Morning Chalk Up

Dear 15-year-old Noah,

It’s okay.

You’re going to be the man. It may not feel like it now since you’ve had to let go of the sport you played growing up and move away from all your friends. Don’t worry. Giving up lacrosse will shake you up, but you’ll find something else. But first try all of the sports; wrestling, swimming, water polo. And hang in there with the wrestling team, even though you’re the smallest guy on the team and they pick on you a lot. The teasing won’t last, but the camaraderie that you experience will.

I know you feel insecure that you’re a 110-pound freshman, with long blonde hair, who everyone has nicknamed “Cutie.” Don’t worry, it won’t stick. It may feel like you have to try and bench press, bicep curl, and protein shake your way into manhood. You want it now. It’s all good. It’s going to happen. But you’re going to have to work really hard for it.

Your family life will change, too…Keep sitting down for those family dinners every night. Thank your parents for going to every game and meet…You don’t see it now, but they work really hard to be at every single one. These are difficult sacrifices, and they add up.

Be patient, but don’t be lazy. Do things that you enjoy, that make you happy and with people that make you smile. Eventually, you’ll fall into “your thing,” and you’ll fall so deep into it that it’ll change your whole world.

Your family life will change, too. Even so, love them all. Through everything and anything. That’s all they’ve done for you all 15 years of your life and will continue to for many more. You owe it to them. Keep sitting down for those family dinners every night. Thank your parents for going to every game and meet, for both you and your sister. You don’t see it now, but they work really hard to be at every single one. These are difficult sacrifices, and they add up.

One of your best friends won’t make it, but he will alter the way you look at the rest of your life decisions. Remember him. Honor his impact on your life. Do not waste yours.

As you meet new people, be kind. Smile, make friends, get to really know them. By the end of your high school years, your life will have changed drastically and overnight. One of your best friends won’t make it, but he will alter the way you look at the rest of your life decisions. Remember him. Honor his impact on your life. Do not waste yours.

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Go with the flow. Everything is ALWAYS going to be okay. From the test you’re freaking out about to the swim meet to the homecoming dance. As long as you do your best, it’s all going to work itself out the way it should. Believe that. I promise that it has for us up to this point. Eleven years down the road, believe it or not, you’re going to have fans that you inspire. You’re going to get to travel the world, support your family, and create incredible and powerful memories. It’s all coming your way, my man. Enjoy it and remember, “Nothing replaces hard work.”

Love,

Noah