Dear 17 year old me,
Last week I read what 40 year old me, remembered about being 17 year old me, and wanted to offer you some words of encouragement.
First, despite writing the post one week ago, it’s still a bit of a shock I have such a negative view of my late teenage years – I guess these things come out when you put pen to paper.
Sure I remember the crippling anxiety of having so much we wanted to say, but never being able to get those words out the mouth.
And I remember the time we bought a leather jacket because you saw Kelly Jones lead singer of the Stereophonics on the cover of Q magazine, and thought because he looked so damn cool, you would be too?
Though with our greasy over gelled hair, pasty complexion and pudgy pox face, we looked more like a disgruntled school shooter than a rockstar.
Yeah I remembered the dorky awkwardness, but did I forget all the goods things that made it not so bad?
Being brought up in a loving family, we had a pretty good life growing up.
And our friends, sure with the man you are destined to become you might not have chosen them, but you can’t begrudge the people you knew just because you were a perfectionist who had grand visions of befriending the types of arseholes who wouldn’t give you a second glance.
You never got to experience things like a lads holiday in Tenerife, what it was like to party till the earlier hours of the morning, or get stoned and lose all your money at Leeds fest, but in the end they were the first people who accepted you, for being you.
Now that’s addressed, let me take the time to speak to the seventeen year old me, to let you know one thing –
Everything is going to be okay.
From whether you’ll ever live to have sex, to finding some sort of meaning in this world, don’t worry it will happen, and I’m going to tell you how to do it.
Take risks, even when people tell you not to even try.
Never let others put you down.
And whatever you do, stop telling yourself your good enough.
You’re even more amazing than you realise, and one day your going to be so loved, so many people are going to demand your time, you’re going to have to learn how to say no, and know where to prioritise your energy.
None of this will happen overnight.
And in hindsight forty year old you does occasionally have regrets that we weren’t stronger sooner.
But in the end, it’s best to take the attitude that if we never went through what we did, we wouldn’t be the person we are today.
Besides, it’s best to focus on what you can control, and you can’t control the past.
Of course, whether at seventeen or forty neither has the advantage to know what the next 23 years are to hold, life isn’t easy, but we can handle what it throws at us.
Nor should it be taken for granted, so make sure to tell those closest to you how much you love them, call the friend you’ve not seen for a while, and live each day with purpose to make someone else’s life better.
So, here we are, sitting comfortable, dog sat aside, kids playing in the next room and a beautiful wife always there for you, ready to face this world together.
Let’s be happy knowing how far we’ve come.
Wishing you the best in your success,
3 thoughts on “Dear 17 Year Old Me – You’ll Never Guess How Far You’re Going”
That seems like a better choice!
Love these lessons! They’re awesome!
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Thank you, figured if I ever had a time machine I might as well offer some practical encouragement rather than trying to change the course of history!
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