A month or so ago, a teacher told us they are using Noah’s letters in their 8th-grade curriculum. I cried, then both Noah and I screamed!
If you’ve been reading Noah’s blog posts, you know that he writes about underlying issues when he was young, such as insecurity, living up to being known as the life of the party, not excelling at school, and then turning to drugs and alcohol.
After we heard about Noah’s letters being shared with these classes Noah and I had a really good conversation, and one of the things he said was…”the crazy thing is, when I think back to where I started making the wrong choices, it was in 8th-grade.”
So, I told Noah to write a letter to his 8th-grade self.
After reading this letter he wrote, it made me write a letter to even my last year self. Writing it reminded me that there are so many choices and moments within one simple day, I don’t want to waste one.
We want to encourage you guys too… write a letter to yourself. Write to your yesterday self, your last year self, or 50 years ago self. Learn from what you write, and just simply take one choice you make a day to start living a tiny bit differently.
Dear my 8th-grade self,
Well, I got some bad news buddy, we are sitting in federal prison right now later in life.
But, it’s not going to be the end of the world. I am going to give you some pointers to get you on track, and we might be able to avoid this fate.
Also, before we get started, I want to let you know you have ADD and that’s why you can’t sit still and why you love annoying the crap out of people.
Last year you started picking up your grades, and that’s good, we need that GPA to get into college because we suck at timed tests and you’ll eventually only get a 17 on your ACT. Don’t worry, we’ll still get into the University of Minnesota, and it’s going to be the best four and a half years of our lives.
We also don’t read our first books from cover to cover until about our sophomore year of college, so let’s make that the first thing we change. Start reading now, you’ll enjoy it later.
Next, go home and take the computer out of your room. You pick video games over golf, and you end up being Mike Lundbohm’s biggest disappointment in twenty some odd years of coaching.
Later in life, golf will become our favorite hobby…and we’re actually pretty good at it.
At the rate you’re going you’re still going to be on the same team you’re on as a junior, and then you just quit.
Next year you start wrestling, take it seriously, you’re more athletic than you think.
Some kids around you are starting to have sex, and I know you want to, but don’t. You’re not ready; they don’t make it any further in life for it.
You need to start spending more time with dad; he dies when you’re 20.
You and mom don’t see eye-to-eye right now, but that changes, and now she is our best friend.
Lars, Gavin, Frank, and Kevin are the only ones still supporting us through all these years later. If you want to skateboard, then do it, don’t worry if it’s not your click. Start snowboarding; it’s awesome. Also – stop stealing. There’s nothing worse than a thief. Also, we get caught shoplifting senior year and get grounded for the graduation party.
The girls come around. Be confident, you may not be the best looking kid in school, but you have one hell of a personality. So don’t lower your standards.
Stop smoking weed, you don’t like it, and you know it.
We’re going to get thrown some hard curveballs in the next few years of high school. We’re going to lose some really good friends over not wearing seat belts, we lose dad, and we see some stuff a kid shouldn’t see.
In the end, our downfall is we don’t know when to stop and admit the party is over.
After college, things don’t work out at your first big boy job, at Automatic Data Processing, and when you need to make the right choice, remember you’re just simply really good at painting.
I recommend moving to Grand Forks and keep an eye out for a girl named, Dacotah, trust me you won’t miss her. Because later we’ll have an amazing seven-year-old daughter that will change your world, and her name will be Melrose. But we’ll only be there for two birthdays and the rest we’ll be sitting in prison if you don’t do what I told you to do.
Here is our favorite quote to start living by, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Suess
If ya don’t change, I’ll see ya soon on the inside,