Dear Dweeby 18-Year-Old

This is easily one of my favorite issues of the year with Siouxland Magazine. There is so much negativity when you are doom scrolling on social media. It is easy to get caught up in the dour posts, and it makes me a little angsty and sad. That is why I LOVE this issue. Odds are if you are reading this article, you are probably not scrolling past political and angry posts. 

Every time I run to get this annual issue; I have one big takeaway moment. We are so lucky to be surrounded by so many talented and compassionate individuals in Siouxland. My second takeaway is that I love the fact so many different professions are featured on these pages. When I saw the first list way back in 2012, I thought it was so fun to have so many different backgrounds and skill sets in one room for some celebratory drinks.

When looking for an appropriate picture to go with this article, I chose this embarrassing pic from my dorm room at the University of Nebraska when I was 18. I sent this image home to my parents to prove to my parents I studied. At least once I studied.  I did not send them the pictures from 2 a.m. at a party. College was more fun before social media.

I have been very nostalgic about life ever since my oldest son turned 18 last month. My world view has changed. My goals have changed. I have changed.

When this picture was taken, I was dialed in on having a six-figure income, a sports car in the garage, and season tickets to the Huskers at Memorial Stadium.  In the 90’s, I assumed we’d have five more trophies by 2021.  Unfortunately, the Husker football program changed too.

Anyway, I was trying to be somebody, get a title, follow a career in broadcasting, and make some bank. In short, enjoy life.

A few days ago, I read a quote from Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell about why he has not left for a bigger job at a larger school or the NFL. He said, “you’re either trying to be somebody or you’re trying to do something.” Man, has he built something in Ames.

The featured Top 10 Under 40 are building something for us in Siouxland.  They are using their talents to improve the quality of life not only for their families but for the greater good of the community. It is inspiring. I love everything about this issue.

Man, I look at this young man in this picture and realize how much I did not know.

I wish I could send a note to that geeky frosh.

Enjoy life. Cherish your loved ones. Look out for those who need help. Be a man for others. Do not post on social media after midnight. Invest in Facebook. Then, log off Facebook.

Build something.

Tony Michaels

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