Monday, November 22, 2010

A Letter to the Boy I Was in 10th Grade

A while ago I picked up the book What I Know Now: Letter to My Younger Self, and was intrigued by the concept of writing a letter to the person you were before you gained all you have about this world and what it contains. It fermented for many moons until, after looking forward at the path I will travel to becoming more of a man, something within me said the time was right to start crafting it. I know my path is not like those who've come before me or those who will come after, but it is my ambition to see my thoughts reach those who may need to hear it, even if I never realize it has reach them. This in mind, here is a relay to the ignorant, irritating little wuss I was back in the 10th grade, when my view of Japan was through the lens of Japanese animation and I had little grasp on just who I was and who I wanted to become.

Short version: the next 20 years of your life will be filled with awkwardness and suck, and it will change you down to the bone. Long version: So you discovered the net and made a few friends, have you? Good on ya, kid, but don't forget about the world away from the keyboard and monitor, because as you'll soon discover, it's some pretty damn amazing stuff. Sunsets on the shoreline, endless amounts people out there with endless stories to share, and of course the mountains of wisdom you'll come across are practically begging you to go and meet 'em. Remember this, though, you'll pick up a ton more if you open your eyes, your mind your heart and yourself to the world around you. Sound scary? It is scary, and it'll pul at you like you were Stretch Armstrong. So why do it? 'Cause life's gonna do that to you regardless, so you might as well  take it head on and enjoy the ride.

Don't get me wrong, it's gonna be rough, what with drunken family arguements, losing your girl to a car accident, having your own kin say you can't do anything right, and all that other crap. At times it might even feel like it's too much to bear and you just wanna end it all(and you'll try to. Twice.), but in the end you won't do it 'cause you don't got the guts. That, my friend, is an excellent thing, 'cause the experience'll help you see how much life you still got left to go. Like what, you ask? Like biking 10 miles to try the best ice cream you'll ever have or crusing 'round LA with your best friend while you yuck it up and yell 'We're poor and we don't care!' out the window as the car enteres Rodeo Drive. Believe me, you've got the right stuff to get where you want and do what you want, but don't forget: someone is out there who wants to see you rise up; someone out there is willing to help you up when you get knocked down; someone out there is affected by what you've got to sat and what you'll do. Who are they? when you meet 'em, you'll know, but you gotta get out there and meet 'em first, before anything can happen.

It's great to keep a level head about things, and it'll get you through some tough times, but don't let it convince you to never even try doing something. If you give up on something 'cause it looks hard, they only thing you do is guarantee you'll fail at it. As long as you have the will, you'll find a way, if not make one yourself to reach your end goals, no matter what you think you may lack(and believe me, there'll be much you'll lack as you grow up). To help you rememer what you can do as well as reach beyond your comfort zone, be sure to surround yourself with supportive people who'll challenge you in how you approach life and won't be afraid to call you out when you fall into negative habits. You can do some incredible stuff on your own, but if you have a good team backing you up, you can go places beyond anything your imagination would dare muster.

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