An open letter to my 14-year-old self.

Dear Dusty,

You will not believe what will happen to you in the next 11 years. Do you remember learning how to play guitar a little? You completely quit and started playing drums! Dude, we even got into a semi-locally recognized punk band. (A failed metal band and… a ska band. Sorry about that one. It was fun though.)

In the next year you will meet some people that will be in your circle of friends for the rest of your life. One of them will become one of your life-long best friends. He skateboards and plays metal. He even has red hair. You will have someone to truly relate to and be vulnerable and emotional around. You will also have some of the most impressive skateboarding and guitar sessions with him.

You know all of those poems you wrote to all of the girls you thought you loved over your lifespan? Keep writing them. You are going to get better. More specifically, keep journaling. Please don’t throw out your journals this year. You will want them at my age.

In the next 12 months you are going to meet a girl who is a senior and she is going to fall head over heels for you. I’m not kidding man! You’re strange looking red-headed self will make your friends jealous. That metal band I was talking about, she was the bassist and she was dating your guitarist. You scoundrel! I’m proud of you. I won’t let you know what happens beyond you meeting her. That’s an experience you must have for yourself. Ourselves.

You are actually going to learn how to skateboard pretty good to. I’m going to be honest you never got amazing, but you got pretty damn good for where we end up. You should be impressed that we stick with it for our entire lives. I knew you would keep with it though.

We both already know we are going to break our own hearts. This is typical already for you at this point. You are developing into a strange human. I want to say this in the most sincere way. You are a really weird dude. You also are going to always feel lonely. Don’t worry about it though. Once you get to my age you start to realize what’s important to you. That lonliness is actually the part of you that wants to continue creating the world around you. Try and embrace it as soon as you can. We always learn things a little too late. Trust me, 25 is just as hard as 14. Not in the same ways though.

You already know you are going to drop out of school. Even though you will drop out, you are going to go to college and get all but one semester with a 4.0 gpa. No one will think much of it, but you know how slow we are at learning. Don’t let it get you down because you’ll also drop out of college. Why? You met a beautiful girl who is going to take you across the country… Hitch-hiking… Seriously!! You met her in Art History and you were top of your class, even got to take a shot at getting a scholarship with this woman!

You are going to skateboard in California in 8 years time. I’m not fucking with you. I swear! While in California you will be living the most crazy lifestyle. You will be living part time on an organic vegetable farm in a small trailer, working at Starbucks, and bar-tending at a really great dive bar. (You don’t know what a dive bar is yet, and you won’t for another 7 years. It’s a really good thing-in a bad way of course)

I know you don’t believe in marriage but You will propose to your soulmate. Do you remember that girl who took you hitch-hiking? Her! It’s unbelievable that you two actually met. Unfortunately you WILL fuck it up. You will need to though. At my age you still have a lot to learn about yourself. Sorry about that man. You were too young. Too niave. We do this a lot through our lives.

When you are 23 you will realize you have a drinking problem. You will break things inside of yours and your fiancees home and call her awful things. If you can, please avoid the name calling. Go ahead and break stuff, you will learn from that. Just don’t be mean to this one. You will regret this for years to come. It will keep you up at night. You will say one very specific thing to her and you will never forgive yourself for it. Push on though. Just be kind!

Things are actually not going okay for you right now. Nothing is terrible and you are getting a lot better at being human. But at the turn of 2015 into 2016, you will be as lost as you are now. It does not get much easier at 25. You just learn to navigate it better.

You may not find your footing for another couple of years as long as you don’t continue avoiding commitment. Work on that. People say you are an alright guy. Stick with that. I hope you will end up okay. I love you even though you hate me sometimes. Don’t give up yet.






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