Pete Townshend to himself

November 23, 2012

Just finished Pete Townshend’s memoir,Who I Am. While sometimes episodic, and demonstrative of how people sometimes have difficulty separating the wheat from the chaff in their own lives, it’s an absolutely fascinating look into his creative, political, and personal journeys. This passage at the end, a letter from Townshend to himself as an 8-year-old, is an affirmation that I think would speak to many.

“Remember that the bad feelings you sometimes have today are helping to make you strong and talented and empathetic to the pain that other people feel. But you have a good heart and you will be okay at the end. Life can be hard, and what you will find hard is accepting how wonderful the life you are going to have actually is. This is because for some reason you don’t feel you deserve all this.

“You have a brilliant mind. Unfortunately you are not going to exercise it quite as much as you should. Your self-esteem is too low and you will lapse into laziness that will slow you up.

“…Respect yourself. Try to remember that not everything in life can be perfect. You will make mistakes. That’s inevitable. But you are not ugly. You will only be ugly when you behave in an ugly way.

“Enjoy life. And be careful what you pray for–remember, you will get it all.”