To My Future Self With Autism
Back on Christmas of 2016, I was very down. I wanted fame and fortune more than anything. I just had a relationship end a month before; a girl I really liked moved away. My first attempt to publish a book failed. All of that got me down and I thought I’d be a loser in my life. So to hopefully get my spirits up, I wrote a letter to myself pretending that me at age 40 could see me living my life at 25. This is what my future self wrote to me.
I know you’re down right now. I know you want to be famous. I know you wish you could be that girl’s boyfriend. I know she’s moving and you’re going to miss her. I know you always feel your siblings have it better than you. I know you’re frustrated with your book and I know for sure you want everyone to like you. But I have a few things to tell you before you hit the age of 40. When you hit 40, you’re going to look back at all this and laugh out loud. You’re going to remember that the girl never went out of her way for you. You’re going to realize you were better off without her. I know it doesn’t seem that way right now but believe me, you will.
You’re also going to realize you want to be famous for all the wrong reasons — that girl being one of them. That’s not the way you should want to live your life. There are plenty of women out there who are going to love you and want to date you. You’re so young, you’re going to have plenty of shots to date attractive women. Enjoy life; you’ll be OK in the long run even though it doesn’t seem like it. You’re going to marry a beautiful young woman who will be so lucky to have you, and you’re going to look back and wonder why you ever worried this much.
You’re going to look back at the things you did because you thought your career was in jeopardy over a few failures. I promise you by the time you’re 40, you’re going to have the career you want. You’ve got time. You have a best buddy, you still have your family who love you, you’ve got other friends who admire you so much and she even told her friends about you.
I want you to do something, and you’re going to be glad you did before you hit 40. I want you to stop putting so much pressure on yourself. You are an inspiration to this world, and you’ve done so many things most people can only dream of. There are people who look up to you, even if you don’t see it. You don’t need to be famous for people to like you. You shouldn’t want to be famous for people to like you. You just need to be yourself and do the best you can. Shania Twain wouldn’t want you to put pressure on yourself, so you shouldn’t either.
You need to start being more proud of the things you did, because you did so much at such a young age. If you never think you’re good enough, you’re going to be miserable for the rest of your life and life is too short. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t focus on tomorrow as much as today. You are somebody and you need to start seeing it that way. One more thing, by the time you’re 40, you will have a good job, a good place to live and be married to a woman who will be so lucky to have you. Until then, enjoy life, Louis. I promise you’ll be OK.
— Louis Scarantino at 40
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Thinkstock photo by David DeLossy.