Dear Younger self,
If someone had asked you where you thought you would be in the future, how would you respond? Maybe you'd say, "studying archaeology", or "studying aerospace engineering". Those were dreams of a younger mind, a more innocent mind. One that dreamed of building spaceships or uncovering ancient civilizations from their earthly tomb. Would you think you would dedicate your career to help people through neuropsychology? Would you think you'd be playing guitar in a blues band?
I wish I could tell you back then to focus up, to try your hardest, and to never be afraid of the ball. I wish I could tell you to strive for greatness, to seek out challenges and face them head on. But we lived most of our life in fear, in fear of failure, in fear of disappointing those around us. Not only this, but we wanted to live easily and never have to lift a finger. But that's no way to live, is it? Living in fear of being hurt or disappointing is not way to live. Mistakes are one of the primary ways to grow in our abilities, since they teach us our faults and hiccups. We had such doubts about my abilities, thinking I was only meant to fail. We thought our role in the world was to be mediocre, to be the jester, to be a dunce. We could not have been farther from the truth.
I wish I could have told you to just be yourself. But we didn't know what "yourself" was back then. We were attempting to find it, and in attempting we found something else. We found someone who was closed off, emotionless, and fearful of connection. This someone was angry with the world because of the cards he was dealt. He was in pain, alone, and lashed out towards those he loved. Those were some of the darkest years of our lives. We thought that because people disliked us, that we were the baddest cats on the block. Anyone who turned your way felt the sting of insults from your mouth. Foul words flew every which way to anyone who tried to get close. These foul words were reflections of how we saw our own self. A coward, alone, and full of hate. It was only until we reflected on our actions after the fact. That's when we realized the way we lived our life was wrong, and that empathy and kindness was the only way to come back from this.
Look at us now. We're living out one of our dreams, the dream of playing guitar for people. We're studying to help people and their psychological problems, and we are beginning to become an individual. Anytime someone needs help, we spring up to join them in their project, no matter the cost or toil. We no longer care what people think of us, shedding the fear of disappointing. Sure, we have our speed bumps every now and then. That old shadow of anger sometimes forms a veil on our eyes. But all in all, we're becoming "yourself". Though the cards dealt weren't favorable, we did the best that we could with our hand. Although we sometimes feel alone and still closed off, this letter will help. It'll show us and our struggles, and how we've overcame doubt and fear. It'll show people that I'm only human, with faults and troubles.
If there is anything the audience should take out of this, it should be to never be afraid of challenges. Ask your future self if they regretted it, and let their answer lead the way you live your life. Live your life through empathy, kindness, and love. Shed the anger and hate, and through this you'll find greatness.