A Letter to My 12-Year-Old Self

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Dear 12-Year-Old Todd. FIRST, I have some terrible news:

You won’t make the basketball team.

I know, I know. You won “most improved” at basketball camp. That was only because most people aren’t stubborn enough to go from “awful” to “a little less awful.”

The fact of the matter is, you still have a 1.2 inch vertical leap, and when your turn comes to run drills, you’ll be too busy dreaming up your next story. The ball bounce away, the gym coach will say “Pay attention boy!” and that will be that.

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We were very upset. But don’t worry, that distracting imagination comes in handy.


Don’t try and hide the name of your crush in your art project 15 times because

  1. It isn’t as subtle as you think
  2. Everyone will know who you are talking about
  3. It won’t work. she’ll just get mad


Your dad will take you on the “”becoming a man” fishing trip in February. Don’t worry, even though you drop his favorite hat in the lake, cry for an hour, and then take a nap, you still get to be a man.


At the sixth grade dance, JUST ask that girl to dance. Do not ask her to become her boyfriend and then avoid her for the rest of the year. That was shady, bro.


Okay seriously — when the English teacher says

“You may use any of your resources on this vocabulary test,

He means your NOTES. He does not mean go grab a DICTIONARY off the shelf to assist you in remembering the difference between “desert” and “dessert.”

And while we’re on the subject of words, it’s spelled S-Q-U-I-R-R-E-L. You wouldn’t think — growing up in the middle of the woods — the little munchkin would be so hard to spell, but he is, and he ruins your chances at a pizza party.


There is a little redheaded girl in class two hallways over from you. Her name is Kate. You don’t know her yet. Yeah, she is cute, isn’t she?

Listen, walk over to her hall one day and drop a note in her locker. Say “you don’t know me yet, but I’m going to marry you one day.”

Then wait for six years, and let time do its thing. And for God’s sake, the first time you propose, DON’T… well, actually, never mind. You probably need to feel that pain.


I don’t know how to tell you this.

Your Granddaddy only has a few years left. This Christmas, he will give you more money than you’ve ever gotten at one time.

Don’t run around waving it, saying “wow, look at all this money!” We don’t even know what that cash got spent on. It’s gone now.

Instead, say: “You are an incredible human being.”

Say: “You will influence my life long after you pass.”

Say: “Let’s take a nap on the couch together like we used to.”

Say: “I will continue the example of love you set for my family.”

Say: “Thank you.”

Catch up on last week’s FINISH FRIDAY before the new episode drops:

— TB

Written by

An optimist who writes. www.toddbrison.com/infinite-ideas

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