The good news is that being constantly rejected by girls at school won’t last forever: you’ll get rejected by girls outside of school as well, unearthing new-worlds of awful. In fact, you’ll still be trying to figure out women twenty-five years later, but so is every man. Getting the shit bits done first: you will continue to take life too seriously; beat yourself up over things that don’t matter; and battle with self-loathing pretty much your entire life. I’ve got no good news on that front, but it does get easier.
Those same countless insecurities will push you far (geographically, anyway), and you will grow into one of life’s optimists. Up-beat, fortunate for everything he has, endlessly positive, eternally grateful. It might seem a long way off now, but you’ll get there. You’ll be surrounded by family and friends that love you. You will form friendships across cultural divides you can’t even imagine existed, can call on comrades across continents, yet still keep in touch with your school friends as you hoped you would in the tape-recordings you currently hate doing at Christmas. Trust your parents, you’ll like those cassettes later (but find a hard time locating any device that'll play them). Be more compassionate to your sister, she’s going through a rough spot, and yes, her musical tastes will remain bloody awful, but yours won’t improve much either.
Despite looking at your Dad and thinking, ‘will he ever get off that couch and stop reading!’ you’ll fall in love with the pastime. You’ll often find yourself perched in the corner of your couch with some tea within easy reach, flicking through books in silence, watching a sunrise bring life to a city far away from your homeland. In fact, like your parents, you be will be lucky in life, choosing a career you can do anywhere in the world. You will be one of the few that enjoys their work, thrives on making people better versions of themselves, championing the little guy or girl or person (it’s very politically correct in the future!) and showing compassion to life’s outsiders.
If I could give you any advice, it would be ‘don’t be afraid to fail.’ Most of the subjects you strive to learn at school don’t mean a bloody thing, so start failing early and relax more. You’re going to risk your life countless times in planes that don’t deserve to fly, jumping out of some, riding motorbikes and travelling to countries that you’ve never even heard of, all marched through with that boundless optimism we talked of earlier. You’ll write books, get published in a magazine, take millions of photos and have many loving relationships where you wake up in the morning and thank God you’re alive. However, I wish you believed in yourself, as it would have made getting here a might easier. You’re your own biggest detractor, but in spite of that you’ll do great. And if it doesn’t go amazingly, just move town or even country, you’ll find that pretty easy as it happens.
Listen to your parents and sister more, unless it’s about clothes or haircuts. In both cases, block your ears like Odysseus and the Sirens. If you can keep your eyes (and ears) open for when you burst your ear-drum that’d be good, as it’s still a mystery, and don’t listen to your mum saying, ‘well if you did that you’d know about it!’ In fact, take all advice with a pinch of salt. Anyone that says things can’t be done have probably never tried. It may turn you to alcohol, but drink as much of that as you like as you’ll barely touch a drop later in life, which is hard to imagine now. Oh, and don’t tell anyone where you buried the bodies, keep that a secret or there’ll be hell to pay.
Writing and writing...