooden's letter inspired me so much that I decided to write a letter to 13 year old Young Guru. Read it after the jump.
Dear Young Guru,
I am you at the mature age of 38 years old. I wanted to write because hindsight is always 20/20 and I'd like to make life a tad bit easier for you. You are a bright, idealistic young boy and I don't want you to become one of life's cynics.
You should be going through puberty now and things probably are confusing for you. Seek out guidance from your dad now. Don't expect him to come to you. He will help you; I promise. Ask him specifically what you need to know about girls and how you can express that you like them without hurting their feelings. This will save you some embarrassment and will relieve you from a stalker or two.
Pay attention in your math class. Although English comes easy to you, math does not, and
you need to study it harder than everything else. Please don't tell yourself that you are not good at math and write it off. You will need it as you move on to college and beyond.
Don't look down on those kids wearing ROTC uniforms because they don't seem cool to you. Though high school basketball will make you feel like the man, you will sprain your ankle and will never play college ball. In fact, you will wear that same green uniform one day and will proudly serve your country. I can talk more about that in my next letter to you.
Be nicer to your mother. Watch your mouth when you speak to her and listen to her instructions. She will save your life more than a few times. In fact, hug her every single day. There will come a time where you will watch her fade away, and you will count each day you are with her as you experience her last moments. Right now, you feel like she gets on your nerves and wants to prevent you from having fun but trust me, you are her shining star.
In college, you will meet a girl that you will date your entire time there. Follow your heart and not your head. You will know what that means when the time comes. You will also join a fraternity. Heed my words: Every frat member will not be your friend. Every friend will not be a frat member. This warning will save you years of distress. When those who were never your friends walk away, let them. Spend some time with non frat guys, foster relationships with them, and be loyal to those who are loyal to you.
Soon you will decide what you want to be when you grow up. This determination will be made after the weirdest chain of events ever. However, you will have found what you love and trust me, you will be good at it. In the meantime, continue reading and writing because they will make things easier for you.
One day, you will be given one of the most precious gifts ever - a son. Love and cherish him for he will be your one and only biological child. He will be more like you than you can imagine so think about that the next time you sass your mom.
It is my hope that this letter will save you some pain and keep many negative people out of your life. Remember these things in my letter and you will live the next 25 years relatively happy. Take care of yourself. Peace.
-- Old Guru
What would you say to your younger self??