Dear Younger Gary,
You are very near and dear to me and looking back, I can see some things that are going to trip you up. I thought I’d take a few minutes to write down some advice for you so that you can hopefully benefit from those bumps and bruises without actually having to live through them.
Sell the stock before the split. Trust me on this.
You will find a girl who will hurt you very badly. Stay away from her.
You will find another girl who will complete you. Find her sooner. While you’re at it, spend more time with her dog too.
I hate to say it, but you’re never going to get that million dollars. Deal with it and move on. You really don’t need it, trust me on this too.
Fast little cars are fun, but big trucks are way more comfortable.
Stop being so smug. You really know less than you think you do and you’re wrong a lot more than you admit to yourself.
Go hug your Grandma. Right now. Go… I’ll wait.
Listen to your Uncles and Aunts when they try to teach you something. Pay better attention and take notes, because some day they’ll be gone and you will have to fry your own potatoes, clean your own chickens and grow your own garden.
Your mom was right.
Your mom was right about that too.
Your mom was wrong about that, though.
Islay whisky is very very good but it takes some getting used to. Start sooner.
Your politics will shift radically to the left. Seriously. I’m not kidding. It’s called “compassion” and it’s ok.
No matter what you think right now, you really don’t want to be famous. You’re really happy and thankful being normal.
Yes, they are right. A drop of water in your whisky is much better than drinking it neat, no matter how “cool” you think it is to order it that way.
Blended margaritas are for rookies and noobs. Order them on the rocks with salt. Trust me. Now get two of them and go sit on the beach with that girl I told you to find sooner and listen to the waves. That’s it, just listen to the surf and hold her hand.
You’re going to convert to Catholicism. Stop laughing, I’m serious. I was just as surprised as you are but it’s a really good fit and you will be much happier.
Remember that million dollars? Yeah… I told you to forget it, pay attention.
You will have dogs. You will cry bitterly when you lose them, and you will always find room in your heart for another. Cherish them and love them, the tears are always worth the love you get from them.
Go ahead and learn to play the guitar. Try slack key first. Hawaiian music is much better than that crap you’re listening to right now.
Joining the Navy, volunteering for submarines and going into the nuclear power program instead of going to college isn’t a bad life choice… but doing it because you were tired of studying and just wanted to get out of a bad situation is a really really stupid reason.
Eat more mangoes.
Sleep more. Work less. Take relaxing vacations with that girl you found sooner this time.
That job where they spend a year trying to recruit you? Yeah… stay away from it and tell them to get lost.
Other people’s opinions matter a lot less than you think they do.
Healthy food can actually taste good and all that fat you eat is why you feel like crap all the time.
Turning 40 is actually pretty cool. You can finally afford all those things you wanted, about the time you realize you really don’t want them after all.
You will eventually be allergic to crabs and shellfish. Eat lots of them before that happens.
Are you still thinking about that million dollars? Sheesh.
Go ahead and write that book.
Most of all, rest assured that you will love yourself eventually. Once you love yourself, you open yourself up to the possibility of other people loving you too. Everything turns out pretty good so don’t mind the rough patches. Try to bark less and wag your tail more. Most of all, just relax and enjoy the journey.
With all my love,