A letter back in time to myself at age 16.
You don’t know me yet, but you will soon enough. I’m your future. Just thought I’d drop you a line and give you a heads up on what’s in store down the road.
Do you remember that blond-headed cutie with the blue eyes and dimples you had a crush on in the second grade? She turns out to be a real beauty when she grows up. Too bad that didn’t work out. You tasted the bitter pill of rejection for a while, but you made it through okay, didn’t you? She was only the first of several disappointments you’ll have to work your way through on life's roller coaster ride.
I know you’re flying high right now, playing baseball on two teams with games or practice every day of the week, sometimes even two a day. You would be perfectly content to spend the rest of your life bouncing around those dusty back-country roads on a rattletrap old school bus to get to the next game, but Dad is right. You need an education to fall back on, because, believe it or not, you’re going to make it past thirty. Speaking of which, you need to ease up on the gas pedal a bit. Driving like King Richard will only get you in trouble.
That baseball scout with his $100,000 bonus never shows up, but you’ll cruise through high school with everything seeming to go your way, even winning the lead role in the senior play (prophetically titled “Father Knows Best”). Don’t let the sweet smell of success go to your head. Your girl friend dumps you as soon as you leave for college. That will seem like the end of the world for a while, but you’ll make it through.
By the way, you should pay closer attention in chemistry class. That subject is going to present a grueling challenge at the next level.
After you get to see the world in the military, your wife will take off with everything you own and leave you with nothing but a pile of bills to pay. That one really smarts, but you’ll make it through to enjoy the blessings of children and grandchildren. You’ll even have the giggles of great-grandchildren to brighten your days, making all those heartaches just distant memories.
Mickey Mantle will write in his memoirs, “If I knew I’d live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” I know. At your age, it’s hard to look this far ahead. There will be lots of ups and downs, but you’ll make it through in spite of the aching muscles and creaky joints.
Sometimes my eyes well up a bit when I think back over the years, especially all those painful periods. My tears caress my creativity until the words flow freely like blood from those rips in my broken heart through the pen in my hand onto the chalk-white page. Then, a little revision to protect the innocent and prevent lawsuits, followed by some editing to ensure conformance with editorial requirements, will make my stories ready for market. Yes, all those excruciating episodes you will endure now make fertile fodder for a lucrative writing career, and I’m crying all the way to the bank.
Hang in there, Kiddo. You’ll make it through all the good and the bad times. I’ll see you when you get here.
Your future self
Word count: 567
Beginning: Narrator goes back in time to address himself at age 16
Setting: The cruel world.
Plot: Narrator endures rejections, which become material for writing projects.
Ending: Narrator becomes successful writer. (a little wishful thinking here )