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Dear Twelve-Year-Old Cam,

Take a deep breath. I promise you things are going to work out for you. I know you are struggling at school with your identity and others not treating you with much respect, however, none of that stuff matters. I want you to really try and look at everyone around you as your equal and focus on your own talents, friendships, and self-worth. I know you are insecure about your weight, your height, and the number of friends you have. I know you hope desperately that people like you and that you will be able to have enough friends going into high school in a couple of years. I know you think that everyone around you is superior and you have to try harder than everyone at every single thing. Sounds exhausting when you read it, doesn’t it? Take a step back, breath,e and realize that everything is just fine and in retrospect, everything will turn out okay.

Golf is your outlet, right? This was a rhetorical question, but I used it to show you that you have to enjoy what you do to have fun. In your case, that outlet is golf. I promise you that eventually, you will learn that the harder you are on yourself, the worse you will feel and the harder it will be to get out of your own way on the golf course. I know that you are trying to find your identity in golf and being the best golfer so you will at least have something going for you. Scratch that idea. Every day on the golf course is a blessing and you will be extremely elite eventually at golf so try only at one thing: soaking it in and having a good time. It won’t last forever.

The thing is Cam, you will never be perfect at golf and you will never have a perfect life. I know you look around and see all these people and believe that they do not have to worry about insecurities or feeling like a loser or trying so hard to fit in, but they do. These people all question their identity too, they all have bad days and they all just want to be liked and live a happy life as well. I know every day you go to school hoping just to make some people laugh and not get made fun of. I know you simply just want to be friends with everyone, and you find that relentlessly tiring and useless. Keep it up, I promise that this cheerfulness, goofiness, and energy will attract a lot of good people in your life and many friends will come your way if you continue to be yourself. I am aware that there are certain people that give you a hard time every single day and this is why you wear certain things or try and act a different way to fit in because that is all you have ever wanted to be accepted and just live your life free of judgment, free of anxiety and focused on things like building relationships and having good fun with those around you.

I will let you know that 10 years from now you will still experience these same setbacks, the same debilitating anxiety that blocks you from truly experiencing things and showing the world your true potential, but it is coming and I guarantee you that the calmer you can stay and the harder you work when no one is watching is your key ingredients to success. Life is going to feel hard a lot of the time as you know from your current days, however, that is okay because simply being grateful to be alive and experiencing both good and bad things is something you take for granted. This is something you will take for granted ten years from now as well and I just want you to remind yourself of how lucky you are to have the family, resources, and talent that you do. Therefore, enjoy every second of it good or bad. Try not to let the tough tournaments or bad days at school make you feel worthless because you have just as much value to this world as any other person around you. Things happen for a reason and the hardships you are going through now will make you very tough in the future.

Love you buddy,

Future Cam.

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