An open letter to 18-year-old Ben Foth

Sup fucker, it’s you from 7 years in the future.

Is December 2015 treating you right? I think it’s treating you right.

I turned 25 a couple days ago, and as I’m writing this, I’m really regretting the 15 drinks I had in one go that night. I’m still sliiiightly hungover, but it’s basically gone now that I’ve got some coffee and a few bottles of water in me. When you start drinking, don’t go this hard, ever. I swear you’re not impressing anyone, and you’re just fucking up your weekends. Getting blackout drunk isn’t as fun as your sheltered mind idealizes it to be. Stick to <9 drinks in a night. That’s a good balance between getting a serious buzz vs not being too too sick the next day (or the next couple days)

Yet for some reason, I still enjoy getting wasted while watching random shit on YouTube and Netflix. I need to cut this shit out and enjoy all that stuff sober. I always feel so damn sharp when I go without drinking, or without jerking off.

Get on nofap. Reclaiming power over your sexual energy is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make for your mental health, your spirit, and your results with the ladies. Holding and saving this sexual tension for real-life girls who’ll like you feels a million times better than wasting it thinking about girls who don’t care for you.

Don’t ever do drugs. Drugs are for losers. You already know you’re not a stoner in the slightest, nor will you ever be. But don’t be tempted by anything else. Keep your mind and your body sharp.

Stick to caffeine and cigarettes, man. Some of your best writing happens after a cup of coffee or a couple scoops of preworkout, and caffeine sure does make music sound better.

As for cigarettes, I’m not a pack-a-day sort of guy. Never have been. It’s been more like a few a day or a few a week this past year. But I imagine it’ll surprise you how much this habit DOESN’T fuck up your life. Sometimes, a good cigarette gets your brain firing on all cylinders. Don’t start just yet though. Your brain and body are fine without nicotine. They’re fine without caffeine. Wait till you have a business in the works before you get super into these stimulants.

Now, I suppose you’re wondering how your life goes in your early young adulthood, in your early 20s…

You befriend a lot of cats, which is obviously a plus.

You get a ton of real-life experience compared to how sheltered you are right now. Both pain and pleasure. A lot of pain and a lot of pleasure. You’ve got a lot of trials, losses, and wins ahead of you, and every one of them makes you wiser and stronger. I won’t spoil the deets though. Your life wouldn’t be so fun if you knew exactly what to expect from it.

As for your social life, just wait a year. You’re gonna make some friends you love and who teach you A FUCKTON, even if they suck sometimes, and you’re gonna get the party-boy lifestyle you’re idealizing, that you feel like you’re missing out on.

Appreciate where you are right now though. You have no idea how much love and respect I have for you, 18-year-old Ben Foth, even if you don’t feel like you deserve it. You’ve gone through some shit these last 5 years, you’ve been lonely, you’ve felt worthless and unseen. Right now, you don’t even know whether you’re getting into university.

And yet, you’re still a lover and a fighter. You’re going to school every day on barely any sleep, pulling 9-hour days with that and sports and the gym. You’re running a successful blog, and you’ll start an even more successful one this summer 😉

You’re making your last year of high school a memorable one. You might be in a shite emotional state this semester, feeling like life’s beating you down no matter how hard you work to get better, but next semester will be a better one. You’ll have more fun things to do, and you’ll get some good socializing in your classes.

The photography you’re doing also ages extremely well over the years, even if you’re doing it with a 5MP phone camera. Your eye makes the photos what they are, not the camera’s eye.

Take 5,000 IU of vitamin D every morning, and 400-1000mg of magnesium glycinate every night. The vitamin D cures your “seasonal depression”, raises your mood significantly, and the sweet maggie g helps you sleep super well. Drink straight olive oil as well. A shot or two of the real stuff every day. Nothing raises your testosterone quite like this does.

Now let’s talk about fitness and fashion.

2016 will be your best year for gains thus far. If you think you’re in shape now, hoo boy, just wait till summer 2016, and your first semester at uOttawa. You’re gonna look masculine as fuck after you put on another 20ish lbs of muscle.

Get some straight-cut jeans and a pair of chinos too. These fit your legs the best. I don’t know what you’re doing wearing boot-cut and skinny jeans. Once you go straight-cut, you’ll never go back.

You’re rocking those pullover sweaters, but put some manly button-ups into your wardrobe. You don’t currently think they’re your style, but you’ll be surprised by how well they suit you.

As for watches, that Timex one you’re wearing every day is alright, and it’ll end up having some sentimental value, but your favourite one in a couple years will be a two-tone Invicta Speedway. You should honestly order it now, it’s a beautiful piece.

You’re curious about girls too, and I have a ton of advice for you in this domain.

First of all, you’re masculine. You’re in shape. You’re ambitious. You’re intelligent. You’re a goal-oriented action-taker, not a weak little victim who complains about life without doing anything about it. You have cool hobbies and interests you put just the right amount of time and effort into.

You deserve the best. You’re a high-quality guy AS YOU ARE, and any thought in you that says otherwise is just some BS programming you’ve contracted from people who feel shitty about themselves and need to play power games to feel better.

Get rid of this programming, love yourself instead, and you may very well pick up on the signals of attraction high-quality girls are giving you instead of disbelieving them. I’ve beat myself up a lot over these missed girl-related opportunities.

Hold tension around girls you’re attracted to. Make them feel safe and comfortable also, like you appreciate them as they are, and you’ll never have a problem with attraction ever again… unless you’re trying to get a girl who SUCKS.

If pursuing a girl or dating a girl makes you feel worse about yourself, like you’re not sure where you stand with her, like you’re only gonna feel good about yourself AFTER you get her, and if getting clarity on her feelings means losing her, then this girl SUCKS. It’s not you. She’s just a shitty person projecting her own issues onto men, even if you have things in common.

As for deeper emotional intimacy, it isn’t always easy. I’ve struggled with it harshly, but…

Let’s just say you’re gonna love a girl who makes all the Fall Out Boy lyrics make 1000% more sense. 😉 She’ll be the Morty to your Rick, at least until you naturally grow apart, onto more aligned things.

Overall, girls want two things: To feel loved for who they are, and to feel excited, like you’re a fun, driven guy taking them on an adventure. Comfort and tension. Same two feelings you want from a girl. Don’t settle for a girl who you don’t share both of these with.

Oh, and girls like sex more than you do. Wait a year or two, and your “girl problem” is gonna be that you only ever get girls who wanna fuck, not girls who want to be your girlfriend.

Some more assorted advice for you, my dude:

You’re gonna regret not having followed the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump’s debates are entertaining as fuck, and you should watch them in real-time instead of enjoying them for the first time 6 years later.

You have a major case of FOMO right now, but honestly, you’re on exactly the right path for yourself. You’re not missing anything avoiding shitty high school parties and dramas. You’re working on yourself and your goals. You’re grinding hard. When you look back on high school, this is what’ll stand out to you. Everything you HAVE DONE has made these days worth it, and I don’t even care about anything I’ve “missed out on” at this point.

Trust your body on whether to pursue a girl. If she raises your energy, if you think she’s gorgeous and fuckable, she’s for you. If she lowers your energy or makes you feel “meh”, she ain’t. Never settle. When you pursue a “maybe” girl, you’re not actually attracted to her. You’re just trying to get something from her you aren’t already giving to yourself – self-esteem and validation.

Summers 2016 and 2017 will be two of the best, most in-Flow seasons of your life so far. You’ll take a fun online class this summer, and do fantastically in it. You’ll also have the best workouts of your life so far. You’ll go hard af with the Tumblr blogging too, and get a massive amount of engagement. Creating all your photography and MBTI content is gonna be extremely fulfilling. Summer 2016 will be fun as fuck, a high-energy intermission between high school and uni.

As for summer 2017, that’s when your social life and dating life are really gonna take off. You’re gonna get invited out a LOT, and experience some of the best parties and nights out of your life so far. You’ll learn a ton about girls this season, and have some good sex too, just you wait 🙂

Your family are not perfect people, but they’re good at heart, even if your values don’t entirely align. The love between you all is there, even if you don’t always know how to express it.

As for your work and career, I haven’t said anything about this for a reason. I won’t tell you whether you love it or hate it, whether you’re a success at 25 or still grinding daily waiting for a big payoff someday.

Again, life’s more fun when you’re not entirely sure what to expect from your future.

I’ll just tell you that you’re planting a ton of good seeds right now, and everything you’re doing to get further in life right now, it all counts. Don’t ever lose hope or feel worthless because you don’t measure up to some bullshit ideal of what a man “should be”. You’re Ben Foth, and that’s what counts.

Enjoy the rest of grade 12. You’ll look back on it fondly after it’s over, as it’s a year where you get to prove how built different you really are. Painful and hopeless as it may be sometimes, you’ll also get a lot of cool things done, and you will achieve most of your goals within the year.

Then when you get to uOttawa, stay on your edge. Don’t ever let any guy or girl make you feel like your masculinity or your high energy is a flaw. Those are two extremely valuable traits of yours you’ve developed these last couple years.

One last thing before I cut this letter. Being tough and resilient and masculine isn’t a cure-all for all your pains and problems.

Repressing your emotions isn’t what makes a real man, and the more you push your bullshit down, the more volatile it’ll be when it floats to the surface. Let your anger and pride and unfulfilled desires flow in a controlled setting. Stop resisting your feelings, and stop compartmentalizing yourself. Let your tears and grievances flow, then get back to your life.

You’ve got a good sense of responsibility and resilience, and you need these two things to feel like a man, but compartmentalizing your feelings isn’t tough. It’s weak. The more you do this, the less you’ll feel like YOURSELF. That’s why you’ll be getting blackout drunk so often in about a year – you feel like you can only let your emotions flow when you’ve got alcohol in you. That’s wrong. Be more compassionate to yourself. A real man isn’t scared of his own fucking feelings.

Anyhoo, I know your life-goals right now simply amount to being a fit, attractive big-city yuppie with a white collar job, as well as some creative things. I won’t tell you whether that’s you in 7 years, or whether you’ve abandoned that path.

You’ll just have to wait and see.

Enjoy your life, 18-year-old me. It’ll be a good one.

– 25-year-old Ben Foth

A little piece of my history

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