Note to my 18-year-old Self

By Mike Altamura

You don't wanna hear this. But not everyone is gonna like you. And that's okay. The person fixated on the validation of others will never find internal peace. Sometimes you're gonna have a target on your back. That's fine, too. It means you're relevant and/or they feel threatened by you. If it's the latter, be hard yet gentle. People will underestimate you because they don't see that fire burning within. Also remember everyone is fighting their own battles inside. Don't let the harshness of the industry affect your compassion toward others.

Legendary scribe Mike Ryan says you're the next Ray Mitchell. That's a lot of pressure. Especially to someone like you. You respect history, and understand the weight of that comparison. Take the positives. Be inspired. You're young, there's time. Patience, patience, patience. Yes, three were necessary because you're a stubborn mofo.

Remember potential is only fulfilled with sustained work ethic, commitment, and a little luck. Immerse yourself with knowledge. Knowledge is power, and fundamentals will always serve you well. Trust the process. You think you're ready but you're not. Learn from your mistakes and be humble. You're gonna fall. The challenge is how you rise.

Love your father and forgive him. Do not judge him. Instead be there to love, care, and appreciate the doctrines he instilled in you. Life is too short for an unforgiving heart. Do him proud.

You're gonna create history, kid. To the point nobody can throw shade at your legacy. But it's gonna come at a high price. Loads of sacrifices. Sometimes those you love dearest will not see or share your vision. It's a lonely path. Don't lose your character. And never forget to give back. Life in its richest essence is about the impact we have on others.

Savor and appreciate every moment. It goes so fast. Believe me. You'll be 35 before you know it, writing this letter.

You are loved,


*Note: Shoutout to LM for the inspiration.