Sunday, April 28, 2013

The best years of your life (or something...) (part 4)

What I'd tell myself back in 12th grade - the last of the series. (Part 1, part 2, and part 3 all here.)

-- College applications! Fun! But please, please, make sure to protect that application from Brown with your life. And if it gets kinda shredded in your backpack (and yes, it will), don't hesitate to call and ask for a second application. I doubt they'll hold it against you. It'd be a great school to go to, right? Your (up to now) first choice? Yeah. Go after it.

-- (added months later) Will you please promise me that you'll apply to at least one more college in the Northeast? Middlebury is pretty awesome. Bowdoin, Colby, and Amherst are, too. Besides, it's fucking gorgeous up there. You'll quite possibly love it more than...oh...oops. Better not say. Let's just say that you have a chance to alter your future right now...and quite possibly for the better.

-- Oh, God. I'm sorry about the Silver Skating Dame. She still is every bit as awesome as you know she is. But yeah, as great as she was, there's just that one little aspect of your life that got in the way. I will say it looked like (just between you and me), you were looking for an excuse to call the relationship off. Call it inspiration from James Dean and Route 66. Whatever. I know you can't be there for her the way she would really like.

-- FINALLY you're not doing speech. Good for you. It's not like you had enough on your plate before. Enjoy sleeping in on Saturdays, finally. (Oh, and same goes for not doing swim team.)

-- So Deep Springs called your bluff. Really, though, you did come across that well on paper. That essay on Woody Guthrie? Brilliant. Whoda thunk? Anyhow, get ready for one of the best...uh...four-day periods of your life. Seriously. I'd love to relive that trip over and over again.

-- Prednisone is EVIL. Don't do it like you did last year. Really. It will have some effects this time that will render All State Choir no fun at all. Cutting your vocal range in half is the least of it.

-- I know this will fall on deaf ears. But really, you shouldn't call your neighbors to see if you got the letter from Deep Springs. Trust me on this. Sit on it over the weekend. (and then...)

-- Man, I'm sorry about Deep Springs. I know how much you had your heart set on it. And yes, falling from that place to the land of Malt-O-Meal is quite a drop. Take it easy on yourself.

-- I know you're extremely anti-censorship. Me too. And I know you need to yell out the frustration you feel. But keep in mind that there's a fine line between expressing yourself and adding gasoline to the fire. You don't want to get so hung up on being so angry and all that it consumes you. In a nutshell: don't let your struggle become your identity. Then again...

-- Your anger. There's a great way to channel it. Hit the goddamned gym. Hit the free weights. None of this circuit crap. Chow down on some ginger while you're at it to boost your appetite. And don't worry about the big football jocks there who may be mocking you. You know where they started? Where you are right now. The good guys will respect you for working out. The assholes (and there are many fewer of them than the good guys) can just fuck off. So start off easy, and build up from there. And by "start off easy," I mean start off absurdly, insanely easy. But be consistent, and you'll see some awesome results.

-- The Metallica album? Get it. Just do. Good shit to listen to while you're lifting weights.

-- I just want to plant a seed here, amidst all the - honestly - misinformation and prejudice you're telling yourself, and absorbing from your dad. What I'm saying is coming from a struggling self-employed businessman, keep that in mind. "Business" really, truly, honestly is not a four-letter word. Neither are "responsibility" or "professionalism." And here's why. The majority of businesses out there started as dreams and ambitions and hopes. Lofty and worthy ones, often. And ideally, they remain so. Business is the nuts-and-bolts work of making that dream a reality. Responsibility is a commitment to making that dream a reality. And professionalism is the outward manifestation of making that dream a reality. If people call you professional, they're acknowledging your commitment. It's honestly a compliment. Those words do not comprise a straitjacket. And conversely, you do not need to wear a suit and tie, or even business casual to be professional.

-- So now that you're back on good terms with the Silver Skating Dame, be cool to her. You know how awesome she is. You do know why she's following you to college, right? It's not because she thought that the Lutheran land of cows, colleges and contentment was her ideal place. (You KNOW that she couldn't have picked a worse fit if she'd tried.) So hang out with her every once in a while, let her know you still care. She'll appreciate it more than you know.

1 comment:

Gleemonex said...

Ohh, Uncle Spike -- I love you. :-) Always have, old kid old sock.