Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Letter to my 20-year-old self

There was a story on NPR that prompted a blog post that I happened across, and thought it might be an interesting exercise. On the occasion (nearly) of completing the second 20 years of living, and at the risk of too much self-disclosure ...

Dear 20-year-old self,

You know this, but it's good to be reminded: you have a good life. Enjoy your life. Embrace the things about your life that are good, and keep in perspective the things that are hard or painful.

Don't be timid or afraid to do that thing you're thinking you can't do. Just because you haven't done it yet, doesn't mean it's impossible. Don't wait for tomorrow, or someday down the road. Tomorrow is coming quickly, and if you're not ready, tomorrow will pass you by. Embrace today now in anticipation of tomorrow. Besides, you're 20 ~ you don't need permission to make decisions about your own life.

The things you choose to embrace, to give yourself to, will inform who you will become. Make wise choices ... or at least good choices. And this means don't be afraid to fail. Failure is much less painful than the heartache of regret that comes with inaction or complacency.

Make friends. Good friends. Ones who you allow yourself to be close to. Make these friends now, as deep friendships may be scarce.

And recognize the truth that despite appearances, almost everyone else is just as uncertain and conflicted and underconfident as you are.

Pay attention to what's going on around you. This is a good life you're beginning.

~ your (almost) 40-year-old self.


Certainly this 'letter' would apply to myself 20 years ago, and that's how it's conceived and written. However, I wonder if at the same time it isn't also a note to my (almost) 40-year-old self ~ or is that too obvious an observation?

Also, I can't give too much advice to my young self, because if he would have been much different, my life would not be as it is ... and all in all, I love my life.


1 comment:

  1. no one gave me that advice when i was 20!!! i did some of it (where i was afraid to fail), but there are good reminders there, too!