A Letter to my Teenage Self

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Photo, courtesy of a junior high school friend.

Dear Kevin,

    This letter may seem very weird, but I am writing you from seventeen years in the future.  Noooooo, this isn’t a random person, I’m actually you.  I chose to write you, at your current age of fifteen, because it’s the time where you’re starting to wake up from your depression.  You may not understand fully what I’m saying, but you’re becoming more aware of yourself and doing slightly better in school — after witnessing your mother cry over your ongoing low grades.  This is also the time where you’re writing more poetry and in love with a girl who wants nothing to do with you.  
    I’m writing you because there are a few things I’d like you to do for me.  The first, is to never stop loving people the way you do.  I know it’s very difficult as you are trying the best you can to get the attention of the girls your age, it seems all the stuff you’ve learned from watching romantic movies isn’t working.  However, I’d like you to keep doing what you’re doing with full confidence.  It’s important because your heart is magnificent and brilliant — it may not seem that way to others but trust me, later on you’ll see that it really is.  Second, I want you to really pay attention to the people who you’re reaching out to.  Many of them will push you away, others will use you for your kindness, again, keep doing what you do with full confidence.  Help those people, be there for them with an open heart.  They won’t say it, but they do honestly appreciate what you’re doing for them and with this pay close attention to how YOU feel about them.  You’ve already doubted yourself about certain things and people, and it cost you.  That day you got punched in the face and chipped your tooth is a result of not listening to your instinct to walk faster with your friend.  I’m not saying that to make your feel bad, just to jog your memory of a time not so long ago.  Third, I need you to not beat yourself up about being shy.  This trait will prove useful in the future, but for now, accept it as a part of who you are and when you hear the small voice inside urge you towards certain people who you can talk to; go for it!  Fourth, is that small voice.  I know you can hear it and a lot of the time you want to rebel against it.  That’s fine, rebel all you want, however, lets play a game.  For all the times you listen to that voice, note how often you feel good after following it, and, note how bad you feel from not listening to it.
    Lastly, I want to leave you with some words that may seem weird to you: I love you!  The element you’ll probably block out from messages  around you is self love.  Remember that I love you, seventeen years into the future.  I also know what you’re thinking: I’m not telling you anything to avoid or change, but believe me, from writing this to you it’s the result of going though the things you are about to go through and for that; we wouldn’t want to change it.  Keep your head held high and stay confident, things can’t get any worse than they already are.  Trust me.



P.S.  
    As a matter of fact, from May until the end of June 2003, DO NOT eat Chinese food.  Yeah, I changed my mind.



                                            With Love,
                                            Future Kev