Monday, February 20, 2012

A Letter to High School Me

Dear High School Me:

You were right about some things, but wrong about most of them, and you spent way too much time being melodramatic and obsessive. As an adult, you're still that way, but on a more functional level, and by the time you're in your fifties, you might be a normal person.

I'm writing to you today because you spent most of high school assuming you would not out live Kurt Cobain. As of a few months ago, this was officially false, but since today is his birthday, I've decided to address it.

I've also decided to address a few other things: You didn't die because that boy didn't like you. In fact, eventually, you did realize that boy was a HUGE loser and not worth of any of the emotions you wasted on him. He wasn't funny or attractive or that bright. But he was - most importantly - unavailable. This will become a recurring theme in your life. Being attracted to unavailable men so you don't ever actually have to get involved with them, and therefore, in some deluded way, you think you risk never getting hurt.

This is false. The only way to avoid hurting is to not care about anybody at all, and you care about everybody. So you're going to hurt. Let's just save you the trouble right now of trying to avoid pain or thinking there's something wrong with feeling pain: Life is very painful But not all the time. If you accept the pain and deal with it, you'll find much more happiness than if you spend the whole time avoiding it.

But you know what, now that I think about that - you don't go after unavailable guys because you want to get hurt. You do it because you know it will. You know that they'll reject you. Your self-esteem is so ungodly ridiculous that you only go after people that will reaffirm it - meaning people that will reject or will treat you like shit. This is not an enjoyable way to live life. At all.

On a related note, many of your boyfriends will turn out to be gay. I feel like you should establish better gay-dar. This will also be helpful. I think deep down you know that they're gay, because you were never really that attached to them, but it would just save time for everybody if you stopped dating gay men.

Also - those kids you're trying really hard to be cool for to impress, they are dickholes. They are all dickholes. Ten years later, none of those dickholes even talk to you. The friends that you've kept and made long term were the ones you thought you were too cool for. Now you have to spend the rest of your life making it up to them for being such an asshole in high school. Again, it would save so much time if you just avoided being an asshole in the first place.

And another thing, High School Me, you're not the center of the universe. Assuming that everyone hates you is incredibly narcissistic. Everybody else around you is too worried about their own shit to even notice you, let alone care about you or what you're doing. The sooner you realize that, the more fun you'll have. 

Also, you should do your schoolwork more. There's absolutely no reason to do an assignment, and then not turn it in. Who the hell does that? Why did you do that? You got a D in history because you never did a damn assignment but aced all the tests. Why would anybody do that? If you know the shit, do the work, and move on. You could've gotten scholarships. And even if you didn't, you would've felt more pride in yourself and the things you did.

That's your big problem, High School Me. You gave up before you even started. You'd decided that everything in life was going to be pain and miserable, so you just sat around sulking for four years (more like... eleven years) and obsessing over dead people and grunge and people that didn't care about you to affirm your own life view that everybody hates you and that life is misery.

Fun fact, High School Me: Life isn't misery. It's really not. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes things happen that you have no control over that hurt really, really bad. And yes, those things weren't your fault, but you can't spend the rest of your life assuming you're damaged or that you deserved that. You can't spend the rest of your life being hurt because that's how you think life is supposed to feel.

If you want to know the truth, High School Me?  I'm angry at you. I'm angry at you for wasting time when we should've been having fun. It's not until you're in your early twenties that you have a nervous breakdown and figure out that nothing is hard or as painful as you thought it was. You were making it that way in some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

You cannot control everything that happens to you. But you can control how you react to it and how you feel about it.

I'm mad at you and Kurt Cobain for thinking suicide is ever an option. It's lame. It's seriously so lame. I am still so young, there's so much stuff I still want to do, and so much joy I still have to experience. And High School Me, you are a god damn idiot for thinking that I would be done by now. That life had already shown me everything it had to offer by the time I was sixteen.

The point is, High School Me, you have the potential to be happy, to have fun, to love and be loved in return. And I am still so angry with you for wasting it, for wasting so many years of my life thinking that suicide was an option. Not only that it was an option, but a probability. You never tried at anything because you thought you'd be dead by now.

You were so ignorant and so wrong. And I wish more than anything I could have those years back, that I could usually them to do something. Because unlike you, High School Me, I want as much time on this earth as I can possibly have.