17 Again...Advice to my younger self

Dearest Danny,

This letter has been long overdue and I apologize for not having written it sooner, as you will find out there has been a lot going on.

Now as you prepare to turn 18, I wanted to reach out to you and give you some words of what little wisdom I have obtained over the past 20 years. It would be easy for me to tell you the things you are going to f*ck up, but I am also going to give you a glimpse of all the happiness that lies before you in hopes that happiness will guide you to not make the mistakes you are going to.

You see, there is something that is going to take you 19 years to discover...you are truly loved by a lot of people, but mostly me. No matter the paths you take in your future, you will always have me and those you think you have hurt too much to deserve their love. Your life is going to be full of decisions. Will you make the right ones? Not all the time, and that's okay.

What's not okay is hurting others and taking advantage of those that have put their trust in you, as a son, a brother, a friend or a lover.
In the next few years of your life, you are going to put yourself at a crossroads. You will need to step back, think and not make snap decisions; those will end badly and they will hurt others.

In some cases you will not make the right decision and there will be consequences, you must be ready for that. You also need to be ready for the amount of worry, stress and disappointment you will make those closest to you feel...it doesn't mean they don't love you; they wouldn't care if they didn't.

That is what I want you to know more than anything at 17 years of age: you are loved and deserve to be happy. Happiness comes in many forms and from many directions. You will find it in your passion for animals, your love of the arts, your friends and the times you spend with those closest to you (including every Heart concert you go to)! Don't let the hard times come between you and the things that make you happiest, because its the choices you make that determine your happiness.

Be strong my younger self, and don't act in fear. Actions based in fear will not result in anything you will be proud of in your life. Keep you head up and take full advantage of the positive things in your life. Focus on the knowledge that you are deep down a good person with a compassionate, caring heart and realize when you are thinking in hast and not with your heart, this is something you are going to struggle with.

That is all I am able to say at this point, the rest is up to you. I can only hope that from every decision you make in life, you learn from it...the right ones as well as the wrong. Be strong and fearless young man as your future is yours and yours alone, but your life is something you share with so many others.

You need to think about that every time you come to that crossroad in life and let that help guide you. Love yourself and allow others to love you as well, it may sound simple, but you will see, it’s not.

Lastly, when you feel hopeless and alone know deep in your heart of heart that I LOVE YOU. I am always going to be there, honestly. No matter what you and I are going to be in each others lives for a very long time and for that to work we must learn to love and forgive each other. Our happiness depends on it.

With all my love,

PS I know you know...you know...boys locker room. I saw you looking and guess what you liked what you sew and that's okay too!

PS I know you know...you know...boys locker room. I saw you looking and guess what you liked what you sew and that's okay too!

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