Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Like this

by Kathleen Bradean

We're writing letters of support to our younger selves. Hmm. I'd rather get a letter from future me, but let me take a stab at this.

Dear High School me:

Although you strike folks as very strange - a fact that's mentioned to you almost daily - you're not going to stay in touch with any of your classmates once you graduate high school. Or college. Not a single one. I'm sure they're lovely people when they're not being assholes, but don't bother giving them chance to prove it because it only frustrates you. There are other friends out there waiting to be met. They'll still think you're odd, but they'll also think that's wonderful. 

I don't need to tell you to write because you'll do it anyway. Heads up: no matter how weird or artsy you look and act, no one is ever going to walk up to you and ask if you're a writer. No one is ever going to ask to read your work. Stop hoping for the miracle and start working on what you'll eventually call 'making your own luck.' Don't let anyone intimidate you. You have as much right to tell stories as anyone. There's no law that says you have to be published or that you ever have to let people read what you've written, but try anyway. Failure isn't fatal, and sometimes (groan because you won't want to hear this) it's better for you than success.

You may be one of only a thousand people in the U.S. addicted to Star Blazers right now. Some day, watching anime will be mainstream. Don't be afraid to discuss your addiction. Come clean about your enduring love for Dune, Asimov, Star Trek, Avengers, and all things science fiction. That's how you'll find people you click with. Also, watch Doctor Who now so you're not so many seasons behind in the future. I'll thank you later.

I could tip you off to investments that might make current me very wealthy, but years of struggling will teach you a good lesson about happiness as a choice. You, and I, have clean water, a roof over our heads, and food, which puts us far ahead of half the people on this earth right now. Plus, we have time to write. Doesn't get much better than that.

Oh.The guy. THE GUY. Don't worry. You'll know him when you meet him. He'll recognize you too.




8 comments:

  1. Also, watch Doctor Who now so you're not so many seasons behind in the future. I'll thank you later.

    LOL!

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  2. Jeremy - I have my priorities straight! ;)

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  3. What a neat idea of writing a letter to your former self! I only wish that could happen to me when I was in high school! So much wasted time on useless pursuits!

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  4. Dave - I don't think any experience is wasted. It may seem so at the time, but at the very least, you know not to go fishing/bite into a habenaro/drive across the country again. At the most, you have something to draw on during world's most esoteric quiz, such an extensive knowledge of Wild Wild West episodes...

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  5. I absolutely love the ending paragraph. You're actually bordering on romance here...

    And I agree with your reply to Dave. Even the rough stuff, the things you believe you can't bear, ultimately turns out to have a surprising good side.

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  6. Me, border on romance? Argh!
    Except that I love love. I like seeing a couple overcome with that quiet happiness when they exchange a look, as if they stepped off into their own little world for a moment. I like hearing about all the good things in people's lives, which usually center around the heart. So when I considered what would have mattered to high school me, calming my fear of being lonely forever was near the top of the list. I never doubted writing. I always assumed happiness was for other people.

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  7. Great post, Kathleen. So good to know you didn't have to give up yourself to find love.

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  8. Jean - I have been amazing lucky, and I know it.

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