Buy some Microsoft shares

Dear sixteen-year-old self,
Here’s the surprise: You’ll still be alive when you’re 42. I know. That is really really ancient. You’d be surprised at who are still around. Some of your friends will be the same, some you will have around on something called Facebook that you can’t imagine now.Guess where you’ll be living at 42. It’s the same address as you just left. Yes, you will be doing the garden.  Yes, all of it. And yes, you will even enjoy it. Yeah yeah, you do have some weed plants in there. A few. Yes, that does make up for the rest of the crap, if you want to put it that way.  You would get on with your own children at 18 and 16, you do, in fact you’d be really impressed with them. You could be mates.  So don’t worry so much about  having them, being able  to have them, being able to cope, you will, and they’ll be fine.  No,  Robbert’s not their father. He loves you, he loves you very much, but he will never want children and you’ll have to respect that. You’ll part your ways, but you will stay in touch  for the rest of your lives. You’ll never forget your unborn child. It will be there and mark the years, and you will see other people’s children of the same year, cousins, grow up.  You will have sharp political debates with Anna’s son Jack  and feel  the tug at your heart for how much he could have been like yours and also because Anna alas will not live to see her son graduate.  The children you have will soften the hurt but it’ll never quite go. Here’s some advice.  Don’t take your other child, your inspiration for granted. Don’t think the well can never dry up. Be prudent with your ideas, don’t throw them about, The same goes for your body.  It’s precious.Don’t underestimate your intelligence. Don’t think it’s all more or less the same, and stupidity is a choice or even politics. It’s not. More people than you think,  are really incapable of thorough thinking. Some people that you think are really smart now , are in fact, very limited. Don’t  be misled by big words and big ideas. Don’t hold it against them when you realize. Don’t expect so much of people. Stop shouting.  Nobody hears you after a while, and you only have to shout harder. Stop shouting  and stop running away and slamming doors, and people might take you serious.You’ll hate to hear  this, but -no don’t  run away and don’t slam the door-   but you are in some respects very privileged and very spoilt. You’re going to learn how to survive the hard way.  But on the other hand, there are a few things where you are made to feel guilty and made to feel too responsible,  in ways that are damaging to you to stomach all the time, that should not be on your shoulders.  Some of these things are the things that are making you slam doors, but most of all they are the things that are making you feel numb, cold, passive with helplessness, and deeply sad.  Try at least to communicate this sensibly, and if that is not possible, if you aren’t heard, then do what you do with your chin up, and don’t feel so double about it,  and crippingly bad most of the time.  Don’t resort to lying and fibbing, lies will get you nowhere and alienate you from those people you don’t want to be alienated from.  You are right not to want to be guiltmongered and you don’t have to cringe around that.  Learn from it never to guilmonger others and let them march by the sound of their own drum. Sensibility and responsibility can be expected of you, and are in you, but not to be or behave beyond your years,  and if it is never enough, shrug your shoulders. The world you will be adult in will be a lot harder and you need to equip yourself in life and you could have much more fun if you lost the guilt that you are burdened with.Even though you know you’ll be fine at 42, please refrain from doing the smack you are about to.  The oblivion will be a relief for a short while, but you can do without  the experiences it takes you to. Stop smoking now, too, for that matter.  And if you do get a few of those guilders together,  around 1988 or so, buy some Microsoft shares. That’s right, Microsoft. No, that’s not a contraception pill. Never mind what it is now, just buy it when you get the chance.


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