Tuesday, June 09, 2009

You've Got Mail

One of my favourite magazines has just had it's 25th anniversary and they did something kind of cool. They asked various celebrities to write a letter. Not just a letter but advice from 'adult me' to 'teenaged me'. Some of the letters were wonderfully funny, some much more thoughtful. The idea stayed with me and I thought I'd like to give it a try. I'm hoping it will turn into a 'thing', I'd like to read yours to you ...

Dear Dave,

I thought about this letter to you for a long time. At first I wanted to give you advice or warn you away from people, situations or hardships. But then I decided that you wouldn't want that, that it wouldn't be good for me either. For better or worse, Dave, the path you will negotate will be the path you walk. But realize that every step into the future is a step away from childhood pain and childish fear. Every step you take into the future is a kind of 'claiming'.

You need to be a little kinder to yourself in your thoughts and a little harder on yourself in your expectations. You give up too soon too often, you have trouble believing in yourself. You give away what you must keep and keep what you must give away. This sounds like a fortune cookie but it's true and you'll know it.

Take a little more pleasure in your accomplishments. Acknowledge and celebrate a little bit more along the way. You don't laugh enough. Joe's constant humour annoys you now, but do you realize it's because you envy easy laughter? Smile a bit more, but don't develop complacency. You discovered your mission early, it will take you through a rich and demanding life - follow where it leads, do what needs to be done even if no one else is doing it. Don't shut up. Don't give up. Don't wimp out. You see yourself as a coward. You are wrong.

When it's time for the wheelchair, yes you will be in a wheelchair, sit down and relax. Be honest you never liked walking much and you've never willingly gone on a hike, so sit down and have a hot dog while the world walks by. Pay attention to what you see, listen to what you hear, concentrate on what matters.

Best of all dear boy, you'll be ok. I'm not going to give away the end of the story for you, I don't know it yet myself and besides if you know who's here beside me, you may take him for granted in your present. Be well boy. See ya in about 40 years.





Kate said...

Oh, wow, that's beautiful. I would write one myself but not sure if I'm old enough to yet, lol. What would I say to myself at a younger age... ? I don't know. I'm still working through a lot of the same issues but I have made a lot of progress and was able to deal with things I never thought I'd be able to. Maybe that's what I'd say to myself: Have more faith in yourself and your ability to handle life's struggles.

I think I'm still too scared of life's struggles to hear this message yet, though. I can point to a whole lot of challenges that I've navigated and that's great, but I'm still always worried about what's just around the corner. Hopefully in a few yrs I'll find a stable place to live and will mellow out a little.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

That brought a tear to my eye. What a tresure you have in your relationship with Joe.

Lynn Bishop

CJ said...

I need a little bit of time.

Wonderful, Dave.

Princeton Posse said...

Great idea, I'll have to think about it for awhile...

poky said...

I have come to enjoy your thoughts more and more and look forward to the quiet time that I take for a few minutes to read. Thank you for this.

Ettina said...

I did something like that awhile back: a letter to myself at 10-12 (or a kid like me at that age). It's at http://abnormaldiversity.blogspot.com/2008/05/letter-to-kid-like-me.html

Betsy said...

Dave, that was so beautiful - and what a good idea! I wrote a letter to myself on the occasion of my 15th birthday (I'm 45 now) on my blog. I'm going to encourage all my fellow bloggers to follow suit. It was a fun experience, especially since I have a 15-year-old daughter myself now.



The Kid In The Front Row said...

I agree with what everyone has said, that's really great.