But seriously, I do. You sat on your couch and watched TV. You moped about not being invited to a party and you are upset because you lost another friend who already started drinking and smoking. What is your “record” with the ladies? Probably about 0 for 26ish right? I imagine Bailey recently rejected you and as far as you’re concerned, you will never find love. Well, keep trucking buddy, you will hit 0 for 36 before you get your first real girlfriend, but who’s counting? Sorry, but I don’t consider the three internet girlfriends you had in 7th grade on AIM to be real girlfriends, but I don’t think you do either.
I want to tell you some hard truths, and follow them up with some beautiful truths.
1. As I already mentioned, your total number of girls that you have liked and gotten turned down by will peak at 36. Enjoy it and love it. While you’re depressed on the couch without a friend or a girl, you’re actually getting to know yourself in a way that will make you so much stronger than most people in the future. Because of this time, you will be one of the few people who can look at themselves in the mirror and be so damned proud of who you’ve become – a good man.
2. Don’t give in to the peer pressure that would make all your problems go away. The only person who should decide when you are ready for something is you, and I swear on my life, I really do, you will be so glad that you waited. I know you are uncomfortable with drinking, and your peers make you feel like that’s weird, but I swear, stick to your guns and never give in until you are ready. The friends you will make and the times you will have with them as a result of waiting and following your own hearts will be some of your fondest memories for the rest of your life. I can not even begin to tell you how excited I am to one day tell my kids that I didn’t drink until I was ready, and that I never did drugs. You will be incredibly proud someday.
3. Depression is a part of you. The highs and lows are part of who you are. But let me tell you something. You will be in the darkest place you have ever been soon. It will be worse than in sixth grade when you were suicidal and had to go to that stupid camp. You will make it through, and the world will become so much brighter. But there’s even better news. It will always be a part of you. I know that sounds bad, and I think in a way it means that you can never be completely, truly happy, but it will help to shape who you are, and right now I’m so happy that I went through it. You will save people. I mean it. You will be able to help other people who are suffering and in trouble, and you will be able to keep others from going to that dark place you have been in and will be in. It will empower you, and it will be a part of your life that you will proudly never forget.
4. Don’t be party-boy for Junior year halloween. Something will happen that will make it one of the worst nights of your life. Your friends will hurt you and it will make you feel more alone than ever. Even I will admit now, despite how much I embrace all my sufferings that I have endured, I wish I could take that one back.
5. Your mother is absolutely insane. But, she is right. Listen to what she has to say. Especially when she continuously blabbers about “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” She couldn’t be more right. Reading letters like this, watching inspiring youtube videos, reading motivational books and formulating wonderful dreams are fantastic, but you will waste years of your life thinking that that is enough. I know art seems like it should be done on a whim and suddenly come to you, but it just won’t work that way. If you really want to write amazing music, get off your ass and spend a couple hours working on it – every day. Don’t stop.
6. You will never become a “cool” kid. Those “losers” that right now, for some reason, you think that you are above will become the group of friends you’ve always dreamed of. Fuck the “cool” kids, buddy. Right now, I have that group of friends that has long since graduated high school and is still as close as ever. You will find those friends who will truly be your friends for life when it’s all said and done. Enjoy your classmates and don’t forget them. It sucks when I look at them now and can hardly remember spending time with them. They are all incredible guys – every single one of them. Trust me, nothing will ever compare to a perfect “bro night.”
7. Lastly, I must tell you this. Bailey will reject you again. And again. And a couple more times over the next two years. I know that every night at 11:11, you stop for a moment and wish for Bailey. You will become so depressed over her you will feel sick and have no idea how your heart could be so wrong in choosing the woman you think you will love forever. Don’t stop making that wish at 11:11 and don’t stop believing in miracles. As of today, Bailey and I (you) have been dating for almost two years, and it is everything you ever dreamed of. She makes you as happy as you knew she would. That vision of marrying her that your heart refused to let go of is becoming a reality.
And with that, I say goodbye, reminding you to follow your heart but maintain a sense of reason. Never stop being yourself and never ever change for anyone else. You’re a great person and you know it, so don’t be afraid to do what you know is right. You’ll be so happy and so proud of that some day.
In the least weird way I can say this, I love you. You survived so that I can be who I am today. Hang tight buddy. It gets real good.