Home > Uncategorized > From 21 to 11, What I Would Say

From 21 to 11, What I Would Say

Edit Note: Happy 100th post to me!

As those of you who’ve been following me for a while know, I am rather fond of writing letters to people. So with my birthday tomorrow (Wednesday) I had been trying to write something for the occasion but I suppose the crazy study sessions and working has had me too preoccupied. Then I happened to be browing the 20SB forums, when I found a thread asking what you would say to yourelf 10 years ago.

Dear Kendall,

While you are psyching yourself up for turning 11 tomorrow, I’m doing the same to turn 21. You steadily have people being surprised at just how smart and well spoken you are. People love the fact that you always smile.You are constantly told that your life is perfect.

I know better. I know how much you want to break down in tears behind that fool’s grin. I know how much you wish someone would see through it. I know that underneath that smile is a traumatized and neglected little boy.

I wish I could tell you that your pain was done with.

God, you have no idea how much I do.

It’s strange how I think of you as a different person, instead of just a kid version of myself.

So what do I tell you that I wish someone had told me?

Never forget who you are. It’s OK to be angry, you have every right to. However holding everything in for years is going to backfire horribly in October 2004 and by backfire, I’m mean you’re going to snap and beat the living hell out of the people who hurt you. You learn this lesson eventually but there was so much misery we could have avoided if we learned to talk to people about our problems. Which leads me to my second point.

Don’t be afraid to trust in people. I know you think adults are useless. For Dad, I wholeheartedly agree hence my declaration that I would rather be shot than become like him. Mom, when you’re 16, she’s going to slowly start waking up and realizing she knows nothing about her son. She still doesn’t really but at least she is making the effort to try. However, Rose loves you like she gave birth to you herself and Mami isn’t far behind. They even considered adopting you if things with Mom and Dad ever went too far.

Your middle school years are going to be Hell Kiddo, no kind way to put it. You are going to be ostracized, threatened, and generally trod upon until you become kind of jerkass in order to keep everyone at arm’s length. However, you will find a saving grace in E, despite how short a time you will know her. From her, you will develop your near-legendary stubbornness and your cloudcuckoolander act. Most importantly, she’ll teach you how to control yourself. It pays off.

Spend more time with Aunt J, Grandma, and Grandpa because by the time Christmas ’99 rolls around Aunt J will die very suddenly and Grandma and Grandpa will have both suffered strokes. Grandma will be bedridden for the next year until she dies after patting your head one last time while Grandpa will begin to rapidly show symptoms of Alzheimer’s.. Even though Grandpa lives until you’re 15, he never remembers your name again. So make use of that time now, please.

You may believe you don’t deserve love right now but you will eventually meet Tink who pretty much verbally beats that thought out of your head. She’s right. We didn’t ask for what happened. We aren’t used goods.

The next 10 years are going to be filled with heartbreak, finding family, love, joy, and everything under the Sun. But through all the tragedy, we survive. Better still, we thrive.

Oh, speaking of finding family.

In January of 2008, you get reaquainted with Eva (who you’ll meet in 7th grade) and eventually you begin to develop feelings for her. Eva’s daughter will also worm her way into your heart to the point you have pretty much claimed her in your head. The first time she calls you Papa, you’ll wait until you leave Eva’s house and even though the thought confused and terrified you, you’ll spend about three minutes crying in your car.

We’ve found a family, you are now a cook in this lovely restaurant in town, you are working on a children’s book, and you are a teacher’s aide to a rambunctious but heartwarming group of 6 and 7 year-olds, so we’ve made a good start on fulfilling our dreams.

You are a wonderful kid and despite everything thrown at you, somehow you grow up to be a decent man. The scars of our childhood are still here, but they are much muted by the many wonderful people in our life. So as you begin your second decade of life, know that it is better than the first overall.

I can only hope our third is even better.

Happy birthday Kid, I’ll be seeing you.

Live. Laugh. Love.

– Kendall, age 21

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  1. January 27, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    Mmm. Beautiful.

    And if you can get a child who isn’t even yours (biologically) to call you Papa, then I’d say you’ve accomplished your goal in not becoming your father.

    Happy birthday.

  2. January 27, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    Happy birthday! Happy 100th post! Lovely letter 🙂

  3. January 27, 2009 at 3:05 PM

    happy birthday!

  4. January 27, 2009 at 10:09 PM

    This is a beautiful post… you were very honest with little Kendall… Do you think, if you (he) had gotten this letter when you were 11 it would have changed anything? What would you have wanted NOT to change? You have come a long way in the past ten years… It’s going to be exciting to see what you do in the next twenty!

  5. January 27, 2009 at 10:09 PM

    Oh… and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Enjoy your day!

  6. January 28, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday dear Kendall!!!!!!!!
    Happy Birthday to you!

    …And a major congrats on your 100th post! I’m at 56 and fairly certain I’ve been blogging longer, but clearly not more frequently, ha.

  7. January 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    awesome letter to yourself!

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