Hi kiddo(s)!

The day I decided to write this letter was the night before my COMM 308 exam at A&M on 2018; by the way please do not take this example of me procrastinating as a thing you should imitate because I am actually kind of stressed right now... I hope by the time you read this you are old enough to know better than 21-year-old me right now (your past)… Anyway, I decided to write this letter to give you somewhat more relatable advice because right now I am certainly closer to your age and something tells me you probably don't listen to me that much in the future (your present). Before I start lecturing you on what things you should or shouldn't do according to my 21-year-old self please know 2 things.

One, I love you with all my heart no matter what and two please know I wrote this with my absolute best intentions and with the hopes that someday you'll thank the present me for that. I don't know exactly at what age I'll let you read this, but I'll probably wait for you to turn at least 18 so you don't get caught off guard by the content of this letter.

The first piece of advice I have for you: do not be afraid to talk to me or your mother about anything.

Yes, literally anything… Doesn't matter what it is whether you feel depressed, got pregnant, got someone pregnant, failed a test, robbed a candy store, met someone famous, or think your life is a shit hole because of me or your mother. It really doesn't matter, if you need someone to talk to or confess anything, we will always be there to help you. I can't promise that I won't get mad at you if you did something you weren't supposed to, but what I can promise you, however, is that I'll do my best to help you.

For the love of God, learn how to learn from the mistakes other people make. You might learn how to do this by maybe watching movies or by watching people around you making dumb decisions. And please, if you see someone smoking and getting ill for it, don't do go ahead and do it even if it looks "cool". If someone starts doing drugs at 9, 10 or anywhere along those lines, please don't imitate them.

In fact, never do drugs, and yeah if you're wondering if your 21-year-old dad does or has done any drugs the answer is no believe it or not; and I am very proud of that. But seriously if you see me, your mother, a friend, a relative or an acquaintance doing anything we might regret later, be smart and avoid doing that before something bad happens to you.

(BOY(S) SKIP THIS): Boys are bad; at least at this age (18-22). The vast majority of boys in college, and high school for that matter, only think with the head they have between their legs, rather than the one they have between their shoulders.

So I implore you, before you start dating a guy please get to know him very very well. Make sure he has good morals, make him demonstrate his "love" for you through actions, not words. Play hard to get, make him work hard for you, be attentive of how he treats others, and please talk to me about him before you date him or at least right after y'all start dating.

I am sorry but just witnessing how other boys my age behave (yes, at 21), it's actually kind of frightening. Especially if I do end up having a daughter like you, who I am sure will be beautiful both in the outside and (most importantly) the inside. All I am asking for you to do is to be careful, selective and mindful when it comes to boys. Especially, if you have been dating the same guy for a while and start doing stuff parents don't like talking about... You know exactly what I am saying/referring to. I don't want to be a grandpa at 46.

(GIRL(S) SKIP THIS): When it comes to dating, please make sure your hormones don't get the best of you. Don't date a girl based on how hot she is, her popularity, or anything of that sort. Trust me, I would know... But that is a story my future self will worry about telling you later. Also, please be a gentleman. Be kind to girls, do not use them nor go around hooking up with every single one you see.

Be selective, dating one good girl is way better than hooking up with 100. Dating will allow you to learn a lot about yourself and it will actually reward you with worthwhile experiences, even if you end up hating your ex later. Also, girls who'll be relevant in your life will love you simply for being your actual self, so don't be phony or try to be someone you're not just to make an impression on someone. Even if there might not be a lot of girls that might want to date you or vice versa, do not worry.

Be patient a good one will come around. Let time work those things out, and when the time comes, when you find the right one, follow your heart and act accordingly. And please keep your junk in its place, I do not want you to get something or get someone pregnant before you're able to support yourself and her.

In the scenario you end up being a girl who likes other girls or a boy that likes other boys, all the previous tips still apply, and please know I will still love you with all my heart. Your mother and I will be there to support you.

Kids, always be respectful to the elderly. Treat them with the utmost respect and always be kind even if they might not always be. Being kind can move mountains. Be humble, even if you are the most confident person in the world, just like your dad was at 21 while writing this.

Even if you are confident or really good at something, do not feel superior to others, you're still a human and you are not perfect nor the center of the universe. Keep your feet on the ground and do not lose track of reality. If you do not turn out to be as confident as I was, maybe try getting yourself out there! Talk to me or your mom, ask for tips, hang out with your friends and know your strengths. Use those strengths to help others or simply do something worthwhile.

Life is not about being famous or rich. It's about leaving a meaningful mark on the world and in the hearts of those around you. If you find something you love, get obsessed with it, do it every day and don't quit. Work hard and become great at it, whatever that is. Inspire, help or contribute to the world by doing it.

Explore, go out of your comfort zone even if you don't want to. Some of the best things you'll do in life you may have not even wanted to do in the first place. Take smart risks, be patient, and do not give up on dreams and aspirations. Take time to rest and reflect on your life. Think about your relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances. Think about whether you've been good to them or not, because if you have not, remember that those relationships are the most important things you have. Learn how to apologize and forgive. Learning both of these things are essential for self-growth.

Be selfless; share what you have and give to those who need help. Be open to change and learn how to adapt. Adapting might take some time but it can benefit you greatly. Do not be afraid of the unknown, be curious and learn more. Take advantage and appreciate what life and us, your family, has given to you because I am sure I will be working my ass off in the future to provide for you and our family.

Do not ever feel entitled to anything, nor expect anything in return from others.

Be careful of those who might take advantage of you. Try to be objective and not biased.

Keep your priorities straight and make sure you follow the right path. Take responsibility for your actions and always keep your head high. Be punctual, and true. Always believe in God and trust in his ways. Remember to listen to the angel on your shoulder, he's always right. Finally, learn to love and become the person you want to be.

P.S. Even though I am not expecting to get to know you or have you anytime soon, I know the time for you to come to this world will come sooner or later; so please just know that whenever that is, that day will become the best day (or days if you have siblings) of my life.

Sincerely,

21-year-old Daddy.