Life’s lessons: Dear sixth-grade me

Here is another submission from last months feature for Hardin, Middle School sixth graders in Montana.

    Be still, and feel the ground beneath your feet. You’re going to be in for one hell of a ride full of pain, triumph, betrayal, and self-destructive behavior.

    As over whelming as that may sound, you will find a way to be proud of the man you will become. It is inevitable to hate so much and love so little in a maze of argumentative pathways you volunteered to engage.

    You will be forced to tap into the depths of your will power and every time you are about to reach your breaking point, you will find no such limit. 

    You will press on and strive to do the right thing even though it’s not the most popular idea. You’ll fall in love with chaos and never want anything more.

    I know, you feel you have no guidance now. I’m here to tell you that you have mentors that you are not recognizing. You can learn something from everyone, as you grow you will pull traits from those who have guided you. You will have to decide if they’re appropriate to emulate.

    Strive for higher academics. It will mean something in the long run. You will have next to nothing for support, and it’s going to present a whole new set of struggles.   I hate to be the one to enlighten you but the learning process never ends. Sadly we learn best, the hard way. Don’t give up.

    We both just wanted direction in life, but we are going to be the protagonists of not just our story, but champions of those who can not defend themselves. It is going to be a long unbeaten path that you will have to create, but you will become a leader of men, and they will look to you for guidance. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, fear leads to hesitation, and that will lead to the biggest mistake of not doing anything at all.

    So stop beating yourself up. Start getting prepared. Know that the ground is still there under your feet. It has seen many that walked in paths just like yours. You are never alone. I’ll be rooting for you.

    Lastly be nicer to your brother because, spoiler alert! He becomes your best friend.

    See ya when you get here and good luck! You’re going to need it.

    -Leo Whitelock