Dearest Daughter of the future,
This post goes down as my most frustrating to date. Argh. I’ve been struggling with it, wrestling it, for weeks. But I feel better when I write “argh,” which I’ve done twice now.
Let’s move on.
I apologize for being a failure. Or, at least for not living up to my full potential.
Everything was there for the taking. All in front of me, a buffet of opportunity, waiting to be placed on my plate next to the mashed potatoes of good fortune. The books, school, a different path, and I took the one most traveled – the easiest one, well worn by others lacking direction. I’m been in recovery mode every since.
Was I really the person who got involved with those people? The ones who lied and made bad choices.? I was. Yes. That was I.
I ventured out on my own at 18, CF warping my mind, and no guidance to help me mash down my own path in the grass. It’s no excuse. My intention isn’t to be cryptic. It’s hard to relive my mistakes. I don’t recognize myself in my past actions. How could I have shown such poor judgement and done so many stupid things? Argh.
I told you that’s it okay to make mistakes – that’s how we learn. The key is not to make the same mistake twice. I have an asterisk next to that advice now.
There are mistakes you can’t make in life. They are mistakes of great importance with irreversible consequences. When you’re 16, 17, 18, your brain will feel as mature as you think it will ever get. Wrong. Remember that. You’re wrong. That’s not going to happen until you’re around 25, or in my case, never.
What’s really ironic is how I was fearful of making mistakes that could have had a huge upside or reward in life and fearless when it came to actions with huge downsides. So, when your friends ask you to go smoke something behind the gym, know that it is a mistake you’ll have to live with forever. For f’ing ever and a day. Avoid it.
My message today: take risks, make mistakes, but keep an eye on the up and downsides. There is potential embarrassment, and there is what keeps you from achieving everything you’ll want later in life. I chose the latter when I should have chosen the former. Embarrassment may make you feel like dying at the moment, but it is fleeting and makes for funny blog posts for your kids. The other stuff will haunt you for life.
Choose your friends like you once chose your Pokemon – pick the good ones. And don’t follow bad ones into dark places. You’ll spend your life clawing your way out. And worst of all, you’ll never forget your time there.
With love. Take care of your mother. No one loves you more.