This letter is for me ~ from me. If I could go back to let’s say to the 16-year-old me, this is what I would say:
Cherish everything that you have now. Don’t spend time on silly boys from other towns, and worrying what every one thinks of you. Most of those people you won’t see later anyways.
Spend more time with Grandma Bloom and Grandpa Don. They won’t be around that much longer either.. about another 10 years to be exact.
Mentor and pour into your brother Tyler, he will definitely need you to talk to him. When he starts talking to you, listen. Also, Nathan will go to Iraq and Afgan – which is crazy, because right now to you he is only 11 and you could never imagine that he would be fighting in a war.
Right now, you are about to start working at your first job at McDonald’s. It’s not the best job ever.. You will HATE it while you are there, but you will make new friends, and you will look back and realize there were some fun times to be had there.
You also probably just got your driver’s license about 2 months ago… and you have a little red 1989 Toyota Tercell.. I know you think it isn’t a cool car.. but honestly you will also look back and miss it. It never gives you any trouble except you will have to replace the clutch once. Which is WAY better than all the money you will put into your Sunfire! Just beware… Will Schribner will tell you the day after you bought it that is a bad car (the sunfire) but you will argue…He is right! You will see.
I would like to tell you all the guys out there to avoid, but then again, it’s going to make you who you are today… So no. You will just have to go through it. Just know you will get your heart broken a couple of time. There will be some who hurt your feelings and some who just flat-out break your heart. It’s ok. You will get through it. You will date people you never thought you would and there are things you will do when you are a little older than 16 you can’t imagine you would ever do, but you will.
College will be a really fun experience for you and you will make a ton of friends. A lot of them will even be your friends way after college. I would tell you if I could go back though, that you should probably pick a major pretty soon and quit going back and forth. O-well though, the point is you graduate and you do get a degree. The 26-year-old you — has a job that you never ever pictured you would be in, even when you 24 and graduating college. You still don’t know how you got there, how long you will be there, but there is a reason. You will get frustrated about not being able to teach and quite honestly – that is still a work in progress as your 26-year-old self is writing this letter.
The only real advice I could give you looking back, because I really wouldn’t want you to change anything – even bad choices, is this: There are so many fun times you will have in this 10 year span and so many sad, heartbreaking times as well. Soak it ALL in, the good and the bad. Also know that when those sad times come they are only temporary and some of them you will look back on later and wonder why you were even worried/sad? You will feel a little silly then, but c’est la vie. (Oh! – and you do learn some French in college. FYI.)
I wish the 26-year-old you could get a letter now from say, the 36-year-old you. Even at 26 you have a TON of things to learn and figure out and you still have worries, concerns and thoughts about the future but I guess all you can do is assume that the 26-year-old you knows enough to get though and to keep wishing/hoping/dreaming/living – because it all works out in the end. 🙂