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.

Dear Louis,

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

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by David DeLossy. 

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hispanic mother and daughter.

Examining Why Autism Is Under-Diagnosed in the Hispanic Community

The quickest growing population in the United States has the lowest autism diagnosis rates, according to several studies, and the big question on everyone’s mind is: Why? Well, according to pediatricians across the country, the primary reason for low diagnosis rates in Hispanics is due to the confusion of the questions on the screening questionnaire. The solution presented to this is a [...]
PETA's billboard asking "Has your child 'got autism?'"

Old PETA Campaign Linking Milk to Autism Has People Outraged

An old People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign is making its way around the internet again, almost 10 years after it was originally launched. In 2008, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) fought — and won — to have a PETA billboard taken down that linked drinking milk caused autism. In addition [...]
Young woman and reflection.

Learning to Be Myself as a Person With Autism

My name is Hannah. One year and two days ago I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder — Asperger’s syndrome profile. I had been trying to get a diagnosis since I was 17 years old. I was misdiagnosed with depression, anxiety (I do have anxious feelings but these are as a direct result of how [...]

This Martial Arts Program Is Karate Chopping Stereotypes

This couple opened a karate studio to teach people of all abilities. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_53Mt7YxL_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/\/feeds\/53Mt7YxL.json","ph":2} ); Read the full transcript: This Martial Arts Program Is Karate Chopping Stereotypes Kicking The Spectrum teaches people of all abilities Japanese Shotokan Karate. Located in NYC, the adaptive martial arts program was established by David and Stephanie Rosenberg in [...]