I am thinking of you now, young as you are, thinking about what you know and how much things will change for you.
I go back to me as a young boy, thinking about what I knew when I was as young as you are and swearing by the things I believed, which at the time I thought were fact, but in fact, most of what I believed was never really true at all.
One day, you will see things differently. This is inevitable. Someday, you will look back and see yourself as young as you were. You will see life from a different side. One day, you will cross over an imaginary line. Your priorities will change. Your intentions will change and so will your intensity.
One day, you will blink and 30 years will have passed and all you’ll have time to do is wonder where the time went.
This is not me saying, “You’ll understand when you’re older.” Instead, this is me suggesting what you see now in life will change. You will change. Make no mistake about it and the loud things which intrude upon you will wither away to things of less importance. Your placement of importance will change. The way you view things will change because your experience will change you.
It is possible and most likely that today’s important things will be unthought of in the future. The crosses we bear change as we grow. Our levels of understanding will change, which will cause us to look back and ask ourselves, “What the hell was I thinking?”
I see you now, young and sure of things, which I understand because I swore about the same things too. Yet, here I am now, contradicting myself and the beliefs I once held so strongly. Perhaps, I have passed the midway point of my time here on Project Earth. I am learning and I want to learn more. Most of all, I am learning that it is not an insult to misunderstand or not understand at all. I learned that intelligence is not what I thought it was.
Know what I mean?
“A smart man knows what he doesn’t know,” kind of thing.
But, I’m learning . . .
Above all, I have learned that I will constantly change. I have one of two choices; I can improve or remain the same. I understand that mistakes will happen. I understand that mistakes do not make me. It is me that makes mistakes; therefore, I cannot be defined by my mistakes. At a younger age, I believed mistakes were these crucial unforgivable things. As I have grown, I see that my mistakes just mean that I am human. This means I am perfectly imperfect just like the rest of us here are on Project Earth.
As I’ve grown, I realize that not everything is a fight.
I have learned that it helps to lay back every once in a while and just enjoy the ride.
Not everything needs my response and my opinion is not always necessary. I don’t have to argue.
There is no rule that says I have to be right. But at one point, I swore being right was important. In the end, I spent so much time arguing my case that I forgot to be happy.
I must have blinked. I must have missed something because one day, I woke up and realized that I wasted so much time trying to prove my point that the only thing I proved is my unbelievable ability to waste my time.
I am writing this letter to the future you. I am this to the person you will become a long time from now, older and altered, and looking at life from a different perspective.
A moment will come when you realize time is such a fleeting aspect of life. Perhaps you will look back upon me or some of the other elders in your life. You will see us differently. You will understand more of our flaws. You will recognize why adults behave so childishly.
Someday you will come to the realization that we are all kids at heart. But being a kid is not the easiest thing to be.
One day you will realize that the fear of not being recognized (or validated) is a real thing. You will understand more about our insecurities. You will see things about us that will change your opinion.
I stand before you a grown man.
I weep sometimes.
I shake my head.
I have shaken my fists at the sky.
I have grieved.
I have lived.
I have died countless times but I have been reborn enough times to have learned that we never really die. At least, not until we’re dead. We just shed our skin.
The losses we feel, the pain we go through, the things we change and the things that change us; this is all just part of the process.
This is just us, alive and well, spinning around on this big conveyor belt I call Project Earth.
I have news for you.
You will grow.
You will win and you will lose.
You will feel.
You will come across times when you swear, “This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”
But get ready kid because life will happen to you.
Life will change your perspective.
I am sure of this.
People will come and go. Friends will change. People will let you down. And don’t worry; you will do the same thing to others. Mark my words. No one gets through unscathed. But one day, you will look at the life you lived. And God, I hope you’re happy with what you see.
I want you to understand that disappointment is a small part of life. At the time of disappointment, nothing seems small. But it is.
My hope is that you see the other side to the story. I hope you grow happy and well. I hope you see everything you want to see.
I hope you reinvent the wheel.
I hope you knock the ball out of Fenway Park.
I hope you cure diseases.
I hope you right my wrongs and teach me better things than I have taught you.
I hope you find your own path.
I hope you are reborn as many times as possible so that when you sleep your final sleep, everything will be sweet dreams.
My hope for you is you live the kind of life that helps you enjoy every sunrise. I want you to love the sunsets. I want you to experience the spring, summer, fall and winter. Experience everything.
I want you to dance in the rain. Laugh as much as you can. Don’t worry about things like being caught in the rain in a suede jacket or say, wearing white after Labor Day. (I was told this is a real thing.)
I want you to grow beyond your expectations. Be who you choose. Live the best life. Be whatever; just don’t be someone that looks back and says, “I wish I did it all differently.”
No, I want you to be the one that says, “I wish I could do it all again, exactly as it was. And not change a thing.”
I want this with all my heart—
Believe me . . .
So help me God.