To My Past Self

I’ve been feeling a little down recently for a few reasons, but when looking back, it’s hard to believe how blessed I’ve been. It’s not always been easy (that’s an understatement), but I was thinking back to where things were in my life a decade ago. I was moving between friends’ houses, desperately struggling to find myself as friends and family became distant and harder to reach. For some reason, on this rainy Monday night, I wanted to put something together to 23-year-old me. 

Dear Lloyd,

I know things seem rough right now, and I wish I could simply say that it’ll get better.

In truth, things are going to get a lot harder first. There’s a lesson in that, and I’ll save all that spiel about God giving his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers because ten years from now you’ll struggle to believe in him, too.

Right now there’s a good chance you’re feeling a little bit lonely, reading IGN to find out about the big new games coming up – except you’re already listening to podcasts, reading Reddit, and writing a blog. The good thing is, that doesn’t really change, and one day you’ll have your name on that site, and TechRadar, and plenty more. It’ll take a lot of late nights and some pretty reckless career moves, but it’ll happen. Turns out, you’re pretty good at it, too.

You’re probably thinking about how proud that’ll make your grandparents, and you’re not wrong. It breaks my heart to tell you, though, that they won’t be here forever – cherish every moment you can with all of them.

That year is going to be rough, and you’ll lose more than just family. You’ve not met Tom yet, but it won’t be long. There’s not much I’d change about the last decade, but it took losing someone so important when they were so young to make you assess your choices.

You’re happy to play the fool, but your friends are growing up and moving on without you. Many will take a different path, but the ones worth sticking with are still there now. Sadly, some will pop up in a few years and try to undo your positivity – you’ll forgive them, eventually, but we’ll see how that holds up in the future.

Still, there are a few downward spirals in your path and I’m sorry for the thoughts that’ll go through your head. I’m sorry for the hell you’ll put your parents and sister through, and I’m sorry for that night with the pills. You’ll get better, with medication, some therapy, and the love of the people around you, but please trust the process. It’s called bipolar disorder, by the way, if you want to save yourself some research.

Speaking of love, you’ll find it – it’ll just take you a while to find the other half of you. And when that love comes, it’ll hit like a train and give your life meaning. And when you hold your son for the first time, everything that came before will just melt away. You’ll understand why your parents bent over backwards to help you through your darkest days, and you’ll dedicate your life to protecting him from the hardships of life.

As days go by, you’ll feel beaten down, and wonder what the point of going on is. Then you’ll hear that your silly little blog helped someone, maybe even a few people, and from there you start to dedicate your life to being a positive influence on others. You’ll do things for charity, you’ll try and pick people up, and you’ll do everything you can to make your family proud.

And, at 33, you’re still standing – it’s been touch and go for a bit, and who knows what the future holds, but it’s OK to hold your head high – even if it’s just for a little bit.

Good luck.

Oh, and P.S – don’t get too attached to your appendix, and also maybe don’t delete all traces of you before 2017 from the internet – it makes it really hard to add images to this blog.