I don't know why I'm willing to bare all this for everyone to see, but I guess this topic touched a nerve and stirred up a long-simmering pot.
Don't worry, my life isn't that bad, just... well... read on.
I'd write to myself at around 13.
Let's make it a card with a letter in it on my 13th birthday, that oughta blow his (my) mind...
"Dear past self,
This is me, your older and wiser(?) self writing from 2010.
Prove it, you say?
OK, Mom's going to tell you that you can have the birthday cake with the Snoopy decoration all to yourself "just because you're 13, and that's special".
BUT it won't do you much good if you leave it on top of the car when you leave your Aunt's house tonight and it flies off into the ditch at that first left turn, so don't, okay?
First of all, don't count on flying cars and a cure for cancer, we have neither.
2010 isn't much different from 1983, just the cars are going to look stupider until 2003 or so and the music is going to get pretty wild.
Portable phones are now smaller than your wallet and you can even type messages to your friends on them.
Sounds cool? That's just the beginning...
So, why did I write to you out of the distant future?
Well, I have some advice for you.
Forget all the questions of time travel paradoxes and Twilight Zone theorizing, I'm just hoping to save you a few headaches and heartaches.
If you take to heart everything I give you in this letter, I guarantee you'll be much happier with your life towards the middle of it.
I left out as many specifics as I can because you'll still need surprises to look forward to, and I refuse to spare you some key bits of character-building pain.
Don't worry, you'll get over it.
Do your freeking homework, dude. It doesn't take that long to do and your X-Men drawings ain't gonna do you much good at your age.
Study like your life depended on it; don't do it for the grades, do it for yourself, you're going to need all of that knowledge.
Especially History and Algebra, count on it.
Go to college if you want, but don't be afraid to settle for some decent courses at community college.
This is borderline too specific, but you're going to need to know this...
Stick with John and Kim (you know John, you don't know Kim yet), they'll be there when you need them and even when you don't.
Try to stay in touch with Mike, you might help him avoid something in 2009, I can't tell you what.
John is going to need you sometime in about 2003; be there.
Same for Kim around 1995, but you'll have to go to Kansas so plan for it now.
When you're 16, a good friend is going to offer you Marijuana.
Try it if you want just for the experience, but understand it's more expensive than you think and you'll waste a LOT of time doing nothing but giggling through a mouthful of Cheetos.
If you do, just remember you'll eventually meet a lot of people you'll regret meeting later, and your pot buddies will mostly disappear after graduation.
Don't argue with your Mom, you'll lose and end up feeling like an idiot for a very long time.
Listen when your Dad tries to talk to you about cars.
Eventually you'll own one and you'll wish you had listened to him; right around the winter of 1996...
Talk to your Grandpa every chance you get.
He's not going to be around forever, and you'll regret the conversations you didn't have.
Tell your Aunt to get a good thorough health checkup in 2008.
Be persistent, tell her you had a dream or something.
Start remembering your family's birthdays.
Get a summer job. EVERY summer.
Better yet, start a business, any business.
Ask the Chamber of Commerce for ideas, they have programs for kids your age.
Find a need in your town and fill it, then work hard to maintain it and build a customer base.
I'm absolutely serious; your parents will think you're awesome, you'll have spending money, and you'll gain practical experience that will put you ahead of most of your classmates and friends who'll be groveling for jobs the day after graduation
Then, when girls start throwing themselves at you (see below), you'll be able to take them someplace nice for a pleasant evening, and their parents will have reason to trust you (this will be very important later on...).
Besides, lets face it; with your physique, you won't impress anybody hanging out all day at the beach anyway, and some good honest work will build muscle that'll last longer than anything you can get at the gym.
While you're at it, save your money. Every penny you can manage.
You're going to need it around 1997, and again in 2003.
I can't tell you why, just do it.
If you get interested in real estate investing, do it and sell by 2002, trust me.
At the very least, buy a nice 2-bedroom to live in away from the city by 2000.
I know you won't like being away from the city, but trust me you won't like it by then.
Two names; one you'll know already and one you'll get to know more than you'd like: Microsoft and Google.
Don't get desperate and date the first girl who pays attention to you, she's bad news.
Better opportunities will come your way eventually, and you'll save yourself the heartache of being stabbed in the back by someone who wasn't worth your time in the first place.
I'll tell you a few secrets concerning your love life:
-- You're better looking than you think, and there will be beautiful girls who will literally throw themselves at you.
-- This won't start happening until at least 2-3 years after you graduate, sorry.
-- Make friends NOW with a few girls who have NO love interest in you (remember these two names: Sandy and Roxy).
Have a few honest conversations with them about what women want, and how they act around someone they like.
LISTEN TO THEIR ADVICE; you're downright dumb about how girls work and you're going to blow a LOT of opportunities if you aren't properly equipped, trust me.
I wish I had done that...
-- Avoid acting like an obnoxious ass around girls, no matter how funny your friends think it is.
Remember this at all costs.
If your future plays out similar to the one I've lived, you're going to move to the city and eventually meet a gorgeous light-brown haired girl with olive eyes.
She goes to the art school and works at the shoe store in a mall at the north end of the city.
Marry her if you want to; she's AWESOME, but I warn you: Never, ever EVER hurt her feelings or break her heart.
You will regret it forever...
P.S. You'll also meet a pretty and slender blonde in your Senior year.
She'll give you a shoulder rub after Track practice and she's a friend of that hyper kid in Art class.
She's OK, go for it.
But for heaven's sakes don't think she's 'the one' and go giving her a ring (trust me, you will...).
7- The Future:
Computers are going to play a HUGE role in everyday life by the time you're 30, so you should learn about them as much as you can now, I don't care what your Dad says.
Around the time you graduate, you'll start hearing about something called "Arpanet".
Learn all you can about it and get into it at the first opportunity, it'll pay off later.
In a few years, you'll learn about something called a "Macintosh".
Learn about it, appreciate the innovations it represents, but don't be hypnotized by it's popular aesthetic and when your friends recommend you buy one, don't do it.
I didn't, and haven't regretted it one.little.bit.
I know you don't understand politics right now and that's okay.
Just understand that very shortly you're going to polarize and you'll need to know the reasons why.
Otherwise, you'll lose important arguments with the wrong people and I'd like to save you from that, which is why I suggested you study History.
Well, that's all I can tell you without giving away the whole deal.
I can't tell you how to think (you're me; that'd be redundant...) or what to do, but hopefully this is map enough to put you on a road with a few less bumps and some better scenery.
Have fun, kid...