Disclaimer: this is a follow up to my blog entitled “15 year old me.” If you didn’t read it, for shame! If you did, I’m sorry.
Dear 15 year old me,
I’m 30 days into 30 as I write this. Probably 33 by the time I publish. One thing is for sure, 15 year old Whit, you are doted on, overly funded, self righteous, over committed, relentless, lucky, kind, talented, and excited. You have not changed one bit, but one thing has, at 29 you listen a lot more, you stop reacting and start responding, you calm down in all aspects of your communication with others, start applying that to your decisions. I have never met another person more willing to pick up a shovel and start digging her own grave.
Fear is your biggest motivator. Mainly fear of disappointment. Disappointing yourself and an overwhelming fear of disappointing others. So much so that you dodge one bullet to put yourself in the path of another. Listen, you lil whipper snapper, there is nothing to be afraid of. You will disappoint others and that’s their problem. This fear, however, makes you dangerously motivated and gives you a power you, at 30, yet to understand.
You may be the first to dig your own grave, but you are the first to pick up your fallen pieces. Sometimes this will serve you well, but you need to know that just because you pick up the pieces doesn’t mean you can put the together. You like to fancy yourself a fixer. You’re not. You are a cannonball. You shoot through this world and take as many with you as possible. You break a lot of things. (you could probably stop with that) when you land you leave a mark. Sometimes good and sometimes bitter, but the sooner you realize you are a powerful force, the quicker you can use it for good.
Others will teach you in this life that you should look back with no regrets and not change anything. I think if this letter could only change one thing, it would be that at 15 you hold onto this, “You are not as innocent as you think you are. You need to stop caring if you are the leader, just be on the team. You have a very unique skill set, and you let people insult it far to often. You have to start taking responsibility for yourself. Otherwise, the power you possess, this power that is a mixture of dumb luck, blind faith, and a smile, will be wasted on pulling yourself out of pickles. It gets exhausting. Use this power to craft all the little bots of knowledge and skill into a force for knowledge, for friendship, for good.”
With any luck this last paragraph will publish as, “At 16 you took responsibility for yourself and you are now taking road trips up the Mississippi, eating, drinking, laughing. You are the owner of an art gallery that serves the most fabulous seasonal drinks. You are still you, only wiser.” as life would have it, that will be reserved for the next 15 years, young whipper snapper, and 30 year old you can live with that too.
Lifetimes of paper rainbows,
30 year old you