A Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self

by Larry Hehn on December 12, 2012

writingAt the end of each year, I like to take a few days off, recharge my batteries, and spend some extra time with family and friends. This year, I’m also putting the finishing touches on a book proposal. What a perfect time to share the 10 most popular posts of the past year here at Christian in the Rough!

Surprisingly, most of the “Top 10” were not published in 2012, so you may not have seen these in a while, if ever! Over the next few days, we will be counting down the Christian in the Rough Top 10 for 2012. Here’s number nine…

Last week I noticed that bloggers Dustin Valencia and Ben Nunes had posted letters to their younger selves on their blogs. I thought it was a great idea. I started thinking, what sage advice would I give to my 18-year-old self?

I’m not sure if I would have listened to all this when I was 18, but here’s what I would say if I had a chance. Here goes…

Dear 18-year-old Larry,

  • Don’t be in such a hurry to get older. You’ll be 43 before you know it.
  • Relax. You don’t have to be “right” about everything. (And, by the way, you aren’t.)
  • Nobody is beyond redemption. This includes you.
  • Humor at someone else’s expense isn’t humor.
  • If you don’t have the money for something, don’t buy it.
  • Breaking a room-temperature Terry’s Chocolate Orange on your forehead is a neat trick. Trying to break a frozen Terry’s Chocolate Orange on your forehead will give you a concussion and leave bits of foil embedded in your forehead. I’m just sayin’…
  • If you want to experience grace (and you will), start by extending it to others.
  • Don’t derive your self worth from your athletic accomplishments. Just go out there and have some fun.
  • I know you may not want to hear it right now, but Dad does know what he’s talking about.
  • Some things are your own fault. Deal with it.
  • Mullets aren’t forever. Rock it while you  still can.
  • Seek God above all else, and he will provide.
  • Everyone you meet is important. Everyone.
  • As long as it is legal, moral and ethical, there is no job that is beneath you.
  • Always look for things to celebrate rather than criticize.
  • You don’t need to know what happens next. If you found out, you wouldn’t believe it anyway. Just have faith.
  • Some of this stuff will take you 25 years or more to learn and appreciate. Hang in there!

What would you write in a letter to your 18-year-old self?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

bill (cycleguy) December 12, 2012 at 6:06 am

Love the mullet! When that time came around mine would have been known as a skullet. Don’t get me started on old men or bald men who have no hair but down to their shoulders. Ugh! Too much to write. Gonna have to try this exercise.
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Larry Hehn December 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

Yep, some of those hair styles can get a bit creepy. Especially when it’s windy outside. Thanks, Bill!

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Liz McLennan December 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

I love this. I’m sure I read it the first time ’round, but the lessons bear repeating. Funny, that.

xo
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Larry Hehn December 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

So true, Liz. I find that I need to re-read these regularly. Blessings!

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Mark December 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Did you really drive a frozen chocolate orange into your forehead?? That was a laugh out loud moment for me.
To my 18 year old self: You are not nearly as right as you think you are (and it doesn’t matter), you are loved far more than you can imagine right now and once you know Jesus is truly alive, the rest is rock and roll.
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Larry Hehn December 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I sure did, Mark. As I was seeing stars and trying my best to remain upright, my kids were laughing and saying, “Do it again! Do it again!” Nope, once is enough.
Great notes…thanks for sharing!

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Carol Rives December 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Very nice advice to yourself, Larry! I’ll have to ponder your question at the end. Thanks for sharing!
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Larry Hehn December 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Thank you, Carol. Have fun with it!

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