Dear 16-year-old me: David Gesk


Photo courtesy of David Gesk

Math teacher David Gesk contemplates his life at a young age.

Dear 16-year-old me,

I know you’ve heard the phrase “enjoy every moment” many times. While this phrase has good intentions, it might encourage you to focus on just a few moments.

I would like to modify this phrase to “be present and aware in the moment.” I would like 16-year-old me to be aware of the positive moments but also the not-so-positive moments. Observe yourself in the happy moments and the frustrating moments. You may learn more about yourself during the unpleasant moments. There are many distractions, and it takes effort to be present and aware. Each experience is valuable, and it is your job to find that value.

All of these moments, whether they are good or bad, happy or sad, will help you on the road to Self-Knowledge: your ultimate learning quest. My bit of advice to my 16-year-old me is to participate mindfully and make time to reflect. Have that conversation with the person you do not know, have picnics regularly and perhaps take a yoga class.