Things I wish I could tell the 8 year old me


This picture gets me very emotional every time I look at it. What’s he thinking about? Why are you so worried? What’s on your mind, kid?

This is by far one of my favorite pictures to look at as a kid. I’m about 7 or 8 years old at this time living in Iran while experiencing the war. There’s a ton of turmoil in my life at that time.

My parents were arguing daily, we were getting bombed on and I was frightened of going to school because every time I said good-bye to my parents and my sister, could’ve been the last time I ever saw them again.

Sometimes, I wish I could whisper to him that everything is going to be ok.

I wish I could tell him to stay in the moment and not worry.

I wish I could tell him that it’s not his fault that his parents’ marriage didn’t work out.

I wish I could tell him how many great people will enter his life to influence him positively.

I wish I could tell him not to worry so much about his parents’ health.

I wish I could tell him not to be so angry with Sadam Hussain who kept killing innocent families. Don’t worry, he eventually got his own share of misery for all the terrible things he did to people.

I wish I could tell him to try to stay in the moment instead of constantly living in the future, anxious about what could happen next.

I wish I could tell him to appreciate the energy of his young parents because it won’t last forever.

I wish I could tell him to not put so much pressure on himself about every single catastrophe that’s going on in his life.

I wish I could tell him that his older sister is smart and can take care of herself, instead of trying to over protect her.

I wish I could tell him to just be 8 years old and try to figure out how to make the coolest looking thing with his LEGO toys instead of trying to find a way to save the world. You’re not He-man! That’s just a cartoon character, Pat.

I wish I could tell him that no matter how many times he watches Rocky IV, there’s nothing he can do about Apollo dying. It’s just a movie.

I wish I could tell him that the whistling sound a bomb makes, 10 seconds before exploding will go away in his mind. Even though it never will.

I wish I could tell him to be patient about wanting to hear the most rewarding words a man can hear from his father of “I’m proud of you”. That day is coming, kid.

I wish I could tell him not to be so skeptical about God looking over him, even-though he had all the reasons to be an atheist. You’ll feel the spirit eventually. I promise you.

I wish I could tell him that his heart will break at 12 years old when leaving the refugee camp in Germany. It’ll be very hard saying goodbye to his puppy love but it’ll be something you cherish forever.

I wish I could tell him to try to appreciate every single good and bad thing that’s going to happen to him throughout his life.

I wish I could tell him all these things but he wouldn’t understand me. He would think I’m nuts. It’s the same reason why the current 37 year old version of him is sometimes questioning when the 72 year old version of Pat gives him council.

Life is interesting and by far the most emotional and exciting movie we’ll ever see. No matter how crazy, how difficult, how annoying, how amazing, how hectic things are today, do your best to stay in the moment. Time is flying and has no sympathy for you and I. Enjoy the journey of life. It won’t last a long time but hopefully the impact you and I make in the world will.

With Love,

The 37 year old version of you, kid.



Patrick Bet-David
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