A letter to my 13 year old self.

Tim,

Where do I begin.. I guess by asking how you are getting on with the SNES you got for your birthday? I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but…You don’t complete Super Mario Bros. 3.

I also wanted to say that you are fucking amazing, not enough people tell you that. I wanted to give you a few pointers, things to focus on and things to try. You will have to trust me and you will have to believe me when I say that this is for the best. I don’t want to tell you too much as you reading this letter has already disrupted the space time continuum.BACK-TO-THE-FUTURE-notes--007

1. Get rid of that awful dance music you’re currently listening to. You’re only listening to it because everyone at school listens to it and you’re trying to fit in. Below are a few albums that you should go and buy:
* Nirvana – Nevermind
* Pearl Jam – Ten
* Pearl Jam – Vs
* Oasis – Definitely Maybe (Should be out later this year)

* Jane’s Addiction – Nothing shocking
* Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo habitual
* Blind Melon – Blind Melon

These will get you started. It will take you a while before you fall in love with them, but stick with it. These are some of your favourite albums, you still listen to them to this day. I also suggest anything by Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.

2. Get a guitar, electric if possible. There is a store in Sandhurst called In tune music, they will help you out. Try to get a Stratocaster or a Telecaster. You have a penchant for music and this will give you a great head start. You’ll also need to find a teacher, again the music store can help you. As your birthday has just passed and Christmas in nearly a year away you will have to pull your finger out and do some work. I estimate you’ll need about £100. The half term holidays are next week so you can go to work with Dad. Clear up the yard, clean the vans, sweep the router room. There’s plenty to do.

3. Pay attention in school. This is a big one. You have the capacity to ace all your exams, I know because right now I’m re-taking GCSE English because we only got a C. I’m on course for an A and to be quite frank, it’s easy. I know you daydream a lot, this is not entirely your fault. You aren’t interested in learning because you are disengaged. I don’t know how I can help from where I am, but I would say speak to all your teachers. There are some great teachers there. Remember Mrs Lawson? You also have a love of science, you just don’t know it yet. Ask your science teachers to recommend some books on evolution and astro physics (planets). Speak to uncle Nigel and Dad about literature. George Orwell and Mark Twain are great places to start.

4. Don’t worry about not fitting in. Everyone has a place and there is a place for everyone. Everyone at your school is just as confused as you, even the teachers. Football isn’t your strong suit and you know it. Leave it for Steven and Russell. When you start to discover your musical abilities football will soon fade away and you’ll be much happier without it, trust me.

5. Speak to your Grandparents more. This is something I deeply regret. They have lived very rich and interesting lives and have a lot to offer the world.

6. Don’t worry about growing up too fast. Enjoy your childhood. Play outside more. Your imagination is one of the greatest tools you have, use it often.

7. Get yourself a deck of Bicycle cards and learn how to do a few tricks. Forget that crappy magic set we got for Christmas all those years ago. You’ll need a book, a good one. The Royal road to card magic is one of the best.

8. Ask more questions and question what you’re told.

9. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. In fact I encourage it. We only learn when we make mistakes. So jump in with both feet.

10. This is the most important one. When ever life gets you down or you feel angry or sad. Remember that you are a talking ape living on a piece of rock travelling through an ever expanding universe. Alternatively try this…Close your eyes and imagine yourself flying up. You pass through the clouds, through our atmosphere and out into space. Look at our planet. Look at it’s vastness, look how it spins. Think of all the billions of people going about their day. What ever problems you may have, its not the end of the world. As a species we are quite insignificant.

Well that about covers it. I wish you all the best with your teenage years, they are truly amazing and you have some great times ahead. Oh if you could copy write a short story about a young wizard called Harry Potter who learns magic at a school called hogwarts and has two friends called Ron and Hermione, I’d really appreciate it. When you’re 23 or so you’ll see an advert for an American singer looking for a guitarist, make sure you go to it.

Best wishes

Tim aged 33

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2 thoughts on “A letter to my 13 year old self.

  1. A thought provoking read, Tim. I’m not entirely sure I would like the younger me to hear from the current me – I quite like the role chronology plays in shaping us. Just one small point – you have never been, nor will be, a talking monkey. Ape, I grant ya 🙂

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