The other day, my buddy, Bill Moore, posted a blog about what he would tell the 17 year old version of himself today. He’d travel back in time like Marty McFly to “fix” some of the glaring errors he made back in the 80?s. I’m sure Huey Lewiswould be blaring in the background but I think Bill would be driving his Mustang, not aDelorean.
Either way, it got me to thinking, what I might say… for me it’d be more of a Breakfast Clubscenario.
High School was not a pleasant experience for me. Lots of angst. Thankfully, it’s where I met my wife and that was awesome, but the culture and circumstances I found myself in were less than ideal. There were some good moments, but overall my memory of High School was me getting in trouble constantly. I was a cross between Bender and Claire. A rebel who had a little popularity (plus I was spoiled rotten).
You know how everyone always remembers that one teacher that believed in them and changed their lives? Yeah, that never happened for me. Cry me a river, right? Was I rebellious? Was I a pain in the butt? Was I disrespectful? Yup. Sometimes free thinkers look like that. I was just a kid after all.
I won’t regale you with all the gory details, but needless to say, Mom & Dad got a lot of gray hair during those years (I probably even gave Cheryl’s parents a few).
I have a few things to tell you. Listen up butt-head!
1. Stop arguing with your parents. They actually know a few things. I realize you know everything already, but indulge them.
2. For the love of God, please pay attention to the car in front of you. I know you’ve already crashed your T-Bird a few times by now, but there are many more to come. It’s called keeping a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. By the way, you’ll be waiting a while to get that thing back from your uncle. Get used to Dad’s Grand Marquis.
3. When you graduate from High School you are going to grow a mullett. People are going to make fun of those things forever. I know Richard Marx’s looks really cool, but please believe me they are considered quite possibly the worst hairdo in history. People still have them. There are entire websites dedicated to mocking them.
4. Websites. You are going to love these. Just like Bill said, invest in Apple. Ask your Dad if you can borrow $1,000, in fact tell him to buy a bunch of it too. By 2011, you’ll be set for life!
5. Girls lose their minds around 19. I have no idea why, but I’m just trying to prepare you. Don’t worry though, it all works out in the end.
6. Don’t stop thinking and asking questions. I know, I know, that is what gets you in hot water with the establishment known as Inter City Baptist School, but it’s okay to think for yourself. My suggestion is that you start journaling instead of asking your teachers. They don’t get it or they do and they’re trying to beat it out of you. Your opinions and thoughts will serve you well one day.
7. College is a joke. I know people will tell you differently, but it’s a giant cash cow. Take a few months, even a year or so and figure out what you like doing then pursue it. If college will help you in that pursuit, do it. If not, it’s okay.
8. For crying out loud, stick with something! God’s given you a lot of talent. If you find something you like doing, your natural abilities will take you pretty far, but there will be a time where you have to work hard to achieve your dreams. Quit quitting when things get hard!
9. Stop worrying about what people think. You’ll never please everyone. The only people you need to please are God and your spouse (and you can’t always please her either). Be who God created you to be. He’ll help you if you keep your eyes on Him.
10. Put the potato chips down. They are your kryptonite. Food is not the answer man. Get outside or play a sport or something.
11. Don’t ever use credit cards. You have a serious impulse control problem (See potato chips above). Again, stuff is not the answer.
12. Stop losing your temper. It’s ugly. Yes, people are annoying, but you need to learn that you can’t control every situation and get over yourself. Sometimes the Red Wings/Lions/Wolverines will lose. It’s just a game. Move on.
13. Get a guitar and practice playing it. You’re going to need it.
14. Stop believing the bad things people say about you and stop putting yourself down. God is so proud of you. You are an amazing dude. Trust me, people love you.
15. Most importantly, pursue God with all your heart, body and spirit. He is all that matters in this life. He has plans for you and He loves you more than you can ever imagine.
Now, I want to give you a little good news:
First off, your wife is amazing. You really got the best chick in the world. You guys are madly in love.
You’ll love this, you finally got a dog! Try to figure out why he’s afraid of thunder storms… and pretty much everything else. Either way, you got a dog Dude!
Don’t give up on the Red Wings. The jury is still out on the Lions… things are looking good though (but you’ll think that every year).
Last but not least, it might take a while, but you are finally starting to figure things out. The key is putting your life in the hands of Jesus Christ. He’s a genius at making you exactly who you were made to be. Let go and let God take you on the adventure of your lifetime.
Tell me, what would you tell yourself now that you’re older and wiser?