Letters to: My past self

Dear past self,

You are not thriving yet. The ride down memory lane feels more spastic in emotion than Billy Pilgrim in time.

Better crack a beer for your own sanity because things are about to get a wee bit cynical—Oh wait, forget that last part. Just keep sipping that ginger ale.

I always hear about kids peaking in formative years. Well, for better or worse, that’s not quite us.

You can’t win them all. Just bear in mind that, right now, none of your problems actually matter outside your own head. I’ll break it down.

In middle school:


Adolescent self-discovery isn’t always pretty. Insecurity feels more rampant than shortness of breath in a coal mine.

“You’ve got an invalid haircut. It hurts when you smile. You’d better get out of town. Before your nickname expires,” Warren Zevon’s words never rang truer.

Get ready for a surplus of cup-check wars, bad cafeteria food and authority figures with gross toes, flooring their golf carts to catch kids sneaking out of mandatory assemblies.

I suppose the government had to test kids somehow, but I can certainly think of a few other four-letter combinations to describe STAR testing.

In high school:

The absence of middle school, a car and substitute courses for gym class keep the wheels turning. Even if, by senior year, time moves slower than me, during just about every cross-country running practice.

I may have moved slow, but lateness isn’t always unwarranted. Seeing the moon while leaving for school doesn’t exactly promote a healthy learning mentality.

Breathe deeply; try to manage that rising blood pressure. Nobody’s actually going to listen to that presentation tomorrow, and you are probably not the only one who feels like an interrogation victim pleading the fifth during the SAT.

Just remember:


Even though I probably haven’t stirred too much excitement for the road ahead, I promise it’s not all unpleasant. We have to start somewhere and, good or bad, there needs to be a time for everything. So, soak it all up.

A sense of humor will help the medicine go down.

Sincerely, your future self.

Grant Scmieding can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.