Hey there me, its you. Don’t worry, for the most part things have turned out pretty well. I just wanted to help you out a little. So here are some of the things I have learned along the way. A little insight as I am older now and looking back on days that have come to past.

So when it comes to girls:


While you’re sitting next to Patty Bernell in the De Anza theater during the Sunday double feature matinée, don’t take the entire two features to put your arm around her. Her pinkie finger that keeps brushing up against your leg and igniting a fire of almost unbearable heat which causes every pore of your body to open up and let out wave upon wave of sweat, is a sign that she likes you. She is not accidentally touching you. So put your damn arm around her soon as you sit down and for God sake kiss her. Otherwise you’ll regret not doing it for the rest of your life. You’ll move into the friends zone and you’ll never move out.

Don’t waste your time with Andrea Cooper. Say hi and be polite but stop all the obsessing. She likes girls.

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When you’re in high school and in your early twenties be more aggressive. If you wait until the end of the date to make a move than you have just wasted an entire date. You will lose to a more aggressive guy every single time.

On September 29th 1981, enjoy the moment. It will only happen once. Don’t be so eager. Life changing moments should always be remembered and never regretted or rushed through.

On New Year’s Eve 1982, don’t go over Leslie Newkirk’s house. I know you are crazy about her and you made all these plans, but don’t go. Diane Findley invited you to a party she was going to. Go with her. She is a true friend. Leslie will break your heart.


When your best friend Marc asks you to go to a record store in San Clemente and tell the girl there that he can’t make it out to see her later on that night because his girlfriend made plans, refuse. Don’t go. This will be the single most devastating moment of your life. You’ll walk into that store and see the girl behind the counter and your life will take a very, very bad turn. It is written that the devil often takes a woman’s form in order to incite a man into ruin. The girl you’ll meet there will indeed be that evil. Run away my younger self, run run away. It’s a wound that will never heal.

Don’t get down on yourself so much when it comes to love. You’re in for a pretty good ride. Enjoy the good times, enjoy the bad times. If the roller coaster never went down the ride wouldn’t be much fun now would it.


Oh and one more thing, don’t be unsure of yourself. Ever. You’ll miss out on a lot if your afraid to try. Failure is okay, wondering what might have been is not.

Never trust anyone named Dave. You will come to know seven Dave’s in your life. Do not trust any of them!


When it comes to money:

Well I am not sure what I can offer you on this subject. We have always worked for every dime we had. From the house boy jobs when we were ten to the lawn mowing business in our teens, we have always worked. There will be a time when you get distracted by the glamour and the bright lights of Hollywood. You’ll cover yourself in gold chains and nugget rings. Designer clothes and big hair. You’ll think that is what makes the man. But it’s not. You’ll not stay in that world for very long. But go through it anyway, there will be a lot of lessons to learn there.

Dollars funnel.

Money will always be an issue, but you’ll always find away.

When it comes to family:

Try harder. Open up more. Love deeper. Your going to miss them a great deal later on in life. You’ll turn out a lot more like your father than you would have ever thought. Talk to them while you have the chance. The chance will not be there long. You feel that your family will always be there no matter what, until what happens and you find yourself on the outside. The outside sucks let me tell you. Next thing you know they are gone completely. Just because they stopped talking to you does not me you should stop talking to them. Always make the effort.

When it comes to marriage and raising a family:

Never waste a single minute. When you come home from work at the end of the night and the kids are all asleep in bed. Don’t let that stop you from tucking them back in and kissing them good night. Be patient and don’t raise your voice unless it’s absolutely necessary. There is nothing that can’t be talked through. You’ll find that a week in cabin by a lake is much more meaningful than a week standing in lines at Disneyland. The kids want all the shiny new things, the costumes and the rides. They are kids after all. But it’s the time spent together, the quiet times, that they will remember the most. And remember that marriage may be very intense but it’s not this hard thing that you have to work at like everyone says. It’s not for the selfish or the narrow-minded. There is a great freedom in marriage. A freedom to be who you are. If you do not feel free and inspired by it than what the hell are you doing in it! But fear not young me, you’ll get there. We don’t always get things right the first time.


You don’t always have to be your children’s friend. Sometimes they need a backhand. I mean guidance. But don’t let any book or any research or any survey tell you how you should raise you kids. You love them, and you care for them. And you hope to God they know that enough to not do anything stupid until after they move out of your house.

On Politics:

For the most part it works. Just believe nothing and trust no one and you’ll be fine. Conspiracy theories will become the media’s main focus. The news will be nothing more than dark entertainment, product placement and political pressure. You want to own a gun you own a gun, no matter what they law says. You want the weather you open the door. You prepare for the worst but hope for the best. You live your life as you see fit and screw everyone else. Just be smart about it. Also bullets will become a very high commodity. Invest while your young. They will be harder to find than blood soaked diamonds.

On Drugs:

You try, you see what the fuss is all about and you move on. You’ll find much better ways to expand your mind. You’ll also find that the clearer your head the better the experience.

On Religion:

Stop searching so hard. Reading everything you can find on the subject does not make you an expert. You can not allow others to do the research for you. Put no faith in any man, religion, organization or belief. You do the work. You better yourself and you discover on your own. Don’t wait as long as I did to learn the teachings of Kabbalah. It’s not religion, it’s perception. And it’s very important.

On life in general:

Your doing a pretty good job. Just keep enjoying it. Savor the moments. I guess the one thing I could say to my younger self is be a little more ambitious. You have a tendency of letting opportunities pass you by because you don’t think your good enough or you just don’t feel like putting in the effort. I always told myself that life was nothing more than a ride. That it will be over before we know it, and if you just closed your eyes, opened your arms and waited for a breeze that you could just fall back and let the wind carry you. That’s how I have always lived my life. But everyone once in a while it’s important to ground yourself. Not necessarily grow roots, just nurture the tree every now and again. Death is permanent, spirituality is infinite, Life is now.


Oh and one more thing:

You’ll go through your entire life never braking a bone or being in a fight, well as far as I’ve gotten to in it anyway. You’ll never throw a punch and you’ll never piss anyone off enough for them to throw one at you. But in 5th grade Todd Cummings and his buddies are going to corner you behind the lunch building. Todd is going to be mad at you for some reason or another. He is going to stand in front of you and tell you to hit him. I want you to raise your right leg and put your foot down into his knee cap. He will be watching your hands not your feet. When he falls hit him as hard as you can in his eye. Break your hand if you have to. This may not work and you may get your ass kicked. But you’ll regret walking away for your entire life. Trust me.



About paulsdahlman

Born in Southern California, raised on the road and now growing roots in New England. I am on the journey of my lifetime. May the footprints I leave behind form the words to my story.
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