letter to my 14-year old self

Hey buddy,

If I remember correctly, you should now be as tall as dad now, around 6’2, and last year you set a new school record for sprinting in your class. I know how important running is to you.

I also know that you will not take advice, from anyone. That’s how it’s always been, and how it always will be. You need to learn it the hard way. A lot of these hard experiences have built my character. I may not yet have the wisdom of the ages, but I have learned a lot over the past 14 years; certainly more than you have in your lifetime! Erm, yeah, let’s quit the rambling. Even now I just skip these passages in letters. There are some things, though, which I would like to tell you, because there are some experiences I wish I never made.

I know you are attracted to the consumption of alcohol. I also know that you puked in the new neighbor’s garden, recently. You made a very strong impression, though I doubt it is a good one. If you continue down this path, you will not make yourself a reputation as a person to be taken seriously. I know, you are thinking: what could be worse, nobody is taking me seriously now! I’ll let you in on a little secret: People who practice restraint are taken seriously, and they would expect it least of all form a pimple-faced teenager. I’m not saying you can’t get drunk – stinking drunk – once in a while, but that while should be a very loooong while, say half a year.

Don’t ever restrain yourself when it comes to your opinion! When people say stupid stuff, when they ridicule you, make them look stupid instead of closing up. The best person to practice that on is your big brother. It isn’t easy, I know. Everybody believes pretty firmly in what they think they know, and one of the downsides of your intelligence is your doubt. Be adamant in your argument, but flexible in your style. Your opinion is also not only your scientific opinion. You have learned at home to be nice and polite, but in school you should learn to be mean and cruel. It is the only way that people won’t walk all over you. But, don’t be mean and cruel to everyone. Stand by your principles! They make you a better person than many of your class mates, and I still live by most of them now.

And keep running. If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone to the track every day. You feel strong now, and you are getting stronger, but if you ever stagnate, well, your body will break, like mine did, and it will take a VERY long time to get back into shape.


Yourself in another 14 years


2 thoughts on “letter to my 14-year old self

  1. I like your 4th paragraph; that’s one of the things I should tell my 14-y.o. self.

    Do you think your younger self would follow your advice?

    Reading this letter got me thinking about all the things I would have put in mine… I guess I should write it after all.

    1. I do hope that I encoded the message in a manner that despite the conscious rejection, it might sink into my younger self’s subconscious and take root there.

      I’d like to read a letter from yourself to your 14-y.o. self 🙂

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