Russ McCabe did a video a few weeks ago, “Letter to myself (13)”. It inspired me to do a video response, the link to which (gag me, but if you want to see me “live”, click it) I will paste below. I actually composed it on here, and read it (not quite word-for-word).
So, a letter from me to 13-year-old me:
I know you’re incredibly confused right now. Your body is going through all kinds of changes and weirdness and you’re very frightened. And yes, you do like boys, not girls. That doesn’t change. It’s not a phase, and you’re not going to grow out of it. You think you have a deep, dark secret, that you’re different, that you’re going to Hell. You think that all the moving around from place to place means you’ll always be unbearably lonely; you think that Dad has wronged you dragging you off to yet another base during high school.
Believe it or not, all these things--while some of them are painful now--will make up the tapestry that is your life. That move to San Antonio sets in motion a chain of events that will alter your life forever (in a good way); you’ll meet amazing friends you’ll keep for the rest of your life. You’ll have a successful career—both the way you define it now (which is wrong, by the way, surprise!) and the way you’ll define it in 2013. Just don’t expect it instantly, it’s a lot of hard work.
You ARE different, you DO like other boys--but you ARE NOT ALONE. Many, many others are in that boat with you. There will come a time when you are proud of this and when everybody knows. Believe it or not, Mother and Dad will always love you, and your friends will still be your friends when you tell them. Not only that, but you will meet many amazing new friends who will be proud to love you, and they will love you. Some will be older, but some of them will be 20 years younger than you, some 30 years younger—so they haven’t even been born yet. They’ll make a huge difference in your life. And if I told you how you meet all of them, you’d never believe me (remember one word: Microsoft. Ok, two words: Microsoft…and Apple!).
And you’re not going to Hell. There is no such thing. It was made up by a 15th century poet who had evidently been into the peyote (you’ll understand that reference later). I can’t tell you about religion now, you’ll have to make those discoveries yourself, and you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
There are going to be some dark days. You know that Dad keeps guns, and you know how to use them. I’m sorry to tell you, there are going to be several days when you sit alone in the house with one in your lap loaded, intending to use it on yourself. DON’T DO IT. IT GETS BETTER. Trust me! If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Remember, I’m you and I know you. Right now, you think of everything in absolutes—it’s all black or white, on or off, 0 or 1, good or evil. That’s not true—it’s all shades of gray. The truth lies somewhere in between.
As a TV show in 2013 says, “The world is full of Endless Wonder.” Don’t miss a bit of it! Another 2013 catchphrase is, “YOLO”. It means, “You Only Live Once.” Go out and experience the world around you! Take a dare! Take a chance!
Finally, love yourself. You’re unique and special. That means, put the guns back in the drawer. Put the fork down on the table, turn off the TV, and exercise. Mom’s a great cook, but that doesn’t mean you have to gorge. That’s going to come back to haunt you later. Lose the weight and keep it off.
And, don’t be so shy—if you don’t know someone, that means they don’t know you, either. Go up and say hello. You might both like it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
That’s about it, except—look, buster, you DO drive too fast, don’t EVEN try to deny it. That is going to get you in SO MUCH TROUBLE. Ease off the damn gas, buck-o. Oh, and the Beatles never do get back together—sorry. But Star Trek will still be going strong! But…no flying car. Sorry! And yeah—we really do look just like Uncle Horace!
LOVE YOURSELF! Be good to yourself!