To My 16 Year Old Self

So I will admit, this little exercise has become pretty popular nowadays. It’s where you reflect on your life, and ask your self, what would I tell my 16 year-old self, if I could?

Now it doesn’t have to be your sixteen-year-old self. It could be your ten year old self, your twenty year old self, honestly you could pick any number. The point of the exercise is to REFLECT on your life and consolidate  it down into a single message you wished you’d known earlier.

And although I’m not too old, being only 23, I feel like there’s still a lot of wisdom I could give my younger, more naive self, say I could get the opportunity to do so.

So then what would I tell a sixteen year old Cory?

And to be honest, my answer is probably going to be pretty boring. Would I want to tell myself about all the horrible things that are going to happen to me? Would I want to tell myself all the good things instead? Of course I would, but I don’t really think that’s the point.

Honestly if I could go back 7 years and meet my younger self, I don’t think I’d say a thing, at least nothing deep or insightful.

The thing is, if I did say anything at all….. it would only be these 3 words: you’ll be alright.

After I told him those short, but encouraging words, I’d give him a hug, smile, and just hope that he knows, my younger self knows what that means.

And you may ask, why am I not telling my self all the bad things that are to come? All the people that are going to hurt me? And about all the times I’m not going to feel like I’m enough?

At the very least, why wouldn’t I tell my self about the people I’m going to meet, the experiences I’m going to have, and the places I’ll get to go to?

And the reason is simple.

Like I said many times before, I don’t think the point of living is to know what’s coming, nor is the point of living dwell on what you could have done. No, the meaning of life is a complicated and almost impossible question to answer, but at the same time, it’s actually quite simple. 

 At this point in my life, I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.  All the plans I made, my 1 year, 2 year, and 5 year plans, almost none of which went the way I expected.

Would I like to know what I’ll be doing in 10 year from now? Of course I would, because who wouldn’t?

But do I need to know? And the answer is always going to be no.

Because if we know what’s going to happen tomorrow, or 10 years from now, then what’s the point trying? What’s the point of making yourself better? What’s the point of taking risks and failing? And that’s what makes life exciting but at the same time terrifying.

We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we have the potential within us to make so much happen.

And still, that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. The reason why I would only tell my self 3 little words: You’ll be alright, is because I want him, I want my self to remember one single message: To always stay optimistic; to stay hopeful even in the face of extreme adversity.

It’s a simple message yes, but a powerful one; one that I hope everyone can hold onto, because life’s hard, and we need to have a reason to hold on and keep going, even if it’s just knowing that you’ll be alright.

Thanks for reading,