Over the weekend I wrote a letter to my 11-year-old self. It read as follows:
Things are good. You've got a wife and kids now, and sometimes you get to write stuff for money. You did alright.
PS: You just saw Anthrax, and it was fuckin' awesome!
Believe it or not, that last part is important. In every life there is an undeniable catalyst – some experience or idea or individual – that provides for you, intentionally or otherwise, this overwhelming sense of relief. The knowledge that things are alright. That you are alright.
For most normal folks that role is likely filled by a friend or family member, but for me it was music. Music was the thing that told me things were gonna work out, and I believed it.
Anthrax, specifically, was a band that made me realize that it was okay to like punk and metal and hip-hop and skateboarding and comic books, even though several of those items may appear mutually exclusive upon first glance. In essence, their music made me realize not only that it was alright to be me, but that there were others out there like me.
That simple realization proved incredibly powerful over the years.
Now at 35 I can say that I've seen the band live, and that in itself is an important rite of passage for a music fan. Like me the guys are a lot older now. (Joey Belladonna, for example, appeared to be held together by little more than spit and Band-Aids, but the fucker could still hit those high notes!) Still, when the lights went down everyone in the venue was magically transformed into a crazy-ass adolescent again. If only for the duration of the set.
I guess the thesis of this oddly personal and only vaguely nerdy missive is as follows: don't be afraid to reconnect with your younger self. He was a good kid, and he'd likely wanna know all the amazing shit you're doing now in grown-up land.