“Dear 12 year old me. Right now your fight is scary, and I know you feel you are losing the battle and losing it alone… Please trust me when I say that what you are feeling today, you won’t feel forever.”
— Emma Smart

A note to my 16 year old self,

Kia ora my bro, I know where you’re at right now.  Something doesn’t quite feel right but you don’t want to let people know that.  You’re doing a great job at hiding how you feel by being the guy that comes in as the life of the party.  Everyone knows you without actually knowing who you are. They say all the things that make you feel good on the surface but none of what really makes you feel good deep down. At this stage you think you’re happy because everyone knows your name, you’ll soon understand that you’re not happy, you’re actually pretty lonely.

You’re about to embark on a long journey of finding yourself, you’ll have relationships and friendships, some short and some long. None of these will be around in 20 years time because the boy you are now will not be the man you are later.  Don’t worry, this is a good thing, so don’t put so much emphasis on these relationships defining you. You’ll need to make lots of mistakes. Mistakes about finding your happiness in other people, mistakes of never letting yourself be alone, mistakes about thinking you ‘need’ to be wanted to be valuable.  The past has left some deep underlying scars and this is why you struggle to enjoy being by yourself but it won’t be like that forever – trust me, I’m the wiser, safer and more confident version of you.  

All of the things you struggle with now won’t exist in the future, you’re going to grow, you’re going to truly love yourself for who you are and you’re not going to put up a front to make other people like you.  People will love you for ‘who you are’ not ‘who you think they want you to be’ and you won’t be afraid of how that makes you look or what people think because you’ll finally be true to yourself. This will lead to creating projects that open up your entire life to a path you never knew existed.  You’ll connect to Maoridom in a huge way and find the piece that was once missing, in turn you’ll attract people that have the same values and kaupapa as yourself and your fears of being alone won’t even be a thing anymore because you’ll realise that you never were alone and the greatest gift you have is to have peace in yourself.  I know it’s hard my bro, but trust in the process, I guarantee you it won’t let you down.

-Scott Douglas