I’ll admit it. I was checking out Perez Hilton’s website last week. Even yours truly gets an infinitesimal kick out of reading what goes on among the A-listers of the world (and some of the D-listers as well)…So there I was, going page by page when I came across something that got me thinking for the next couple of days: Perez had written a letter to his younger self. I didn’t read what was written in the letter…I instead kept looking for the celebrity dirt. What stayed with me, however, wasn’t the latest “breaking news” about the cast of Twilight, but rather that letter, or to be more exact, the idea behind the letter. I started thinking about what I would write to my own teenage self…what words of advice, or compassion, or warning would work their way into the letter? So I started writing down the ideas and messages I would have loved to have heard during my adolescence, and I thought I’d share them here…so here goes (and I apologize if this takes the form of all those chain letters that my mother forwards on ;)):
– Understand that nothing ever ends up being what you thought it would be.
– Don’t be so hard on yourself…just because you aren’t making the same life choices as almost everyone around you doesn’t mean those choices are wrong.
– Always do your best.
– Every time you feel that you stick out like a sore thumb, every time you feel criticized and scrutinized, understand that it’s all a story you’ve created…it has nothing to do with you.
– Keep laughing even when you feel like bawling your eyes out (but allow yourself to bawl your eyes out!)
– Don’t pick up that $100 bill.
– Understand that everyone around you is doing his/her best – people display behavior that they are taught.
– Recognize the power of your breath – it will keep your mind quiet and focused.
– Understand that what underlies everything and everyone is what really matters. The rest is just noise.
– You’re never alone.
– You’re already the person you want to be.
– Don’t be afraid to show people who you are.
– You were right when you told Mom that you would never stop swearing 🙂
– What you find mind-numbingly embarrassing will one day be the best material a comic could ask for.
– Recognize how good your life is and be grateful for your body, your family and your friends.
– Even though you don’t know what it means, you want to practice Yoga.
What would you write to your adolescent self? How do you feel about who you were and what you went through to get where you are? Let me know if you actually get down to writing a letter or even a list of messages like I have…and when you’re done, go back through your list and see what messages or advice is equally as valid now as it would have been back then…after all, we are creatures of habit…and, really, let me know…I think this could be an incredibly eye-opening, cathartic exercise!
Thank you for the inspiration Bram! I really loved doing this exercise on my blog.
And I only cried once 🙂