Letter to the 20 Year Old Me

Hey, Dude.

I know its tough when someone dies. You’ve done that before but that was old people you knew would die. Different when it’s somebody your own age, really different when it was one of your best friends.

I know it was tough not being there. But truth be told, you learned a lot from handling this one on your own. Twenty, living alone in a small town, far away from family, friends. Your knack for solitude and introspection served you well when Johnny died.

It may not seem like it, but you’ll get passed it. And no, you won’t forget him or the times you had together.  I’d also lie to tell you he’ll be the last but he won’t. Fortunately most of your friends stick around for a long time.

Oh you’ll lose your share, but it is who you expect; grandpa, the pseudo grandpas and grandmas.  Not a lot of them totally unexpected.

Until you’re twenty-eight, and dad dies.  That’s the one that takes its toll. But the good news is, he left you with enough of a legacy that you’ll take it, run with it. You’ll be o.k.

Oh yeah, he also leaves you with some secrets to unravel and in time, you will. Not that it won’t cause some big ol’ headaches along the way.  You will discover some stuff about dad, and his family that may seem less than ideal. Don’t be deceived by first impressions. Or at least, don’t let them take control of the narrative.

In the end you’ll find it more amusing than tragic. At least I think you will. That one is still a work in progress, so I’ll have t9o get back to you.

Death will come easier for you than most, and that will make some folks uncomfortable. But you end up being the ‘go to’ guy for a lot of friends in crisis – and not just when one of the group dies.  Take it as a compliment, because it turns out (much to your surprise) that people trust you.

Strange as this may seem, you’ll find comfort in being ‘the man’.

There is so much more to tell you, but you’re not even of legal age yet.  But you will be soon, and the stuff you’re going through now will all make sense in a big way – but not for a while.

being an only child, you have become a master at figuring things out on your own, connecting the dots in a way a lot of others can’t.  Its part of that trust thing I mentioned earlier.

It doesn’t make sense now, but trust me – it will. And it will be so worth it.

For now, keep living your life the way you have been. Take in the moments, bring the memories with you. Use them, don’t abuse them.

It’s gonna be o.k.

Later dude.

Me, at 60

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