A letter to my teenage self

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Dear Shaun,

I’m very sorry that it took 15 years for me to write you this letter. I’m writing it now to share with you a handful of crucial concepts that you’re going to need to understand.

At the moment, you’re an ultra-active teenager. You’re learning and exploring excitingly-new ideas.

Ideas like the atomic weight of carbon, the impact that Martin Luther made upon modern theism and the affect that gravity has on momentum.

While all of this worldly knowledge expands your mind, supplants intelligence and broadens your outlook ... chemistry, social sciences and physics will not impart unto you everything that you’ll need to know.

Your life will not follow a regimen. The structured, simplistic stability of secondary education is fleeting. Soon, you will grasp your diploma and embark into independency. And so allow me — an older you — to bestow some small wisdom which you can carry with you on your journey into manhood.

First, be honest with yourself. You’re going to need to adapt to your surroundings, fit in amongst your peers and express yourself in many different manners. You will be impacted and influenced by others. Just recall, that while other people come and go, you will have to live with yourself, forever.

Dignity is amply more valuable than reputation. Remind yourself of this by thinking before you speak and thinking twice before you act.

Life presents choices. Don’t doubt yourself or your instincts, just take the time to choose wisely. This will build character. You won’t always make the right choice; you’re going to make mistakes. And, although our errors in judgment can evolve into valuable lessons, do not dwell upon your past, and never let it become burdensome.

I’ve recently learned that your faith is not perpetual nor constant. Your faith will be continuously developed. Your faith is multi-faceted and it will be persistently tested in uniquely-duplicitous ways. Therefore, you must cultivate, nurture and maintain your faith in order to ensure that it’s fadeless.

Drink more water, Shaun, and read more books. You’ll be rewarded no refund for the attention that you’re paying to popular culture, timely or satirical publications. Spend a share of summer’s salary on a newspaper subscription, textbooks of your interests and a few fictions that you may or may not ever finish.

Ask more questions and respect those who share their insightful answers. The persons standing at the front of your classrooms are smarter than you. Realize, accept and respect that. A day will come to pass when your core shall ache for those you underestimated.

Deference is not a weakness, nor is reverence regrettable. Show gratitude to those who have enlightened your mind, those who’ve comforted your heart, who’ve nourished your body, have impassioned your spirit, or uplifted your soul. Thank them.

Furthermore, never isolate yourself from the people that you love ... including yourself.

I leave you — my teenage me — to contemplate upon that crucial concept, love.

Think now on the notion of love’s significance and take with you the assuredness that love, in all its worth, is patiently waiting for you.

Shaun Savarese is a former reporter with The Daily Record.

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