Hey younger self,
First off, when did this Chris get so old? And when did you get to be so young? Not that it matters all that much. People still think this Chris looks about the same age as you, younger Chris. This is a good thing they say. That’s cool with me. Plus, all the old ladies say that girls will love our curly hair. But I think when they say ‘girls’ what they really mean is other old ladies. But that’s cool.
Anyway, let’s get straight to the point. Younger Chris, I hear you’re about to graduate high school. That’s a pretty exciting place to be. Your future is a canvas – and it’s time to get painting.
So, here are some things you need to know.
don’t lose your spark.
You weren’t made to be status quo. You were made to be you. Don’t start taking yourself so seriously that you forget how much of a dork you really are. You make stupid jokes and you laugh at them – it’s cool. That’s you and that’s your thing. It’s all good buddy.
you’ll look like an outsider because in essence, you are.
This might sound harsh but in reality it’s actually quite liberating. You’re going to get to uni and you’re going to look around you and realize that you don’t quite look like everyone else.
You will only have two pairs of shoes (one pair of thongs/flip flops and one pair of sneakers). You won’t have product in your hair. You will use the same goofy backpack you had in high school.
So you know what, you will look like an outsider, but that’s not a bad thing. Wear it proud. You will eventually come to realize that people are much more interested in who you are than how you look. Which brings us to the next point.
There will come a day when you don’t define yourself by your acne. The blemishes will fade but the scars they leave run deep. You will come to reconcile with the physical scars and you will learn to see the character they developed in you. The emotional scars will take longer to heal.
You will see less in yourself than you do in others. If I could tell you just one thing, it would be this. Stop believing the lies. You are not less than.
Stand tall young man. Be confident. Walk strong. You are someone. And don’t you dare make yourself invisible.
don’t isolate yourself.
I can’t kid you – moving out on your own into a whole new world is going to be hard. You’re going to have to figure out who you are as a person. It’s almost going to feel like you’re starting your life from scratch. And it’s going to be tempting to hide away and live in the past.
Skype. Facebook. Windows Messenger. Email. They’re all great. But they are no substitute for the real world.
I’m sorry man but you’re going to leave your house and you’re going to have to make some new friends. And it’s not going to be easy. And you’re going to have to work really hard at it and keep trying and trying. But never give up. In doing so, you’re going to develop some of the deepest life-long friendships. Trust me on this one. I’m psychic when it comes to your future my young friend.
This will help you make friends. It will also give you purpose and will help you feel connected to your community. Think about the gifts, experiences, talents, and passions God has placed on your heart. Give selflessly. And in return you will receive back. Trust me on this one.
Also, the less time you spend at home, the less time you will feel disconnected and sorry for yourself. So, really, it’s a win-win.
don’t wish your life away.
My final piece of advice is that you be present wherever you are. Stop thinking about what’s next and what tomorrow will bring. Be here today. Experience today. Live today.
Yes, think about the future. But don’t get so caught up in it that you miss out on everything around you. In the words of Trace Adkins:
You’re gonna miss this.
You’re gonna want this back.
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast.
Please listen to Trace. He’s a Nashville guy. They give good advice.
I’m excited for you. I wish future me had told me of these things. But then again, then I wouldn’t have had the chance to learn all these things for myself.
I look forward to what else God has planned for us.
All the best with uni younger Chris! 🙂
What are some of your experiences making the transition from high school to university/college as a TCK or an outsider? If you could write your past or future self a note, what would you say?