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 ...
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.