Listen up young Chanin,
You are now 40 and looking back there are so many things you could have done better, not done at all or saved yourself from worrying so much. You are such a serious kid. Far too scared of your parents for your own good (learn to deal with this…Mom is still pretty scary…this won’t get better).
It is ok to not behave so perfectly all the time. This is the best time of your life. Let me repeat that, this is really truly the best time of your life. You have no bills to pay, no responsibilities, no back problems, acid reflux from hell and running is fun for you, not like now when you only run if Hannibal Lecter is chasing you.
So my dear, here are a few tips to help you out in the future.
- Save your money. When you turn 40, there will be a report that comes out that says all the money you have paid into Social Security will be gone by the time you turn 60. You will need every extra penny you can find. In this case, it is ok for you to steal change from Dad’s dresser. He won’t miss it and you will need it someday.
- Invest in Apple stock. I know you have no clue what this is, but all that money you saved should be used to buy as much stock as possible in this company. Trust me.
- You picked a great football team to worship. The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t ever let you down (well except for the 80’s and half of the 90’s, but at least you didn’t pick the Detroit Lions to root for).
- When your parents divorce (Oops, sorry kid. Don’t worry though, it means you get double Christmas and birthday presents and you won’t have to listen to anymore fighting) strap your Star Wars figures to your chest like a bomb and fill a backpack up with the vehicles and Death Star. Don’t rely on one of the parents to pack these for you because they will disappear forever. These will be worth so much money when you are older and worth the effort.
- Don’t complain about working all those hours at the family restaurant. The work you do will instill an amazing work ethic in you that most people do not have these days. It will make every single job you have after that seem like a walk in the park. It is very difficult to work with family, but you will find when you are older those days at the restaurant are some of your very best memories.
- Love yourself. Don’t care so much what other people think of you. You are actually pretty cool.
- You cannot change people. Stop wasting your time trying to fix other people. You can’t fix someone who doesn’t want fixed.
- Stop trying to kill your little sister (feeding her poisonous flower stems and tossing her out of a go-cart at high rates of speed). You will need each other to get through some tough times in the future. She will stop acting like a big dork…don’t worry.
- You will make a decision to not have children. This is the best choice you possibly have ever made. You would be in prison right now. Prison is very similar to being sent to your room as punishment except they never let you out and there are no Star Wars figures to play with to make the time go by faster. Avoid prison.
- Don’t complain about your braces. You did not have to pay for them and having nice teeth will be very important one day.
- Stick with the guitar lessons. Yes, I know he wanted to train you to play classical music and your fingers were bleeding from all the practice you did, but people who play guitar get lots of action and travel the world doing something fun.
- Set goals for yourself. Otherwise, you are going to muddle through your first 35 years with no clue what you want and no idea where you are going.
- Friends are very important. Don’t blow them off when some hot mess comes calling. Hot messes are just that. Friends are forever yours if you treat them right.
Last but not least, Chanin. Be grateful for everything in your life each and every day. You are a blessed young lady and you will have lots of cool experiences (don’t poop your britches but you will go to the Grammy Awards). If you are a grateful, positive person, people will always want to be around you.
You can be whatever you want to be. There are no limits in this life with the right attitude. All you have to do is believe in yourself.
With much love,
The older and wiser Chanin