To My Ten Year Younger Self

Yellowcard, January 2013

At the Yellowcard concert, January 2013.

For those of you who still have not caught on, I will say it again: I am a fan of Yellowcard. I definitely consider myself more in the “aloof fan” category as I have never been the jumping up and down squealing “I love them so much!” sort of gal. If I own more than two of your albums and have been to a live concert, I’m already a huge fan by my own standards. At five albums, one t-shirt and two concerts (the latest one described here), Yellowcard easily takes top spot.

In an article dated August 12, 2013, Yellowcard front-man Ryan Key writes a letter to himself, ten years younger. (See the letter here). I highly suspect the ten year mark was chosen as 2003 was the year in which their album “Ocean Avenue” put them on the map. They have also chosen to re-release that same album in the acoustic form, but I digress.

“Nothing you have planned for your life will happen the way you want it to
– Ryan Key”

His underlying message resonates with anyone who reads it, whether you are a fan of their music or not. It is obvious Ryan could not have pictured how his life has turned out in this past decade. The letter outlines a bit of his own hindsight and realization he has only recently grown up. And the definition of growing up will include having the strength to handle whatever life has thrown your way, even if it railroads your plans.

Ten years ago, what did you have planned for your life now? Did things turn out exactly as you had envisioned it? Ten years ago, I was mentally set. I didn’t have a detailed plan laid out, but I was confident of where my life was going to go and what I wanted to accomplish in the next decade. Sitting here now, I can safely say almost every aspect I had thought about when I was ten years younger, has NOT panned out. AT ALL. As I sit here jokingly telling myself this is the year I stop counting birthdays, I realize I have spent the last decade feeling more lost than I have felt throughout my entire childhood. Whoever said the teenage years were supposed to be your lost years must have had a horrible memory.

There have been a fair share of blessings throughout the past ten years. I have experienced some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my personal life even if they are miniscule compared to the grand scale. I’d tell my younger self life doesn’t get better for awhile. I’d tell her one day she’ll wake up, look at the scoreboard and realize how far her plans have been railroaded. There will be a lot of moments that will just…suck. But I’d also tell her to keep pushing on. One step at a time, and ten years later she’ll become a better person than whom she had originally thought possible.

Perhaps just like Ryan, I may be a tad late, but I have experienced many moments within the past year that have allowed me to look back and think, maybe I am finally starting to grow up.

If you could write a letter to yourself ten years in the past, what would you tell them about your life today and what advice would you give?

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