Once upon a time, there lived a skinny, insecure 12-year-old boy inside me. His nickname, Skeets, was embroidered on a St. John’s Prep letter jacket someone left behind at dance instruction classes for seventh graders in Marlboro.

It would be the only way I’d get a letter in sports. I wish I had someone back then who could have taught me the basics of dribbling a basketball or catching a football. I ended up the “equipment manager” of the football team. In other words, the water boy.

So, if I could go back to that time, and tell my 12-year-old self-something beneficial, what would it be?

Be more attentive in school and don’t give up math.

The pretty girl next door isn’t interested in you, so accept it. And don’t let others determine your self-worth and use you for their own personal gain. You’re important and beautiful in your own way.

You’re really good with that jigsaw. It’s a mistake to let that go.

Back off being so damned stubborn because it’s not going to help you when you don’t get your way.

Do not start smoking and drinking so young.

Listen with an open heart to the advice your parents give you instead of rolling your eyes. You will realize they were right.

Don’t sell off all those vintage DJ/Promo – Not For Resale – vinyl albums you lifted from all the radio stations.

And 12-year-old Phil, really, really trust in the Lord. Love yourself and shine your LIGHT.

If you could back in time, what would you tell your 12-year-old self?

Phil Paleologos is the morning host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6-10 a.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.