I think that there’s some kind of meme going around for giving advice to your high school self. I’ve written letters to future versions of myself, and but it’s been a long time since I’ve considered retrospective advice. So to my high school self, specifically my Year 8 self, I say this.
Man, high school can be a really hard place to be. You’re forced to spend time with people who don’t understand you, who you might not connect with, and who certainly don’t appreciate your attempts at poetry. (To be frank, your poetry is clumsy, but your heart is in the right place. If you practice who knows what will happen?) You’re more mature than most of the people around you, and they tease you because you’re different. It’s hard, I know, I’ve been there.
But by jove it gets better. People who are massive jerks to you right now will one day get down on one knee and ask for your forgiveness. They will grow up to be brave, mature young men who love their families and work hard at their jobs. Some of them will be assholes as long as you know them (or at least, as long as I’ve known them, 8 years down the track).
On that note, make more friends. It’s worth it. Share your life with people, go out of your way to spend time with them. Ask people how they are and for God’s sake care about the answer. I know it’s hard for you to connect with people, but it doesn’t mean you can’t try, and you’ll be so surprised as the results. There are so many good men in your life that are worth knowing and loving. But also don’t be too bummed if you drift away from some of them, because you end up having a lot of good friends and companions anyway.
Speaking of friends, spend a little less time around Raiden and a little more time with everyone else. I know his approval means a lot to you, but loving and approving yourself will be much more valuable in the long run. In fact, I really encourage you to start writing affirmations and getting some positive inner-dialogue happening as early as you can. It will really make a difference to how you see yourself, and what you feel you’re capable of.
When things are super tough, and pay close attention to this one, remember that you are not alone. It may feel like no one can understand the tortured anguish of your soul, but people seriously do. In fact, there are people who are kind of paid to understand what you’re going through, and it’s so so healthy to talk to them and share your experiences. Seriously. I cannot stress enough how easy it is to reach out to someone and make your life easier.
Well little dude, that’s all the advice I have for you right now. But if you only remember one thing from my letter, let it be this: the greatest gift you can give others is to be yourself, your true self. You’ll light up people’s lives, and you’ll know happiness like you’ve never dreamed. Oh and be grateful for as much as you can as often as you can, that’s like super important. Peace out.