Dear Mark,

I’ve been watching you for a while now. I know what you’ve been doing. See, I’m you and you’re me. I’m you more than 25 years from now. I’ve got the scars to prove it.

This letter is for your benefit. I’m going to bestow some wisdom on you and it would be in your best interest to follow it.

I know you are very interested in girls and being accepted. It makes you feel important. Forget it. Certainly relationships are important, but there will be lots of time for that later.

You have to learn to love yourself first. That may sound a bit strange but it is true. Love who you are and accept who you are. Only then will you be able to have a loving relationship with another person.

Pay more attention to playing sports and not so much on partying.

Be nice to people. Don’t be jealous. Jealousy ruins everything.

Smile more. I know, I know. You are not a natural smiler. But just try it. It will make you feel better.

Get to class and do your homework. Study more. Enough with the skipping school to be cool. Enough with the drinking and partying. Having fun is important and I encourage you to do that too, but tone it down a bit, man.

Question everything and follow your own path. Don’t take all those fucked up science classes in high school just because everyone says you should. Take the courses that actually interest you.

You should probably lay off the junk food a bit as well my friend. The occasional treat never hurt anyone but 8 cookies in one sitting? AND ice cream? Come on! Losing weight and being in shape may come as a bit of a struggle but it does not have to be that way. Just be smart about your food choices. You will thank me later for this.

You should enjoy spending time with Mom and Dad and your grandparents. They won’t be around forever.

Read more. Write more. Train more. Save every penny. Don’t worry that you don’t have a fancy new car or a bunch of stuff. The people that go out and buy everything in sight are broke. Live a simple life.

The important things are to read, write, enjoy your friends, save money and to be active every day.

Most people are pretty average. This is because they are too afraid to take any real risks. Take some risks. Not everything will work out but so what? At least you tried.

All these things go hand in hand. Never stop creating, moving forward, and kicking ass. Discard the negative and trust your heart.

There will be ups and downs but you will get through them. You are a survivor.

And one last point.

Don’t get married. At least not the first time.

Please share this with everyone you know. Thanks.

“Live Simply”

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14 thoughts on “A Letter To My Younger Self

  1. Thank you for this letter, Mark. So much to say about it. Wishing that the ones who read it will learn from it to talk to their kids about it, wishing they learn it for themselves and mostly realizing that it is never too late to pay attention to such words.

  2. I’m teaching my kids about minimalism and I need all the wisdom I can get. I am printing this one out. Thank you!

  3. Aw, the life lessons! Great lessons you have learned! Sadly, I am still on that path of seeking, learning, failing, bla, bla, bla. I loved your post. I wonder how much we would have actually listened to our younger selves back in the day. I remember my grandmother telling me “don’t buy that house, you will regret it. You don’t stay in one place long..”. I bought the house. Needless to say we don’t have it anymore. I wish I would have listened to her, but I was young and stupid. I thought I knew what I was doing. I didn’t of course.
    I wish I would have known what I know now, back in the day. I have to wonder if I would have turned out to be the same person without mistakes, challenges or the “I told you so’s” from my grandmother. (Man, I made some dumb mistakes!)
    This was a great post. Leaves me much to think about within parenting….

    1. So true. Same for me about the house thing. Yes I did make money when I sold it but I was house poor when in it.

      And our past experiences have indeed made us who we are now, so do I wish they didn’t happen? Not sure. Wouldn’t have my son if it weren’t for meeting my ex.

      Life is interesting.

      You are obviously on the right path and a great parent to be leading your children in the direction of minimalist living.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. My teens really seem to get minimalism for some reason. I am so thankful. The books and blogs on the subject are written in a way they can understand. Many writers tie in anti-comsumerism and investing in an easy to understand format as well. I think the freedom aspect is right up their alley.

  5. It sounds like you are learning lessons about your SELF. This is good, as many do not. Just a comment about not getting married…at least not the first time. You wouldn’t be at the evolutionary point you are now, if you didn’t. Maybe in the big picture, you needed to get married to initiate the learning path that sent your down the minimalist road.

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