letter to my 16 year old self

You’re gonna get depressed sometimes. You’re gonna have weeks where you don’t feel like eating. Where gravity is working overtime, like it’s afraid of getting laid off, and you can barely lift your fork to your mouth.

And you are going to have a choice.

Do you want to see this world as ugly or beautiful?

—  George Watsky - Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self (x)
Letter To My 16-Year-Old Self
George Watsky
Letter To My 16-Year-Old Self

you’re going to have to climb through
a thorny mess of contradictions,
underground rivers, and
sometimes what you love the most 
will cause your biggest problem
because you know what’s awesome? 
world peace.
and you know what else is awesome?
and that’s just the goddamn truth
this world is so confusing
but you’re gonna be fine,
you’re gonna be fine

I once had to say this on a show many years ago, and I truly believe it: Loneliness is a choice. I like to be alone; I’m more comfortable alone. But I do recognize that I take it too far sometimes and so I try to force myself to keep up with being sociable. I just am a bit of a lone ranger; I always have been. But I don’t believe that necessarily has to translate to being lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd of a thousand people. I can be in a hotel room on my own and not feel lonely. It all comes down to how comfortable you are with who you are in the silence.

In a letter to her 16 year-old self:  Oh and honey, expand your horizons; your world is a bigger oyster than your low self-esteem wants you to believe. Love yourself, think of others and be grateful. I love you, I believe in you, and I look forward to respecting you. 

I used to take myself very seriously, now it’s all just funny. You gotta laugh at yourself. You know, most of the time when something’s a big deal for us, it’s only become a big deal in the space between our ears.

I just came out of the womb ready to go. My mom will say at age three you couldn’t tell me anything…I’ve just voiced my opinion my whole life, I don’t think I picked up the cues on what was right and wrong for women because I’ve just always done whatever the fuck I wanted to.

There are a lot of things I would have done differently. But Scully wouldn’t have been one of them. 

Five Friday Faves - Gillian Quotes @storybycorey

ID #79467

Name: Chloe
Age: 17
Country: USA

I am an aspiring writer and journalist! Topics that I general cover are environmentalism, health, spirituality, and self love. I dabble in poetry as well. Another hobby of mine is music. I have a small collection of guitars and I like to think I can sing :) I enjoy food related documentaries(and no, I didn’t watch Cowspiracy once lol), hiking, cooking, live music, and meditating. I’m looking to write someone who cares about our planet and all life on it, can take astrology and tarot readings with a grain of salt, loves the outdoors, and be a source for me to learn about their culture and way of life! I am so excited to learn and I definitely need someone just as hyped to balance that out.

Preferences: Ages 16-19 please! (Not concrete though.. I’ve met some very mature and knowledgeable 15 year olds and not-creepy 20 year olds. Who am I to judge? My only guideline is nothing creepy!!)

To my dearest Girls’ Generation,

First of all, thank you for being… just… Girls’ Generation. My 2009 self is proud to stan 9 amazing ladies. I’m not yet starting my letter but I feel like crying. One of my classmates in high school showed me your music video of “Oh!” and I was “meh”. I don’t know which started it - my loyalty to 9 beautiful ladies. 2010 is the year that I’m very sure that I love you girls from the bottom of my heart. Your japanese debut, your continuous music releases - I waited for them all. As a 16 year old girl back then, your music is my aid when the tides in my life were rough and harsh. I even memorized the dance steps to your songs, and the very first song choreo that I learned is “Oh!” It’s funny how from being “meh” to “FAKINAWAY I LOVE THIS SONG SO LET’S MEMORIZE EVERY STEP NO ONE CAN STOP ME” I was to Oh!. I’m a broke fan so I’m just saving your pictures to my PSP with a very low memory capacity. I can’t afford to buy your albums, photobooks, attend your concerts, etc, so I’m just an avid fan with no money whose fandom life depends on the internet (and some piracy of course). Tumblr has been my home ever since and my fandom life began here since I don’t know Twitter back then. I’m an OT9 stan because for me, Girls’ Generation will forever be composed of 9 resilient and beautiful ladies. 

To our ladies, please bear no sadness or regrets for the decision of leaving SNSD. We sones appreciate your effort and sacrifices for 10 years. We understand the path that each of you is going to take, and we support them.

Girls’ Generation will forever remain a girl group that contributes a lot to the Kpop world. You are the girl group of our universe. You are one of the foundations of Kpop, especially when it comes to girl groups. You are the leader, the final boss, the legend. 

I’m forever grateful to you, Girls’ Generation.

Dear Me

Well, if you’re reading this, time travel is possible, so that should please you. It’s 1982 where you are and, as I recollect, that’s fine. Great bands. Sunshine. Thunderbird wine. Jumble-sale overcoats and a fringe so long it pokes you in the eye. Everywhere: dayglo, leg-warmers, Chris Biggins glasses. 2009 isn’t so different.

Now then - advice. You are a gay. You’ve known this forever. Since you had a crush on Stuart Damon off ‘The Champions’. Bar one long afternoon of denial, you are perfectly content with this.

Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Plenty of time for that. So, don’t blow your first wage packet on a tailor-made tweed suit.

You don’t know it yet but you’re living in the Dark Ages. Things will improve radically. One day, your family will come to your wedding to another man & declare it one of the happiest times of their lives.

The future, though, is no Utopia. Battles we thought won are being fought again. Ignorance & fanaticism are on heat. Plenty of surprises to come - good & bad. Thatcher will go one day as, alas, will most of your hair. For now, enjoy that wonderful teenage bubble where you can cause a minor scandal by snogging the cooler-than-the-Fonz Brian Bennett. Even if you never do anything about that blond 6th Former (no - honestly he is) it’s been nice catching up.

Just promise me that when you meet Al Murray at the Edinburgh Festival in a few years you’ll have a stern word. OK?

Love Mark x

P.S. ‘Doctor Who’ is still on!


Mark March - Day 10 Favourite Book/Writing

This doesn’t strictly fall into the ‘book’ category, but I’ve always thought it was lovely. Marks entry in Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old self. The sentence "So, don’t blow your first wage packet on a tailor-made tweed suit.“ always makes me smile, its so Mark.

A letter of sorts to my 16 year old self.

It’s November 2017. I’m listening to The Wombats’ new song on repeat, yelling about it to my girlfriend and annoying my dad, and Alex Turner and Alexa Chung were spotted making out after fireworks in East London. The whole thing is reminding me of you. I remember you being just as obsessed with The Wombats as I have been this year. I remember you hating Alexa Chung for some stupid reason. I remember you being as happy as you tended to be at this time 10 years ago.

10 whole fucking years. Everything has changed. Not much has changed.

10 years ago you lost your virginity, gained a relationship (albeit a long distance one). You finished your GCSEs, you started your A-levels. You were finally figuring out your place in the world. You stopped being so fucking suicidal all the time because you were in love and doing well at school for the first time in a couple of years. Everything seemed to be coming up Charlie.

Or Charlotte as most people called you back then. Potato potahto. Whatever. It was a good year for you, for the most part. I don’t think you got on well with your family at the time but what 16 year old does? You racked up some enormous fucking phone bills, but then, what 16 year old doesn’t? You hated your hometown, but isn’t that a perfectly normal 16 year old thing to hate?

(You’d started realising you were having huge problems with your assigned gender but you kept that pretty close to your chest, and that’s not quite a normal 16 year old thing to happen.)

So where’s the brilliant student, the teetotaller, the burgeoning lesbian, the shy-apart-from-in-class Oxbridge prospect at now?

Pretty much vanished. Apart from your taste in music. That’s still roughly the same.

In some vague chronological order, here’s how your life ends up going. Your girlfriend dumps you and it’s horrible, genuinely awful. You get suicidal again. You see The Wombats eight more times during sixth form and you somehow meet Murph and Tord but not Dan. You pass your Oxford exam but fail the interview. You get nearly straight As. You try the whole university thing twice; it doesn’t suit you. You start drinking: spirits at first, you order rum and cokes because it’s Jarvis Cocker approved but then you get a taste for wine, even draught cider but never beer. You start fancying attainable men - not rock stars - eventually, and sleeping with them, and enjoying it. You get seriously into comedy and start doing stand-up. You have your first bereavement which triggers off a chain of events that leads to you getting diagnosed with something like bipolar. You learn to play pool, learn to knit, fail to get to grips with the bass guitar. You cause drama. You dabble in drugs. You have a few not particularly serious suicide attempts, and you have a psychotic break and stay in a mental hospital for just under a month. Your parents break up yet again, for good this time. You lose old friends and you make new ones, all throughout this period. You fall in and out of love with various bands: Los Campesinos! is the big one, you will have only just heard of them, but there are others. Sometimes you like chart pop songs and you frequently say the word ‘banger’ unironically. You start going to more club nights and fewer gigs but you do see Belle and Sebastian play ‘Tigermilk’ and ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’ in full on consecutive nights; they play ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane’ on the last night and you cry a bit. You come out as a transgender man.

I’m forgetting things, but that’s a very long paragraph.

The world becomes an even scarier place than even you, who lived through 9/11, 7/7, and the early years of the War on Terror, could imagine. There’s some douchebag who has barely entered your personal radar yet who becomes president and the world feels perpetually on the brink of nuclear warfare most days, the Tories get into office and set into motion a chain of events that lead to the UK voting to leave the European Union, and literal Nazis are more and more emboldened. Almost all of us have actual computers in our pockets. It’s not as fun as you’d think. Everyone I know is stressed out: overworked, underpaid, trying to make it somehow and struggling with it.

But me, me personally: I’m happy. Okay: I’m not happy right now, writing this, I’m reflective and a bit tired. But most minutes of the day I’m happy. Even better - but you learn that this is better than happiness over time - I’m content. That’s a cliche and more intelligent people than me have said this before. I’m loved by so many more people than you ever imagined possible. That’s like the corniest thing in the world to say but it’s true. The niggling voice in the back of my head telling me to kill myself hasn’t gone away but perhaps it’s the quietest it’s been for a few years. People call me ‘Charlie’ and never ‘Charlotte’, and ‘he’ and ‘him’ now and it feels right. I have a long-distance girlfriend again and it’s going extremely well (we met because of The Wombats, who I saw three times in the space of a week this year - oh, by the way, I met Dan and he’s literally the nicest person, so there’s that). I have a best friend who I’ve known for six years (a frankly ridiculous boy called Sam, who’s made me laugh more times than you can even count) and a whole roster of incredible, talented, kind-hearted people who I know have my back.

2017 is pretty great, in all. See you in 2027.

Two weeks later, a friend will use the word “asexual” to describe a boy she knows. You won’t know what this word means; part of you will be scared to find out. At 16, you’re just starting to get comfortable with the fact you like girls at all.

But curiosity will get the better of you, and you will go home and look up the word anyway.

An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction.

You think about the girl you liked, and your discomfort with talking about anything sexual.

Is this you?

You keep this word tucked close to your chest, not ready to identify this way yet, not fully aware of what it means at all. And what if you’re wrong? What if it isn’t you?

But months will go by and you still won’t understand your friends when they crush on boys.

You will meet a new girl at school. She will become your best friend, and only a few months after your first heartbreak you need a best friend. She will sleep over with you and the two of you will stay up late acting out scenes from books and plays and watching scary movies. She will quickly become the person you call when you need someone to talk to.

She will be the first person you truly come out to. At two in the morning, crying on her shoulder, you will tell her about the other girl you liked. She will say it is okay. She will say she is your friend no matter what.

You will not say the word asexual aloud. Not yet.

—  I wrote a letter to my 16-year-old self for MTV on discovering my demisexuality. You can read it here.

Reading and dreaming are pretty much the two most magical activities we can think of, so when a book comes along that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a dream – it’s a big deal. THE RADIANT ROAD is a beautifully atmospheric, fairy-filled fantasy, and here to tell us about the mind behind the masterpiece is author Katherine Catmull! 


Name: Katherine Catmull 

Novel: The Radiant Road 

Available: January 19, 2016

Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? I always answer Gabriel Garcia Marquez to this question, but I don’t know if that’s even true any more. But I keep saying it, because his brilliant, strange novels changed the way I thought about writing and reading. He showed me you can do anything at all in a book, as long as it’s true inside your world.

What’s your favorite thing about your book? That’s it’s about being brave enough—well, brave enough to live unafraid, for one thing, but also brave enough to make art. I’m a bit obsessed with how important it is for us all, all, all to make art. Or make something. Robots count as art! Get out there and make!

If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? I’m sure I’ll kick myself later, but all I can think of now is Seymour Glass, from Seymour: an Introduction and other Glass family sagas by J. D, Salinger. I really love Seymour’s seven year-old self in the story “Hapworth 16, 1924”—which was published once, in the New Yorker, and was so roundly loathed and mocked that Salinger never published anything again. I urge you not to read this story! Absolutely every legitimate critic from the past fifty years has hated it! But for some reason, I love that endless letter home from camp from a nutty seven year-old American Buddha. I’d love to meet old Seymour.

Where do you write? In my blue-walled room with a terra-cotta tiled floor, at a little yellow desk stained with many colors of ink and crayon and paint, surrounded by bookshelves and art supplies. I put that desk in The Radiant Road, in fact.

Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? I was just saying elsewhere in blogdom that I don’t believe in heroes. Strikes grim pose, chin raised against the night sky. Really, though, the concept makes me uncomfortable—it seems to me to fail in John Green’s excellent “imagine people complexly” requirement. But there are people in history whom I greatly admire. Harriet Tubman should absolutely be on the $20 bill, for example (not the $10, I like Hamilton—I also like Hamilton—but we could do without that racist Andrew Jackson on our money).

Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? Well, no one ELSE thought it was funny, but I thought this sign on a bus in Portland OR was hilarious, and my comment at least mildly amusing. (I went to college in Portland BTW. Love you, Portland! Just teasing!) 

What is your favorite season? Autumn. No contest. And it remains my fave even though for decades I’ve lived in Austin, which has a damn poor excuse for autumn weather. Sorry for the strong language but my feelings run deep on this!

If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? Not very much of the universe is known! If I knew of some fabulous twin-sunned, three-mooned planet with a language made of song and a breath-based currency, I would go there. But since I only know our Earth … maybe Antarctica? I have two friends there now, and their Facebook photos are killing me.

Do you have any writing rituals? Must play solitaire. Must have many liquids to drink: types vary by time of day, weather. Must close door on needy, wriggly young cats and handsome, interesting husband. Must doodle in my writing notebook. At some point, must write.

Wriggly cat #1: Adam

Wriggly cat #2: Snub

What is your idea of earthly happiness? A snow day. By which I mean, a day when you were all set to work hard and slog through, but the universe gently takes the shovel out of your hands. You’re left with only a warm nest, your books and movies and food to cook, maybe someone you love to share with it, and an unexpected, unplanned day or two when there is not one single thing you’re supposed to do.

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? It is embarrassing to say, but I have not been to tons of concerts. Am one of those delicate flowers who says “oooh, it’s too loud! It’s hurting my ears!” But! many years ago, I saw Little Feat in concert, with Jerry Jeff Walker opening for them. It was New Year’s Eve, and I was with lovely people, and it turned out to be Little Feat’s last concert with the miraculous Lowell George. And it was fantastic.

What are you currently working on? Argh I dunno. Some wacky story that’s half girl-who-can-speak-to-wilderness and half Gawain and the Green Knight? Does that sound good? Hopefully it will be good. It also has a magic fox in it, and you can’t go wrong with magic foxes.


Thanks, Katherine! We can’t wait to hear more about your next novel.

Follow Katherine Catmull on Twitter!

Get your copy of THE RADIANT ROAD!

You’re gonna get depressed sometimes. You’re gonna have weeks where you don’t feel like eating. Where gravity is working overtime, like it’s afraid of getting laid off, and you can barely lift your fork to your mouth.
And you are going to have a choice.
Do you want to see this world as ugly or beautiful?
—  George Watsky - Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self

gendernest  asked:

is it a coincidence that violet is one letter away from violent?

Probably not. Her first name was among the very first things I picked in 1997 when I started writing. My 16 year old self likely thought of that at least in part.