Dear 12 year old me,
Let me begin by telling you that you are as fine as wine. You do get better with time. But you will hardly grow any taller. Jeez, I have so much to tell you about and yet so limited time. Right now, I have a trillion papers to correct. Spoiler alert, you might become a teacher. But hey, this is me. But bro, you still have the chance to make other choices in your life.
So, you are now a Mahatma Gandhi Secondary School Nouvelle France student. Sweet. How are the girls, eh? Okay maybe I will ask you about that when you are older. School life has been great. It was the best 8 years of my life. Why eight? Go figure it out yourself. We did a lot at school but you know what’s the best part? Those friends you have been and are making are still yours. Twelve years later, they still form part of your everyday life and this is something that you can be proud of. You will learn a lot about others but especially about yourself. Mistakes? Pranks? We did a lot. Some of what we are proud of ourselves and others, less proud. But believe me when I tell you that sometimes you win, but you never lose, you learn. And I am still learning.
We had a great childhood. Less great when mum used to beat the hell out of us we were out of the house after 6 p.m. Remember the everyday soap opera? After 6 pm, she would come out with slippers and we used to run, run like never before in front of all our friends who were running as well. for no reason. Street football, that’s the name people use now. But at that time, it was just a bunch of boys having the time of their life. You know I will suggest that you continue to play, as the beatings will become less and less frequent. But at my current age, even if I want to play on the streets I cannot, man there are so many vehicles that pass by every now and then. Yes, cars, almost everyone has one now.
You are already an active social worker at this age. Always trying to help out when you can. If you continue this trend which I know you will, wonderful things are waiting for you. There is no shame in asking for help and no pride in giving it. It is just something that we should all do. Compassion. Empathy. I know how you are feeling right now. What can a helpless 12-year-old boy do alone? But you were never alone. You will eventually meet friends who will share the same zeal and passion. Of course, it will be difficult. Sometimes, you will sleep less and most of the time, your close ones will be fed up with you. But you strive. Go on. Listen to yourself as at the end of the day, it is you alone who will have to bear the consequences.
Ups and downs? Of course. As much as I would want you to have only the best experiences in life, it pains me to tell you that you will eventually go through some dark time. But let me cheer you up. Who does not? It will surely be difficult and painful. Sometimes you will want to give up and in trying to protect yourself, you will hurt those close to you. You might make some wrong decisions. Some which I will easily want to go back and change, but I cannot. But you can! You are the master of your soul, the captain of your ship, you decide what will happen to you. Smile, even in your darkest days because life is too short to be sad. By the way, give my love to Dad. Tell him that 12 years old after, my table is still a mess. It’s our thing.
I think you might want to listen to everyone’s advice about your emotional quotient. It is something that we both undergo and understand but cannot change. I have come to live up with it. I believe that it is a blessing in disguise. Well, that’s me. But if you can, you might want to work on that a little bit. Heartbreaks? Hah. I will leave that to you. I will not spoil the fun. But I can tell you that you will meet countless of people, some whom you will remember and others who will remember you. And of course, some who will leave a grizzly print on you. But the key is to take the goodness out of all who you met. It is such a shame that people do not take time to appreciate others. But you do not do that. Well, I know you will not.
You know what? I actually feel lighter when I went back to the roots. And everything that I shared with you, talked to you about, just forget it! Forget everything. I would not want to influence you in any way. 12-year-old self, your life is yours. And I am sure that the choices you will make, the decisions that you will take, the responsibilities that you will shoulder, or the people you will love, will give you enough to be someone whom I would look up to too. So, I hope that 12 years time, you will do the same thing and give your 12 year old self some tips and heads up and will enjoy the memory trip lane. Just like I did.
In the loving memory of Dad