A Letter from 35

Dear Allyn,

Yooooo! What’s going on young man? If my memory serves me correctly you are getting ready for the big 25th Bday party in Philly.  The reservations have been made, invites sent, and you are currently looking for something to wear. How do I know this?  Well, I’m 35 year old Allyn writing from 10 years in the future.

Tonight is going to be a blast and the next decade will be filled with great moments, amazing people, superb experiences, valuable time with friends and family, plenty of laughs, and even some love.  During the same decade, you will experience moments of despair, loss, failures, disappointments, heartbreak, and experiences you wouldn’t wish on your enemies.

I’m very aware that you want me to tell you more about the difficulties ahead.  In your mind, if you know about the trouble ahead you can figure out how to avoid it.  However, with age comes wisdom, and I realize that it’s best to be vague.  Those moments you will want to avoid like the plague are going to play a huge role in making me the man I am today and I’m proud of that man. 

Also, if I’m honest, at 25 you are not ready for some of the knowledge I could bestow upon you from 35.  It would go in one ear and out the other.  A person can tell you that a stove is hot, but you don’t truly know for yourself until you touch it.  I think it’s best for both of us if I let you touch it.   

Long story short, don’t change a thing.  Continue doing what you’re doing. Keep traveling the route you are on.    Don’t get me wrong, you will encounter plenty of obstacles, make some wrong turns,  take some detours, and even have a few crashes along this current route.  However, on the very same route, there will be spectacular views, visits to beautiful places, unbelievable experiences, and opportunities to meet and spend time with amazing people.  That’s Life!  Like anyone’s journey, you will have some ups and downs but I can say that all of it ends up being vital to your personal growth.   

So, buckle up and learn to embrace it all! 

Do I have it all figured out at 35? Of course not!   Hell, the world is going through something right now that has forced me to question what’s essential. There will be things that you face in the next decade that won’t make any sense and still don’t at 35.  However, I’ve learned to accept that lack of clarity as a chance to not lean so much on my own understanding but trust that all will be well.  I suggest you start learning to do the same.  I’d also advise remembering the words inscribed on a ring given to an ancient king who asked for guidance in navigating the joys and pains of life, the ring simply said  “this too shall pass”.   

So take some pressure off yourself and don’t spend so much time trying to get the perfect outfit for the 25th Bday Extravaganza.  It doesn’t have to be perfect and neither do you.  Failure isn’t fatal and success isn’t final.  Try your best, keep your head high, and keep a sense of humor about it all.  Let the journey you will embark upon over the next 10 years mold you into the person that I am today.  That person is pretty cool!   Happy Birthday!  


35 Year Old Allyn


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