message to past-you

Is it a nice day out? Do you like baby goats? Are you overdue on thank-you notes for your Christmas presents? Here you go.

Re: message to past-you

Postby anthusiasm » Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:25 pm

Elementary School (third, fourth, or fifth grade) me:

1. Read The Golden Compass and the Animorphs books and [whatever books of the appropriate reading level that have LGBT characters in them and are available].

2. Be friends with [redacted], everyone else at your school is a dick.

Middle School Me (middle of sixth grade):

1. Do not look up the definition of "Mary Sue". Do not take the Mary Sue Litmus Test about your OCs. The only thing you need to know about Mary Sue's is that anyone who uses it probably hates fun and you should write whatever you want and post it wherever you want.

2. The website that hosts your Maximum Ride RPs is going to be deleted in a few years so find some way to archive that shit.

3. You are not obligated to be friends with people who treat you like shit. If you constantly feel inadequate around someone (like more inadequate than usual) they're probably treating you like shit. That being said, [redacted] is totally treating you like shit a lot of the time but you should still be friends with them, it turns out good.

4. To save time, here's a bunch of tearjerker news articles about The Horrible Discrimination Against The LGBT Community. Enjoy apostasy.

High School Me (various periods of time):

1. (A few months pre-high school) You're not a Fake Bi. Please don't waste time dithering about whether you're a Fake Bi.

2. (A few months pre-high school) I'm not going to tell you which high school to go to. I went to [redacted]. The admissions people aren't lying about what a great community it is, and you'll meet some wonderful people. However, you can't come out in high school, the theater program goes to shit after your sophomore year, and the food is not that great. Do with that information what you will.

3. (At some point in freshman year) In case you haven't figured this out by now, overpowered self-inserts are bad writing and you should move on from that now. (Including in case earlier advice about Mary Sues changed something significant about the development of my writing).

(Middle of freshman year) I'm not going to tell you whether or not to stay with debate. You learn a lot of practical skills, you get to be a role model to some great people, and it looks good on college applications. However, you don't get much better at it, it doesn't get any more fun, and you have to spend your summer at debate camp, which you hate.

4. (Middle of freshman year) Creative writing summer programs are way more fun than debate camp and are also really helpful. Look into those.

5. (Middle of freshman year) DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE GODDAMN INTERNET, JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. If you're reading an argument and find yourself thinking "this seems mean/petty", it probably is. Factcheck any claims anyone makes rigorously. The trans rights stuff sounds weird but it's legit.

6. (Beginning of sophomore year) Hang out with [redacted], she is also gay and into you.

7. (Middle of junior year) Break up with him. I do not want to hear any excuses. It doesn't get any better than this and keeping this thing alive isn't fair to anyone involved.
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Re: message to past-you

Postby DanielH » Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:34 pm

Oh, also, to my past self, after the other messages:

Do [hypothetical thing] to meet the time traveler and get another shot; you are in a better position to improve your past selves’ lives than I am.

Better yet, see if you can convince them to explain this time travel thing so you can do it yourself. If I could have personally gone back in time I would have done more than if I could just send information.
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Re: message to past-you

Postby PlainDealingVillain » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:02 am

Barring gaming the system to get my parents to sell their stocks at the top of the dotcom bubble or other stupid moneymaking tricks, best time is probably right as I'm finishing middle school:

Hey, Me. The people on your old bus route really fucked you up about 5 years ago, and you won't really notice for another decade. High school will feel better for about six months, because different people, but it's a lousy patch. (Also, in my timeline you switched highschools to a place called Mass Academy two years in; it helped for only slightly longer.) Not all therapists are as ragingly incompetent as the school counselor at Center, and it *will* help; sooner is probably better than later. Being able to relate to people at all is critical to your happiness and won't show up until you fix that; college helped me but sooner would be better. Take whatever means you can get to fix this; it's the major block on your productivity and the bad habits you're building now to deal with it are the second-biggest.

Fresh start is still helpful, though; if you can get into Worcester Academy, they'll probably have more real peers, and the math teacher will push your limits for math contests (I met him through that); you might be able to make the Mathematics Olympiad if you try, and if you do you'll get in on a seriously world-affecting trajectory opportunity. (It's currently calling itself the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence.) For the same track: there's a blog called Overcoming Bias; look it up at the beginning of 2007 and you'll get in on the discussion earlier than I did. Follow the community when it moves sites; you'll get more from the new contributors after the first move than you did from Robin. Also, read Godel, Escher, Bach; it's worth thinking about the paradoxes of reference in a mathematical context sooner.

Magic is a good game, but soaks up time you could spend on something almost as enjoyable and more helpful in the long run. Programming, probably. Yes, everything feels either too big to be accomplishable or too small to be worthwhile; mental issues will help, but even so, go do it. Write more crap in whatever, just write stuff.

Journal more, it's a good habit to have and makes it easier to sort out your brain. Same with medications. Yes, they feels like admitting weakness; disregard that feeling.
Re: puberty: yes, they're all going nuts around you, that's why teenagers have such a bad reputation. They'll still be off-putting later, though; you got/get a nonstandard sex drive. [Details follow.]

There's a real estate bubble going when you get this, crashing in 2008. The next tech boom in San Francisco and Silicon Valley will keep going until 2016 at least; if it's a bubble, it hasn't popped, and hasn't done things that the last bubble did. (If Dad lets his job move you all to California you'll get truly ridiculous growth on house value anyway, but he hates the job. Also, he never technically graduated college; tell him to try to use alumni services to network and he'll find that out.)
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Re: message to past-you

Postby Kaylin » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:15 am

To me, at any time between age 8 and 15: Hey, you know that story you write in your head all the time? Write some of it down! I'm serious! You might think you'll be able to remember the important stuff, but trust me, you can't.

Proof for mes age 10+: you asked out [name redacted] and he said no. Only he and you know about this.

Proof for mes who have started doing the story thing: Your character's name is [redacted] and he's based on the one from [redacted]. (Change it. I did and now the old name feels WRONG.) Don't ask me the names of the horses because I. Can't. Remember.
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