A Letter To My 17 Year Old Self

Dear Derek,

    Congrats, you just graduated high school. Enjoy this next summer. You’re making the right decision not going back to school. You do not need to jump right into post secondary because you don’t find out what you want to do for few years. So do what you’re about to do and just enjoy life with your friends. Savour every single moment.

What you did right:

  • You married the perfect woman. She is breathtaking. She loves you for who you are and you have any amazing relationship. So don’t worry about those bitches who won’t pay any attention to you or don’t treat you right because they don’t matter. You have the girl of your dreams. You are just going to have to wait a few more years to meet her. I won’t tell you how to make it happen faster because your story is pretty great just the way it is.
  • Kids. This one you are going to question for the next 10 years or so but in the end you take the plunge and it’s fantastic. You have a beautiful baby girl who is a prefect combination of you and your beautiful wife. I know you’re probably saying to yourself, “I have kids in the future! That’s ridiculous! I don’t want kids!” But trust me it’s better than you can even imagine and better than anyone can tell you. You just have to go through it to experience it.
  • Dogs. You have amazing dogs, Thor and Storm. They are the best.
  • Homies. You kept your core group of friends close and you will see how important that is later on. Always make sure they are a part of your life. You also meet some great new additions along the way.
  • Fitness. Although you should have started caring earlier, you did get into fitness and that was the right move. You will love it trust me.

What you did wrong:

  • You stopped playing piano. Big mistake. I know you had your reasons but you should have kept up with it. You could have been a great musician, maybe not on a publicly grand scale but just being able to play any song you want whenever you want and really enjoy it.
  • You stopped playing competitive basketball. Another big mistake. Although the time commitment was a bit ridiculous for an any adult with a job and a life, you should have tried to make it work. At the very least just play pick up with your friends more often.
  • You worried too much about what other people thought. And you still do but I’m trying to work on that for both of our sakes. Just relax, you’re not going to please everyone.
  • You didn’t find the right style early on haha. You look pretty ridiculous at the moment but it’s all good because you fix it later on.
  • You didn’t invest enough into Apple stock. You could have been rich! Ask to borrow money to invest more, you will definitely be able to pay it back. You didn’t invest enough period. Start right now.
  • Don’t take things too personal. Some relationships will fizzle out and end. It’s not because of anything in particular. People just go different ways sometimes. It’s confusing but trying to figure out a reason why is not going to work, so just move on.
  • You stayed mad for too long. Let go of any hurt and just focus on living your life to the fullest. You eventually do this, but you should do it sooner rather than later because you could have enjoyed a lot more moments.
  • You haven’t made the move to Canmore. Start working on this now. You will want to be there so bad one day. So start taking the steps to get that done.
  • You didn’t read books for fun until you turned 30. That was a big mistake. The amount of knowledge you could have gotten in those 13 years you can’t put a price on. 
  • You didn’t follow through with your invention for a new piece of gym equipment. And you know what happened? About 3 years after you made the prototype and then didn’t pursue it, some big company made it. You missed out.
  • Lastly and most importantly stop being scared to step outside of your comfort zone.

    You will notice that you did a lot more wrong than right. A lot more because there are way more wrongs that I didn’t put on this list. But what you did get right is monumentally great. So be excited for those moments to pop up in the upcoming years. When the moments you got wrong pop up make sure you make the right choice so you won’t regret it when you’re my age.  You have a great life but constantly strive to make it the best it can be. You are going to have a great 13 years.


The 30 year old Derek in the future

Check out my letter to my 77 year old self.

- Papa Bird