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.