Tough to see what’s ahead

Posted Monday, Jun. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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If I could write a letter to me

And send it back in time to myself at 17

First, I would say to you

It is really me, with all the white hair and wrinkles.

You may not recognize me

But underneath, it is still the same boy with all the same hopes and dreams.

And then, I would say I know it is tough

When all your friends are out having fun.

You’ve to stay home to study instead.

And listen to your parents.

They’re right to say that education is the only way out of here.

Don’t worry about not being one of the cool kids

With their music on vinyl and telling each other about their favorite hi-fi and bands.

But trust me on this because I know

Vinyl and hi-fi won’t be around forever and neither will most of those bands.

You got so much up ahead.

There is so much to look forward to.

You will make new friends, some of them truly cool and creative,

Experience new things and clever gadgets,

Acquire a taste in good food, music and finer things

Maybe even move to be a new land where you call home,

Book great bands to perform live instead of just listening to them on the radio.

Oh, yes, you’ve so much going for you.

But I know at 17, it is hard to see pass the next exam or semester

Much less into the distant future

When you will have a wife, family and people who love you,

Live in a place that is the best in the world

And have a career that has little to do with high school chemistry, biology and geometry.

These are not the best years of your life.

The pretty girl you’re going out with won’t be the last one.

You won’t always have to stand in the rain, cold or heat to look for the next bus

Or wait for the elevator to get home on the 30th floor

And go right back down to the neighborhood store to buy cigarettes for Grandma.

I assure you that your best and worst days are still yet to come.

For now, don’t worry about any of it

Because you’re 17 only for a moment

There’s never a moment better than this.

P.S. Hug Grandma for me.

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