It was Steffi’s idea to have us join in the #DearMe project this week. So this is going to be a letter to my teenage self.

Hi. I’m going to give you some advice. You may try to ignore it, but I’m from the future so listen up!

Good for you for being a nerd and proud of it. You’re twirling flags in high school and you love it and you think it’s really awesome and anyone who doesn’t think it’s cool doesn’t matter. You love that you love Harry Potter and even if all your friends stop liking it, you continue to obsess. You honestly think that not being nerdy is lame. Good for you!

I would like to remind you that those ideas that you have about what you want to do, like working on movies and art, are really good! I don’t even think the words, “You only think you’ll like it because you like watching the Lord of the Rings appendices and you won’t be working on stuff like that” were ever said to you. You’ve made them up because that’s what you think people will say. Maybe they will, but who cares, you can do it anyway. Pursue the things you are interested in! Stop thinking that you have to have a fancy, official job. You are allowed to have a fun job and you are allowed to try. Don’t be scared of taking a path that isn’t quite clear. The clear paths to “successful” jobs will get more difficult if you aren’t fully passionate about them and trust me, you can’t get by just by studying. Still go to NAU though, or you won’t meet your loving husband.

I would also like to remind you that you don’t have to agree with everything people tell you. Not everyone has to like you and if you have a different opinion, it’s ok to say so. If they don’t like it and they don’t want to be your friend because of it, it’s probably best you don’t have them as a friend. You can also stop thinking so much about what other people think about what you wear, your hair, who you hang out with and your myspace page. Care about what YOU like and focus on that. Everyone else and what they are doing will disappear and you’ll be so happy because you’ve surrounded yourself with people and things you love.

A last thought, you might want to look into a few things. Like conventions. Nerdy people like you gather and meet each other year after year to cry about Harry Potter and such. You’ll make so many friends from places you’d never go and you’d realize you’re not the only one. Yes, there are others like you! You might even realize that people can be nerds forever and make a job out of it.

Keep being weird and awesome, keep your sense of adventure, keep staying true to who you are!

-Your 26-year-old self


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