To me at 22: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
- for the successes AND the failures. Neither were fatal.
- for having all of the answers and often being wrong. I forgive you!
- for making good decisions and bad decisions. You did both boldly.
- for following your heart. It has always served you well.
- for marrying Sally. Brilliant move!
- for seeking out wisdom and foolishly ignoring it. Those were lessons you had to learn.
- for playing hard. Those days won’t last.
- for setting a course and chasing it relentlessly. It was a great place to start.
- for being idealistic. You will mellow but it made you more interesting at the time.
- for being resilient. It has enabled you to pick yourself up time and time again.
- for taking responsibility. There is far too much blame in the world.
- for being dependable. There is far too little follow-through in the world.
- for forgiving yourself and others. This has made your life a much happier place.
- for not waiting for the perfect time. You were right, it never comes.
- for choosing adventures. Even though you couldn’t afford them.
- for choosing to build a family. Even though you couldn’t afford it.
- for your robust innocence. You’ll begin to understand this in about 20 years.
- for being impatient. No, it was not always good but it also triggered aspiration for which I am truly thankful.
- for being good. There is no substitute.
- for loving your parents and appreciating them. You’ll really understand this in 20 years.
Yes, you could have saved more and stayed away from those credit cards. You were pretty clueless about jumping into a marriage but you found your way. No, you weren’t as smart as you thought you were. But guess what? That’s alright. The answers will come.
Thank you for fighting the good fight, sticking to it, and being a good man. Trust me when I say you’ll never completely figure it out and that is what keeps things interesting.