A Dear Dads Special – Open letter to my 17 yr old self


Dear Dan,

Thought I’d drop in and say hi. You don’t know me yet, but I know you. You’re the geeky kid in school with very few friends. You’re always trying to be cool, but missing the mark miserably which has brought about endless bullying. I have watched you walk the school halls trying to make friends but always being the new kid never really fitting in. It’s easy for me to say, however you need to listen. Just relax. Don’t be so intense. While you think sacrificing your self-esteem so you can be popular is a good thing, I’m here to tell you it isn’t. These people your trying to impress are just kids themselves and will very shortly be very very little fish in an incredibly huge pond. They are not your friends so stop trying. You know who your friend is? The German exchange student who is always happy to see you, that guy is your friend. He doesn’t judge you because of the shoes you wear or the hair cut you rock. Just on this, don’t give yourself an undercut, you look ridiculous. It’s not your style it is someone else’s. Find your own style, rock that and forget the haters. The German exchange student is the one you should be hanging around, at least he shows you the time of day, but right now you think your too cool for him don’t you? Well my friend your not, but it will be a while before you learn this lesson.

And your girlfriend, the one you think you will be with for the rest of your life? Hate to break it to you mate but she is cheating on you. Yep, true story… With your best mate. But you will find this out in about 4 months at toys R us in the city, just after you get her pregnant. Honestly I’m not making this up. Your life is going to go into a flat spin. But I’m here to tell you it will be ok, it really will. Your world won’t end. In fact all of this will make you stronger. You won’t see it at the time, but these few events will shape your personality for adulthood. Your going to join the army, cool huh? Play with some cool big boy toys, meet some truly awesome people that you will be friends with for a long long time. You will get to see the world and it will be then that you understand that the world is bigger than Midland. There are more important things than the latest sneakers and the coolest haircut, but your passion for cars I can tell you will burn strong for years to come.

Why am I telling you this? Because I know about the day in about 4 months where it all gets to much for you. I know about the day you go up to the quarry and break down sitting on the quarry edge. Thinking that no one cares. Thinking that you should just step off. But mate, your parents care way more than you can imagine, your future wife cares, your future children care. They need you to be strong. I need you to be strong. It gets better. The way you feel when your sitting there will pass. Yeah your going to make some mistakes, some that you will pay for for a long time. But your stronger than you think. Give yourself credit for making it this far. Be proud of who you are. And never give up.

Things won’t always go your way, your going to make dumb choices. But you will learn from them. You will also make some great choices when it really matters. Relax and enjoy the ride. Your world wont always revolve around you, you will one day become a dad. It will be as awesome as you have always imagined. But that’s a lot for you to take in right now. I guess if I had to leave you with one piece of advice it would be………

Just be you.

No one will respect you if you try to be something else. Oh and if anyone ever says “let’s go out on an all night bender” say no. Trust me the fun is not worth the hangover.


Your future self.


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