Dear 16-Year-Old Me,
Life is going to kick your ass. Just you wait…
I look at my 17 year old son. He really has his shit together so much more than I did when I was his age. There are so many things I TRIED to do or TRIED to be.
Basically I didn’t have a clue, I hadn’t seen anything yet, all because the life i had led to that point didn’t measure up to what he has experienced. My parents did a great job. They gave us everything they could and did what they could. I am the DAD I am because of them.
Dear 16 year old me
Life is going to kick your ass. You are not fully prepared for what is going to come at you. BUT you will be OK.
You do not have the experience of some. The only way to get experience is to get out there!
Truth is, I don’t want you to wait.
I do not want you ever feeling as if what you know–and who you are–are just shy of another person’s version of what being enough is.
You are enough.
And you are empowered to define what being enough is for you.
Life is not linear. Your journey will be filled with undulation, crossroads, intersections, detours, bumps and a whole lot of open road. There will be days, months, even years when you will wonder where the hell you are. Hear me now– you are where you need to be.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
I’m not going to tell you what to avoid.
I don’t want to preach to you about what you might do differently. This is your journey and you are equipped to take it.
Know this– you are strong enough, bright enough, brave enough and love yourself and others enough.
What I do want to give you from out here in the future are a few beads of wisdom, things that no one should have to wait to learn, this is my gift to you.
Here they are…
Approach each day with a grateful heart. You get to choose the messages you fuel your heart and soul with, so choose that which replenishes and makes you full.
Practice health. Nourish your body and mind with intention. Smile. Move. Laugh. Play. Dance. Sing. Play guitar. Stretch. Meditate. Listen. Sleep. Read. Learn. Write. Share.
Find your tribe. Seek people vested in positivity. People that choose to lead an examined life. People, who link arms, are empathetic and are eager to grow.
Love freely. Know your values, who you are and what you stand for. Recognize when someone wants you to compromise all that you are–and if they do–have the courage to move away from them.
Be brave with your voice. When you are brave with your voice, you will inspire other to be brave with theirs too.
Have an attitude that if it were contagious, you would be worth catching. Cultivate and grow a spirit of abundance. Lift others up and celebrate what they offer.
Get outside. Make time to sleep under star lit skies. Be still enough to hear the call of birds. Be awake when the sun breaks across the horizon. Walk barefoot on beaches and when you can, find more dirt under your soles than concrete.
Be involved. Do things that help. Be a good steward of the earth.
Be present. Now is what you have. Allow the moments to unfold. Your time here is a gift. Remain observant. Notice. Act.
Cherish the all of it. You get one spin on this merry-go-round called life that I know of–make it a great one.
You are enough.
49 year old me.
PS- Pay more attention in typing class. You are going to be surprised how much time you spend typing.