This letter was written by a teenager who visited the monastery for the first time and stayed five days practicing with his friends. One night, the teenagers were invited for an activity called “Dear Present Me”. They were encouraged to write a love letter to themselves, a letter that gives them strength, courage and determination in this moment and later on in life. When encountering difficulties, this letter serves as a refuge place, a ladder that helps them to continue to climb up and not giving up hope so quickly. Each friend chose a comfortable space in the dining hall and with a simple pen and a sheet of paper, he/she opened his/her heart out to no one, except to himself or herself.
Even I do not know where to start with you. You are probably the smartest person you know. Never let anything you do make you feel inferior or less of yourself. You have really good sense and you are a strong leader. Do not be so quick to close people out like you always do. The first step to fixing that is to truly let Alexis go. The past is the past. She moved on and your bitterness does nothing but hurt those close to you. You are an A student and yet you settle for whatever you can get. You are a star athlete and you let your own internal turmoil stop the world from seeing that. Do not regret your decisions, please learn from them. You have a chance to go to college and get an education: please do so.
Since when did you even smoke weed? I remember when you use to swear to God you would never, ever let any foreign substances into your body. What happened? As far as I am concerned, you are not being you. Do not continue to force yourself in the shadows, you are a radiant person whom everyone adores. When you are in public or around people, why do you always have to be seen? Play the back until you are needed because you will be eventually. Michael, I genuinely love you and I know someone else out there will too. Forgive your father please. He is not a bad man. God did everything for a reason, please do not feel sad about him being gone. Be better than anyone who doubted you expects you to be. Be a great father. Care for your wife the way a man should. Stop being a womanizer, that stuff never gets anyone anywhere. Remember what Mr. Gomez said, “Don’t be a statistic Michael, please make mom and dad proud.”
Think about big brother John. He had every reason you did to quit, but he did not. Instead of comparing yourself to him just follow his lead. You are not inferior. You are destined for greatness. Continue on your path and I am more than sure that you will be fine. Take care of your siblings, they idolize you. Lead by example, finish school, and get a job. If nobody believes in you I do. DO not be afraid to ask for help. You are not Superman, kid. Humble yourself or the universe will. This “G-Michael” character must be put to an end also. The way he curses aloud and carries himself is a disgrace to you, your father, and your grandfather for all carrying the same name. Treat people with the tender love and care that you posses deep inside. Prove to yourself and the world that Michael Wilton Breaux III is not just another typical “New Orleans nigga.” Show that you have actual qualities that people would admire. You are an excellent big brother and continue to be there. You are slowly reaching the point where you belong, but please remember that when you arrive, you still have always to go. You must continue to grow. Keep your friends close in your heart. Please do not allow yourself to be dragged down from previous events. Learn from them and do not repeat them. I love you Michael, and you will be a great person down the line. Just continue to stay true to yourself.
One thought on “A Letter to Present Me (Dear Michael)”
David Brown says:
“Instead of comparing yourself to him just follow his lead.”
This is a fantastic attitude, and a line I will borrow with gratitude. Thank you Michael. This is a wonderful letter and I hope you are well.