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To The Nineteen Year Old Me

me and a truck
My best imitation of me at 19

Hi. I know you’re busy, but I need to tell you a few things.

Yes, that is a very fine looking pickup truck you’re driving, but try to listen, okay?

No, I don’t want a cigarette … no, not the beer either.

Listen to me. Just shut up a second or two and listen.

You’re going to crash!

… too late. Well, that was a nice truck.

Listen, I know nothing I say now is going to change what you are going to go through, but I have to say this stuff anyway.

Not for you …

I have to say this stuff for me. I have to remind myself that I’ve learned these lessons.

Let’s start with addiction, and get that over with. Give up the booze now, instead of waiting ’til you wreck the next vehicle, and five more years of your life.

If you could get addicted to learning, you’d do a lot better in life.

Now wait a minute …

It’s true. You actually do get addicted to learning. I mean, you were always curious, you figured things out on your own. But by the time you wrecked that truck you’d given up on it.

Sure, after that you went back and finished high school that year, two years late, and yes, you made the honor role after having been a solid “C” student, but what you failed to learn from that was that you’re good at learning things.

By the time you’re in your fifties you’ll know that learning is really what it’s all about.

And stop!

Stop flipping back and forth between making excuses for why things don’t work out for you and judging yourself to be the worst human being ever. Neither of those schools of thought are true.

It isn’t the fault of the world or bad luck or poor timing, and it isn’t entirely your fault either. You have more to cope with than you are aware of.

Chance it?

Yes! Take chances. But take the right ones. When someone invites you to try something outside your comfort zone, and it isn’t illegal, say yes.

When you were a child everything was outside your comfort zone, how did you ever enjoy anything? And yet, you enjoyed almost everything back then.

What changed that made you stop being adventurous except when you were being stupid?

I can’t say

I have no idea why you ended up the way you are at nineteen, but it’s okay now.

I mean, if you’re listening and you want some advice and you’d be willing to take that advice to heart, find out about ADHD, don’t wait another thirty one years.

But if you can’t do that than ease up on yourself, it turns out mostly okay.

And given how bad it could have turned out, mostly okay is … pretty good.

To The Nineteen Year Old Me

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2019). To The Nineteen Year Old Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 16, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2019/01/to-the-nineteen-year-old-me/

 

Last updated: 8 Jan 2019
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Jan 2019
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.