Tag Archives: letter to myself

A letter to my 19-year old self

In five days, I start my journey through the final year of my thirties. 39 doesn’t seem like an age that should hold any significance, but it feels like it launches the close of a chapter. Maybe a whole book.

I haven’t lived 39 years worth of living. There’s been a lot of time wasted while treading water, biding time, and hemming and hawing. But I’ve learned a lot, I’ve seen even more, and I wish I could go back and pass it on to myself as a teen. Here’s the letter I would send my 19-year old self:
Adam Avitable, comedian, at 19

Dear me,

It’s me, you. But I’m 38 now, and it’s the year 2016. When you’re reading this in 1997, you’re obsessed with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, reading Anne Rice over and over again, and spending your evenings playing Duke Nukem in the computer labs at Washington and Lee University, where you’re a junior. You study Japanese and ignore your core classes, which is why you’re going to graduate with a 3.9 in your major but a 2.7 overall. Luckily, your LSAT score will be so high that you’ll still get into a top 25 law school, without even taking a prep course. High five. Yeah, people still do that.

But here’s where you have to listen, and I know that’s the hardest part for you. You’ve spent 19 years being one of the smartest and most capable people in the room, even including the adults, and it’s left you with a feeling of omniscience. You start to think that you know better than everyone else, and that nobody has anything to teach you. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.

You can learn something from everyone you meet. Succeeding in life isn’t about always being right, because while that’s fun, it can also alienate you from people who might otherwise be amazing parts of your life. Stop reveling so much in correcting others and start turning that eye inward. Learn about culture and society and interpersonal relationships and why personal connections give us a strength and power more than makes sense logically.

Stop controlling everything, because you’re not. You think you are, but it’s all out of a fear of the unknown. Let someone else take over sometimes. Go get drunk. Embarrass yourself. Be human. Stop trying to show the world an unbroken facade, because the cracks are way too visible.

It comes to an end. The facade crumbles and you’re left broken for a long time. A marriage that probably shouldn’t have happened, or at the very least should have included some real communication. Relationships that fizzle because you’d rather be right than loved. A desperation and depression that make it hard to get out of bed. This is where your path is taking you.

Go to law school, but realize that law school is an education, not a career. Start writing early, and start performing stand-up at open mics as soon as you can. Create! Make short films and write novels and perform comedy and realize that your purpose on this world is pretty clear. You’re not here to cure cancer. You won’t be President. You probably won’t even end up with a wife and kids. But your words and your actions will have a power that you can’t see right now. You can make an impact just by being you. But the you when you’re alone. The you who’s vulnerable and a little scared, but confident and hopeful. The you who wants to be loved and liked because that’s how he feels worthy. The you who’s honest and open, even if it hurts or makes him look weak.

Save your judgment for yourself and your love for everyone else. Show compassion and empathy above all else, and open your heart, your arms, and your door to those who need it. Love others like you really, really want to be loved, and put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you ever dare open your mouth to say anything against them.

And have fun! Go out, party, and don’t be so shy and creepy. Talk to the girls who made you nervous, like Ericka, Sarah, Courtney, or Celeste. They’re just people, too, and years later you’ll find out that you would have gotten along with them better than you could have realized. If only you’d given it a shot in the beginning, and stopped worrying what people thought.

Finally, buy stock in Apple. Trust me, it will be worth it.

-Adam Heath Avitable, age 38.

P.S. If you don’t believe it’s me, remember that time that we were 13 and almost broke our neck in an attempt at auto-fellatio? Yeah, nobody knows about that except us. Well, in 1996. In 2016, I talk about it on stage, so it’s no longer a secret.

P.P.S. Have sex soon! It’s worth it. Don’t wait until law school. Trust me. It’s amaaaazing.


This is part of a series in which I will attempt to write something every single day of 2016. Will I be able to do it? You’ll only know if you subscribe using the form below!

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A letter to my 17-year old self

This isn’t the first time I’ve written a letter to my younger self,  but after seeing the letter written by my friend (and awesome comedienne) Lauren Brown, I decided to do another one.

Adam Avitable, age 17 in 1994

Dear 17-year old Avitable,

On Thursday, I’ll be turning 35 years old, so I shall surely be dead soon.  I wanted to take this chance to send you a letter preparing you for the future.

Right now, you think you’re the king of the world.  You rule high school as the emperor of the nerds, and you know how to work the system to give you the best possible benefit.  Well, that doesn’t last long.  Welcome to college.

College will be one of the lower points in your life.  Maybe choosing an uber-conservative college filled with the wealthy and privileged, 97% of whom go Greek, wasn’t the best choice.  On the plus side, you get rid of that unhealthy temper you had.  On the negative side, you gain the reputation as the “naked guy” thanks to your inability to shut your blinds EVER.

You won’t really be able to work the system in college until your junior year, and as a result, you’ll get the first bad grades of your life during your freshman year, not due to exams, but all the days you miss class because you found it unnecessary despite the professor’s attendance policy.  Don’t worry when Mom rides you about your bad grades, though – she had the exact same thing happen to her in nursing school, a fact she won’t share until after you graduate.  Also, SHE NEVER QUIT SMOKING.  In summary, Mom is a liar.

When you’re offered the chance to do a semester abroad in Japan, say yes.  Otherwise, you’ll always regret saying no and wondering what might have been, and you’ll only remember enough Japanese to be able to say that you only speak a little Japanese.

After college, you get fat.  Like, really fat.  It affects your confidence and makes you put up a lot of walls to keep people out, but things will get better.  You’ll lose weight and get healthier, even though you really need to lose another 60-70 pounds before you can start pursuing your lifelong dream of marrying Ke$ha.  Oh, that’s right, you don’t know who Ke$ha is yet – just keep your ears open. She’s magical.  Also, you remember that hot redhead from “The Wizard”?  She becomes a musician and part of a band called Rilo Kiley!  Don’t buy all her albums just because you have a crush on her, though – she only has one or two good songs.

You know how you think that having sex is a bad thing unless you’re with “the one”? It’s not true!  It’s important to go start having sex now so that you can experience it with different people.  Otherwise, after you get divorced, you might go through a bit of a trampage.

Oops. Yeah, you get married and divorced in the next 17 years.  Sorry – didn’t mean to ruin your anticipation of “til death do us part”.  Ain’t gonna happen.  More like “til 2009 do us part”.

Do you know that bitch Faiqa from Spruce Creek?  The one who kept you from dating that girl you were in love with?  Yeah, well, it’s funny how things work out because she’s pretty much your best friend now.  Still a bitch, though.  And her friend is still just as awesome and, get this, married a guy who is a lot like you.  Fuckin’ Faiqa.

Finally, get rid of all that ambition to be an international corporate lawyer.  First, there is no such thing. Secondly, after all this time, you’re going to find that your calling is humor –   writing it, of course, but also performing it on stage as a stand-up.  Maybe if you start now, you can be famous by 35, because I’ve only got four days and I don’t think I’m going to make it.  You are funny, though, so stick with it!

Good luck – you’re going to need it!

From my deathbed (I assume),

Old Adam

P.S.  No, you can’t masturbate too much, so don’t worry about it.

P.P.S.  Drive over to Orlando and find a 4-year old named Lauren Brown.  Make friends with her, because you’re totally going to ride her coattails to fame.

P.P.P.S.  Balls will always be funny.

P.P.P.P.S.  Still no fucking hoverboard.  “Back To The Future” lied to us.