(Read by the Author)
Brad Paisley sings a song “A Letter to Me”:
If I could write a letter to me… and send it back in time to myself at seventeen
So I decided, it’d be interesting to write a letter to myself at eleven.
First let me prove to you that this is really me.
Remember that hollow hickory tree on the Christmas tree farm you grew up on? Well, there was all that moss around it and you used to sit there and play on the soft moss with your sister, and what did you call this ‘secret hiding place’? It was called “Bee’s Place” because of all the honey bees that you and she used to see in the daises that clung to the edge of the bank.
Laying under the tailgate with your black lab on the burlap at the top of the hill, you used to watch the clouds float by while dad pruned the trees. You laid there one day and thought to yourself how old you will be when the year 2000 rolled around. A whopping 26 years old and you thought to yourself, will you live that long. I can assure you, that you do.
Now, if I could offer you some advice. You don’t try hard at all in school and I know that you don’t like the way you look or the fact that you move schools so often you never have time to make close friends. But someday, you’ll appreciate all of the exposure you’ve had to different towns and people. You are very intelligent and in college those D’s and F’s became A’s and B’s. So you have it in you now to make it easier on you in the future. School can be your outlet rather than your prison.
Stay away from Anne. The path she leads you down is not a path you want, it can affect the rest of your life and haunt you in ways you can’t yet imagine. Don’t even talk to her or play with her or her sisters.
Stick with your sister and brother, they’ll be your greatest assets in the next few years.
Tell Grandma how much you love her and hug her every day, because she won’t be around much longer. Tell her that you end up having two incredible boys and she would be so proud of them.
You’re going to do some monumentally stupid things, especially when you’re in your late teens and early twenties. But trust that the things you do are merely learning lessons and not the end of your life… even if you feel like they are the end of your life in the process.
The places you go and people you meet along the way will mold you into the man you’ll become. But it’s a man that will have people around him that love him tremendously. The most amazing person you’ll ever know has lived near you almost all your life and you won’t even know it until your darkest times are upon you.
When Grandma dies, you will think that God has left you and you will be extremely angry at him. And when your parents split up and you are taken from Ohio, you’ll gain even more resentment against him. But know that he will guide you in ways that you can’t even imagine and when your son is born, a warmth and light will illuminate you in ways you never dreamed possible. Listen to that light and follow the warmth, don’t run from it as I did. Just look at that baby’s face and trust. Trust.
Hold on to these precious moments you have in your life right now and appreciate your childhood. Because someday you will go back to those days for comfort. When all else seems dark and alone and you feel like no one understands you… think about the evening that you sat at the kitchen table in Grandma’s house in the dark with only the light above the table with your head upon her lap. Listening to the silence and the two voices that broke that silence, her’s and Dad’s. Not talking about anything important… just talking and living as grandma petted your hair.
You don’t know her yet, but learn to appreciate Doris. She and Grandpa will make a profound difference in your life if you let them.
Be good to others, but don’t ever let anyone take advantage of you – and believe me, they will try. Most importantly, give love to those that love you back and help those who help you back. And don’t let everything and everyone else bother you. It’s not worth it.
P.S. As soon as you hear the name Google – find a way to buy some stock immediately. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.