Donnie came across a video from the old days, and wrote a letter on Instagram about how he dealt with fame as a teenager.

A young Donnie Wahlberg says, “We’re doing what millions of other kids dream of doing, you know, and there’s a lot of times when I wish I could be doing what all these other kids are doing, but this is my career; it’s just started a little early.”

Donnie found this video, and the look in his eyes made he remember what he was feeling as a teenager dealing with fame; he shared it on Instagram with the following letter, where he reflects about fame not being as hard as driving a truck for 18 hours a day, but hard still, with other struggles that only those who have dealt with fame know.

 “I saw this old clip and thought: “Look at all that f***ing hair”. Then I listened to the words that I spoke, and looked closer at my eyes. I instantly remembered “that look” — and the feeling that comes with “that look”. That look that many other so called “teen idols” get when they’re suddenly in the middle of the fame-storm at a young age.

A look that says “How the hell did I get here, and why does half the world suddenly love me, and the other half suddenly hate me, and why do people that used to hate me now want to be my friend, and why the hell are all the adults in my life trying to get something from me or get me to solve their problems, instead of helping me learn what the hell life is all about and solve mine?” Like adults are supposed to do.

I ain’t saying fame is hard. Driving a truck for 18 hours a day, and scrubbing floors at night, like my parents did — that shit’s hard. Fame ain’t that.

But there is something about that fame bubble that you don’t understand (and can’t understand) unlesss you’ve been in that bubble yourself.

It gives you that look.

The same look I have in this clip. 

Thank god I had four buddies to kick it with on this day. Bandmates from my neighborhood, who were dealing with the same things as me, and knew the feeling of going from “FOOD STAMPS TO FAME” in the blink of an eye. Of going from invisible to having a target on you overnight.”

Donnie also mentions Justin Bieber, who’s receiving treatment for depression:

“I don’t know how somebody like @justinbieber did it. I’ve seen “that look” on his face a few times.

People often shit on him for his struggles, and missteps, but there’s no school for fame — and fame doesn’t take the baggage away. It buries it, and the “yes men” bury it more, until the shit explodes on you one day. 

I’d never trade places with anyone, including @justinbieber, and no way in hell would I ever complain about the blessings I’ve had. I’VE HAD THE BEST LIFE EVER. But, I wonder if some of these other young entertainers (like him), who’ve had some struggles, were able to have four friends with them — to ride the waves with — would the journey have been a little less lonely? A little more fun? A lot more of what they dreamed success would be? ✌🏼”