If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Hey, Bryce, it’s me, which is to say you. I’m writing from about 20 years in your future. I remember very well how you’re already half expecting this message, daydreaming how it would go, so I won’t waste time with patronizing explanations.

I know you think you love someone, but you doubt yourself because, after all, you’re just a kid, what do you know about love? Not to mention that she’s going out with somebody else. But you should know that twenty years later, thinking about her still kind of feels that same way. Which, I realize, won’t make it any easier on you there in your today. But you should always hold on in your heart, because she’s told me that she’s thought about us too.

Of course, that hardly even counts as advice, because I know full well that you’ll be holding on in your heart anyway. I would also tell you that she’s not the only fish in the sea, but you wouldn’t hear it if I did.

Forget your plans, you don’t really know what you want yet. I’m not sure you’re ready to hear that either, though, which is part of the problem. Maybe I should’ve shot for an older you, but for whatever reason, you’re the past that’s on my mind today.

Enjoy the attached mix tape. I hope you like it, it took me a while to dig up a cassette deck to record it with. Notice a band called They Might Be Giants on there, you should get to New York soon and see them perform. You’ll thank me later, but you should really thank Damon because he’ll introduce you to them in a year or two, I’m only stealing his thunder.

Meanwhile, as soon as possible, get yourself on a boat and see the world. And send postcards to Grandma Betty along the way.

Write something down for me every once in a while too. It’s the only way I’ll be able to hear your true voice, don’t count on me to remember what being you was like. You and I can’t remember for crap. Try to remember that at least.

Steer clear of a girl named Michelle Lee Garrison, she’s toxic. Observe the numerous warning signs. You deserve better.

A parting shot before I go: You’re too cynical. While I can’t quite say you’re wrong to be, it doesn’t make you happy. Just take it down a notch. Spend more time with Grandpa Bill, he knows how to be happy.

Just be yourself and have fun, and the people in your life will sort themselves out based on that.