I spend disgusting amounts of time watching YouTube videos on Soulpancake’s channel. They are seriously the second most inspiring group of people (MASC will always be first) I have ever witnessed. Today I watched a video where they gave total strangers a chance to write a letter to their ten year old self. I don’t know why I thought this was so cool, but I thought it might be something that I want to try... so here we go!
Dear 10 year old self,
First I feel like I should warn you: You’re going to have the hair of a Jewish man by the time you turn 15. Don’t question it. Don’t hate it. Don’t try and change it. EMBRACE IT. It’s going to become your trademark. Looks aren’t important, though. Just kidding. You’re going to be vain when you’re in high school. So that random 30 pounds you gain Sophomore year? Don’t worry. You’re going to work for your slave driving grandfather (That’s sarcasm) that following summer and lose ALL of it and then PRESTO you’re going to be a bean pole again. OH PS you get mono your sophomore year so any hopes of getting a 4.0 ever again are shot. Oh well.
That viola you just begged mom and dad to let you start playing? Keep playing. Practice a lot. But don’t practice to the point where you hate it. You’re going to find your future in that instrument. You’re actually going to be good at it (One of the top 10 in the state by the time you graduate high school). You’ll make a lot of friends through your music.
While we’re on the topic of music... when you’re about to be a Freshman you’re going to consider taking debate. DO NOT DO IT. TAKE CHOIR. PLEASE TAKE CHOIR. That will end up being your biggest musical regret. Yes you’ll be kind of decent at debate. You’ll love choir. Do it.
Oh, and you’re going to join Student Council at the end of 7th grade. By the grace of God you’re going to win your election. And then your advisor is going to suggest you go to MASC StuCo camp. You’re going to procrastinate turning the money in. DO. NOT. PROCRASTINATE. If not joining choir was my biggest musical regret, not turning in that check will be my biggest regret EVER. StuCo camp is magical, and you’re only going to get to be a camper once and a junior counselor once.
I know you’re feeling super lost. You don’t quite fit in with anybody. You’re not athletic, you’re not socially adept at all. Nobody in school is the right shade of crazy for you. The people at camp are your perfect shade of crazy. The friends you make at camp will mean more to you than anybody else in your life. Go to camp while you can so you can spend more time with these people. They get you. And they’re all going to see you ugly cry and they aren’t going to laugh at you until the next day. So they’re good people.
Remember how I said you’re feeling super lost? Yeah, that gets better. Suffer through middle school and junior high. High school isn’t too bad. Actually you’ll meet like all but one of your best friends in high school.
That being said you won’t fit the norm in high school either. Your aspirations to become athletic are still dashed. You’re not coordinated and you can still barley run a mile. However, as your high school career progresses you’ll start to learn that it’s okay to be different. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being different. Stand out. People will pity you enough to vote you onto Homecoming AND Prom court.
Most importantly make sure you’re having fun. Live your life with the goal of making other people smile and you’re sure to be happy. And don’t take life so damn seriously all the time. Breathe, bud.
And try not to hit that girl’s car in the parking lot during sophomore year... it’ll be super embarrassing.
Trust your gut. Have fun. Live your life with gusto. Keep your friends close and tell your enemies to take a hike.
Don’t be a stranger! Oh wait...
-- Older Tyler