A reflection back on the kid I used to be and the man I have become today.
The most important thing that I learned in growing up is that forgiveness is something that, when you do it, you free yourself to move on.
As we grow older, we tend to forget more and more about the child we used to be. We tend to forget how playful and innocent we were back in the early days of our life. As we go through life, often times we become shaped by the things that happen to us. We meet new people, have new experiences, and evolve as a human being.
The picture you see above is of me as an innocent (and might I add an absolutely adorable) three-year-old kid. My mom sent me this picture to add to a display my fiancee and I will be doing for our wedding in March of this year.
As I looked at this picture of this sweet-looking kid, I couldn’t help but reflect back on what kind of a child I was at this age.
My Mom and I talked on the phone with my fiancee after my Mom texted us this picture of me (along with several other pictures of me when I was a young kid) and she told my fiancee of how outgoing I used to be when I was this age.
My Mom also told my fiancee about how lovable and innocent I used to be when I was at this age too. I was a really good-hearted kid. I was sweet, funny, and I also loved telling stories to anyone that would listen.
When we got off the phone with my mom I started to reflect back on my life and analyze the next 28 years of life that I experienced. Then I even started to think about what I would tell three-year-old Brian if he was standing in front of me today.
What would I tell this kid about what his life would turn out like?
What would I tell this sweet little boy about what kind of a man he would become?
What would I tell this child about the types of hardships he would face later in life?
You Are Going to Go Through Some Serious Ups and Downs
One of the things I would tell three-year-old Brian is that over the course of the next 28 years, he was going to experience extreme highs as well as extreme lows.
School will always be hard for you all the way until you go away to College at Central Michigan University and finish your business degree.
Your Teachers in Elementary School will call your dad while he is at his job and they will constantly complain about what a disruption you are in their class.
Your parents will be disappointed in you for several years for receiving mediocre grades for most of your schooling years.
You’re a good kid but you just don’t listen when the Teacher talks because you are bored and you would rather talk to other kids in the class.
You will get bullied relentlessly in Junior High. You will get into several physical altercations because of this. The bullying will make you lose the innocence and kind-heart you once had.
It will take several years for you to find these things again. Fear not though young Brian, in due time, you will become a halfway-decent human being again.
Your own High School Counselor will tell you that “College probably isn’t for someone like you”. Yet, you will go on to College anyways and do exceptionally well. You’ll build a solid network of high-quality people there.
Be patient with yourself.
When you get to this College, you will find a handful of Professors that will become extremely positive role models for you. Up until this point, most Teachers were clueless on how to capture your attention and your wild imagination.
You will be bored in class and you will focus more on building friendships than you will on achieving excellent grades in school, almost all the way until you get to this fantastic university and mature as a man.
Death, Sadness, and Finding A Better Way To Live
Then in a span of 3 years, 4 of your close friends will pass away for various reasons. One of them will die in a motorcycle accident.
Another one will have a brain aneurysm and pass away four days before your 24th birthday. Then the other two will each pass away from a heart attack.
You will be crippled with sadness for quite some time as you think back to all the fantastic times you had with each of these friends, but you will find the strength to carry on eventually.
Losing your friends at such a young age will make you appreciate your life much more. You will become grateful for every day you get to wake up because you have seen for yourself that tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Countless people will tell you how you are supposed to live. In your early to mid-twenties, you will have a silly idea of success. You will think that success means you wear a suit and tie to your high-paying job in Corporate America. You will find out after several years that it’s all bullshit.
You will bounce around between countless jobs. You’ll keep chasing after a bigger salary and better benefits. Money is going to run your life for almost the entire duration of your twenties.
You’ll incorrectly assume that more money will bring you happiness and satisfaction in life, you will find out how wrong you are when you are almost 30-years-old.
You won’t fit in with Corporate American culture. The office politics and favoritism will push you to the brink. Once you realize that the only thing these big corporations care about is their profits, you will leave Corporate America and you won’t ever look back.
This exit from Corporate America will happen when you are 28-years-old, it will be fantastic when it happens. You will become an outcast and you will blaze your own path.
It was one of the best decisions you will have ever made.
You Are Going to Become an Even Better Man
You are going to make a living where you constantly prove people wrong.
One of your greatest joys in life will come from showing others how mentally, physically, and emotionally tough you are.
There is nothing you can’t do if you set your mind to it.
You will develop a phenomenal work ethic, you can thank your Dad for that one. He will be a phenomenal role model for you and you will be able to see extremely clearly what it takes to build a wonderful life.
Your parents will become your heroes, not TV stars or athletes. Your parents. Babu and Alice Kurian will become your two biggest inspirations throughout the course of your life.
As you grow up, you will develop a fantastic personality and you will be able to build emotional connections with almost anyone. People will become drawn to you because you have a positive attitude toward life. These same people will be able to see that you are a genuine person.
After several failed relationships, you will meet the love of your life at the age of 26. Her name is Sierra and she is going to turn you into a much better person than you were when you first met her.
You will have no idea what love is until you meet her. She is going to change your whole life and make you the happiest man in the world.
You will have an extremely close-knit group of friends after countless friendships from your younger days deteriorated. You are going to meet thousands of people in your lifetime and you will become fantastic at developing high-quality relationships/friendships.
You are going to make countless mistakes along the way, but you will learn from them. You experienced life at pretty much every type of financial situation a human being can imagine, whether it was only having a dollar in your bank account to having thousands of dollars in your bank account.
You will become more resilient because of it.
At the age of 31, you will be able to do what I am doing right now. You will be writing, reading, hustling, building connections with others, offering value to others, and doing your very best to make this world a better place.
One article at a time.
You are going to do unbelievable things, kid. Just be patient with yourself and forgive yourself when you make mistakes. You aren’t perfect. You were a fantastic kid, but you will become an even better man.
Other articles of mine:Relationships Matter — Even The Bad Ones
It’s the people along the way that make life worth living.medium.comOne Powerful Question I Ask Every New Person I Meet
How I build powerful bonds and make lasting impressions on total strangers.medium.com
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What are some of the things you would have told your younger self if you had the chance?