Enjoy the journey

October 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dear Sam,

It’s me — Or rather, it’s you…  It’s us?… Ugh, point is, it’s Sam.  Your future self, that is, not quite 6 years down the road.  Hope you are enjoying your 14th birthday so far.  I should really know whether or not you are enjoying it since I experienced it, but it’s been a while, so I can’t quite remember the details.

I also hope you have digested that I am writing to you.  It’s weird, I know.  I’ve seen, learned, and experienced things you haven’t.  I’ve made it out of middle school (just half a year left — you can make it!).  I’ve completed high school.  I’m a sophomore in college.  A lot can and will happen in the next few years.

However, if you think I’m about to divulge any of that, you are gravely mistaken.  See, this a journey you should make on your own.  I know that you enjoy surprises.  I also know that, unfortunately, you will remember every detail I share with you, even if I urge you to push it from your mind immediately, and even if you wish to do so.  I hate to disappoint, but that means this is going to be a letter of ambiguity and clichés.

At this point, I know West Middle School is quickly losing whatever glamour it ever possessed.  But let’s be honest, nobody loves middle school, and West legitimately looks like a prison, so what could you expect?  Besides, you’re about to begin four fantastic years at Cherry Creek High School.  A student body of 3500 may seem intimidating now, but if you make an effort to meet new people and try new things, you’ll find your niche.  Trust me.

As much as you’re ready to leave the universal “awkward phase” behind with middle school, I hate to break it to you, but you’re gonna have to wait a couple more years.  If it’s any consolation, I can promise you that you will not top out at 5’1″ and 90 lbs, you will not be in braces forever, you will not have a soprano voice forever, and you will not receive the children’s menu at restaurants for the rest of your life (but again… give it a couple years).

When people ask you what your favorite school subject is, you’re that one kid who says, “I like everything.”  When people ask you what you want to do when you grow up, you’re that one kid who says, “I have no idea.”  These same questions and these same answers will crop up more and more in the coming years, and when people eventually start to ask where you want to go to college, you will respond “I’m not sure.”  And all of that is totally OK.  As much as you may feel pressured to make decisions on these topics, your open mind will shape your identity and life for the better.

Now, as for why you’re receiving this letter on your 14th birthday, there are a couple of additional reasons.

First of all, today, October 9, 2012, your little brother turned 14.  I know, I know, this seems really sentimental, especially in light of the fact that 9-year-old Sean is a uniquely annoying little bugger.  He may use his creativity for evil now, but he turns out to be a pretty swell kid.  Smart, funny, and a surprisingly great friend for someone over 5 years younger than you — crazy as it sounds now, you’ll miss him when you’re off at college.

Speaking of college, I’m sure you’re dying to know just where you end up.  I’m equally sure you already know that I’m not going to tell you.  However, I will tell you that you’ll love it.  And you know that Foundation series Dad recommended to you for winter break reading, the one by the Russian guy, Isaac Asimov?  Yeah, you’ll definitely want to read those books.  They belong to the genre of science fiction, which you haven’t really explored yet.  And once you’re at this wonderful college, there will be a certain seminar you’ll want to take that is kind of related.

Now that you’ve learned very little about your future, I’m left with one last cliché:

Don’t worry about it.  Enjoy the journey,
Sam (B5)

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