As I talked about on Twitter earlier this week, I’m sharing a letter that I wrote to my younger self as part of a writing assignment from my psychologist. It was an emotional experience, though a little strange, as well. So here it is, edited for grammar and spelling but content intact. I hope this can help some of you in some way, like it helped me.
“Hey Travis, this might sound weird, but this is your future self talking. Yeah… hello. I know things are tough for you right now. Kids pick on you, your dad is gone, it feels like mom doesn’t care, and you’re scared and lonely all the time. Trust me, I know how that feels. You probably feel small, powerless, and sad. You probably think something is wrong with you since your dad left you, and you don’t have any friends. I know it’s tough.
I guess I’m here to tell you that… well, yes, it is really tough. It’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to cry. You’re going through a lot and it feels like it’ll never end. It feels like you have nothing to look forward to, that every day feels like something you have to just get through so you can get back to your room and lose yourself in your video games.
I know it’s hard, but you have to remember something important – there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re a sensitive kid, you care about others, you just want to be loved. Believe me, I totally get it. It’s wrong that others are picking on you, taking out their problems on you. They’re cruel. They’re mean. But there’s nothing wrong with you – you’re a chubby kid, and chubby is beautiful. Your dad left, but your dad is a jerk with a lot of his own problems. He didn’t leave because of you.
And yes, you’re gay, but there’s nothing wrong with that either. Don’t feel bad that you’re scared of it – the world was a scary place back then, and so was your school. You’re going to love being gay when you grow up, and people are eventually going to love you, relate to you, and respect you for it. You’re going to get what you want someday, trust me.
You might feel like you’re completely alone, but you do what you have to in order to survive. That’s OK. You have to. You’re a tough kid and you had to adapt to make it. You’re a good kid, Travis. You’re perfect just as you are, curves, dorkyness, gayness and all. You are perfect. You are sensitive and hold a great deal of love and caring deep down in your heart for others.
I know you just want people to be kind to you, to love you for who you are… Trust me, it’s coming. You’re going to get there. Just hang on for a little bit longer and everything will be OK. You’re you, and that’s the best thing you could ever be. I have to go now, little Travis, but I’ll always be right there with you, waiting for you in a better future.”