Monday, December 10, 2007

When Your Future Looks Quite Bright to Me

Not very often I break out Styx lyrics, but to do it in a row is uncanny. From the same song and in sequence, even. I was over at Uncooked Meat and TK found someone who had this premise: Write a letter to your 13-year old self. So I thought I'd run with it.



I'm sure you were somewhat taken aback when you recognized the block print on the envelope. Yeah, well, this is a letter from you, and hopefully by writing this I can quit wishing I could go back in time and change some things.

Overall, you've got a great life. It's turned out pretty much how you planned it, except for the whole rockstar thing. You'll get to go into the studio and release a couple of albums, but you won't be a millionaire living high in the Hollywood hills or anything like that. I'm not even sure you quite understand how that whole thing works yet. But you will. Like it or not, you will.

So you should be in 7th or 8th grade now in 1981. This is pretty much the low point in your life. School has gotten tougher, but the American schools in Germany are pretty great. You should enjoy Germany, and try to travel as much to the different European countries as you can. Trust me, if you do this now, you won't regret it later. Just go with the flow.

Oh, and I should let you know, you won't be staying in Germany for 3 years; Dad's going to extend, so don't get upset. ENJOY it. You had the right attitude when you went over: Learn the language, play soccer on a German team, and you're doing great at that. Set some other goals as well.

Don't worry about the popularity thing, either. I know you tell yourself this, but you haven't totally bought into it. Popularity is fleeting, and it doesn't like to be chased. Here are some things I can suggest to you that will help you out for the rest of your life:

Don't wear the same clothes other people wear. Wear what you like. Remember those surfer shirts you had in 6th grade? Good call. They're comfortable. Do me a favor, though, and don't EVER tuck your shirt in unless you're working around moving equipment or attending a formal event.

Wash your face every morning and evening. Acne sucks, but I think you can get a better grip on it if you just do this. Stop blow-drying your hair, and let it grow. It's got a curl to it when it gets long and the ladies love it.

Oh, and speaking of ladies, stop trying so hard. Let the game come to you. I know it's tough, but trust me, you don't need a high school sweetheart. It's all bullshit because they don't know what they want out of life, either, and you should be focusing on developing your guitar-playing and brain skills. You live out on the economy, anyway, and can't drive. Just don't sweat it. Make friends during this phase of your life. That whole boyfriend-girlfriend thing at this stage is just one big heartbreaking distraction.

Listen to your folks most of the time. You've got a pretty good eye for staying out of trouble, so stick with that. Also, your sister has a sense of style that is way ahead of her time, and she's got eccentric tastes, which are cool as hell. You should be supportive of her. She's gonna need it, especially when you move back to the states. She's going to give your parents hell when she turns 13 and won't stop until she goes to college. She's going to stand up for you when you're not around so return the favor.

The only thing I don't want you to listen to Mom about is the computer career. That stuff is going to BLOW UP right around the time you're getting out of school. Already, you can see you've got a knack for it, and I'll tell you, from what I remember back then, you were like the 3rd best guy at computers in that whole group, and once you get into college, people in your computer science classes will be lining up outside your door for the next day's homework that you finished the day it was assigned. So learn as much as you can, and don't let Mom tell you that computer people are weird and don't have a lot of friends. That's total bullshit. Learn all you can about systems and how they work. And tell Dad to invest all of his retirement into Microsoft when it comes out. You'll make him a rich man. Just remember to get out of it around 1997, when the market is at its peak. After that, take your money and open up a brewpub. I know you probably don't know what that is now. It involves beer. You don't like it yet. You will. Trust me, you will.

For the most part, that's it. The one final thing I'm going to tell you is very important. Learn to wear a condom when you start having sex. I know it appears to be pretty gross, and doesn't sound appealing, but trust me; it will save you a lot of grief and $511 dollars a month in child support if you do it.

Remember to enjoy differences in people. It's the flavor in life. It's what makes life tasty. Have fun, I wish I was going down this road with you again. It isn't always easy, but there's good times as well.



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