Dear Little Me,
Time sure flies. As almost-quarter-century me is sitting on the couch next to The Fiancé after watching The Arrival, something struck.
When did we stop being weird? Or rather, why?
In The Arrival, this BRILLIANT woman is able to decipher an alien language. And O M G - if that wasn't the coolest damn thing I've seen in a while, I don't know what is. And while I realize that this was a work of fiction, a linguist is a real job. And the concept of time not being linear? Also an actual topic of research.
I remember in G.A.T.E. (Gifted and Talented Education) in the fifth grade, we had to put together this project. What the topic of this project was supposed to be escapes me now but what I do remember is that I wanted to do my project on the Bermuda Triangle. I researched and researched encyclopedias (remember those?) looking for some semblance of an explanation that I could present to my class and teacher.
And, of course, me being the little weirdo that I am, decided that based on my research, my conclusion was that The Bermuda Triangle had to be two black holes that were funnel shaped, and connected to each other with the wide pieces facing away from each other.
Don't ask me about the actual research and paper because I have no idea. But what did occur to me right now, in 2017, is that at some point, I made up my little mind to stop researching things like The Bermuda Triangle, aliens and ancient cultures because at some point, I was told that these things were "weird."
I loved shows like So Weird and Unsolved Mysteries. I loved reading books about ancient cultures that cut out hearts for human sacrifices. And as the ending credits for The Arrival started to roll and I was sitting on the couch thinking about the fact that time is perceived as linear and if everything wasn't exactly how we perceived it, and oh my GOD – but I stopped myself. I remembered being "weird" again. I remember the books and articles about aliens and extraterrestrial life. But then I remembered going through puberty and wanting boys to like me. Boys can't possibly like me if I'm into true crime, human sacrifices and paranormal shit right? And the popular, "cool" kids? Shit, don't even get me started.
Well, Little Me, I'm here to tell you – I really wish you stayed true to who you are. Because all these pieces and interests? Guess what, they didn't go away. In 2016, you will discover true crime podcasts, like Serial, Up and Vanished, Sword and Scale, and My Favorite Murder. You also will find Unexplained, The NoSleep Podcast and Lore – which touch upon a variety of things but basically, they talk about all the creepy stories you love, both true and fiction.
What I'm getting at is, I really wish someone had told me back then that it was okay. It was okay to love weird things and to want to research odd topics. It was okay that your parents didn't let you shave your legs just quite yet. And, most importantly, it was okay that boys and the cool kids didn't like you.
If there was one piece of advice I could give to Little Me, it would be: "Stay true to who you are and never abandon your ideas, passions or thoughts for anyone." Too often, I thought about "Well, will so-and-so approve of this?" and "That boy will like this outfit, right?" Because at the end of the day, and decades later, it won't matter. Hell, I don't even know if the boys I had crushes on still even remember me.
My point is, I wish Little Me spent less time worrying about boys and the cool kids and what they liked and more time worrying about self-love and self-acceptance. It's taken me years to get to the point where I'm comfortable to be myself around people and even then, I'm still always full of anxiety, wondering if I'm saying the right thing at the right time, and if I need to work harder to entertain the people I'm with.
Truth is, Little Me, one day, you'll find your tribe. Your most trusted circle of friends will come together. While apart and on the surface, you won't be able to understand or really see how we're so close. But when together, you'll see that each and every single person in your close circle have an abundance of a gift to offer the world. And you've become so close because, well, you share something similar. Whether it's your #DisneySquad or your bestie who you swap "Mommy Porn" novels with or your two fashion soulmates... each and every one of them has something in common that they share with you deep down inside the cores of their beings.
Friends and the Fiancé often say, after finally putting a face to a name, "I can totally see why you're friends now." And that, is a beautiful thing.
Listen, Little Me, I realize it's too late to change anything now – it's not like we can go back in time (or can we...?) But we've been through some tough shit in 25 years. And I have no doubt that we'll go through some more. But as we're heading light speed towards actually being an adult (don't worry, it's not as bad as it seems,) I hope we can continue to do one thing:
PS: There's more "weird" shit you're going to end up liking. Like reading books about Statistics and Economics... FOR LEISURE. And people will always call you a "geek" probably for the rest of your life. Rock it. 🤘🏻