Jul 042012
 

Me, July 4th, 2012

 

Dear Me in 1989.

As you read this your little brother is just a few months old, you are still adapting to a new school in a new city and life is getting rather overwhelming. This is a letter from yourself that you will write many years in the future when you are thirty-two years old.

First the bad news: it's the twenty-first century but pretty much none of what the science fiction writers and tv-shows promised you has happened. We don't have flying cars, we don't have laser-guns. We do have jetpacks but they cost about a million rand and only a few very, very rich people can afford them. 

On the other hand some awesome things happened instead. In about 5 years something called the internet will take hold in South Africa, and it will rapidly explode into the most world-changing innovation of all time. It will change everything by giving every human being a voice. An information superhighway. On the other hand most people will use it to post pictures of pokemon's butts. Oh right, you don't know about pokemon yet, you will.

You're not really interested in girls yet, which is quite good because the bad news is – for the next ten years, they aren't going to be interested in you at all. Don't fret though, after that you become a lot more interesting to them and by the time you're me, you've met the love of your life. There's some really bad times in between, which I won't tell you about because otherwise you may try to avoid them. The thing is, if you do, you may not be ready for the most wonderful woman on the planet when you meet her at thirty-one. So I won't take that risk. Just be strong and know that it all gets better.

I am not going to lie to you, highschool is going to suck. You won't have any real friends till you're almost at the end of it. I am telling you now what I wish somebody could have said to me back then: you're  a geek, you are awesome as a geek, but you are born too early. Geeks don't get girls, they don't get friends – they just get made fun of and bullied. It does get better though – as I write this, geeks are so cool that all the people who used to pick on them are wishing they was us and trying and failing very hard to pretend they are. That's irony. Remember that word.

The trouble with this letter is, I'm pretty sure you won't understand most of what I really want to tell you. You haven't learned enough yet. But a lot of the stuff you will in the next few years feel make sense the world will tell you is wrong, you will ignore them and follow your heart – and in most cases, you will turn out to be right, you will come to live very much the way you believed you should live. So be strong – I had to do that with nobody telling me I'm right, just my own stubborn-headed personality that refused to give up.

I guess the one thing I can tell you is – you're going to go through hell soon, for a long time, but you will come out stronger on the other side, determined to fight for others and defend them from what you went through. And it will get better, it will get so much better.

Oh one last thing: you're wrong, your first car will not be a porsche, but you will drive a very awesome black Audi by the time you're 32 which your best friend will call the "batmobile" – that's pretty cool no ? I won't tell you the model name because they won't come out for another decade, but it's worth the wait. And who knows, maybe I'll get a letter from my 40 year old self to say he finally bought that Porsche.

Enjoy the good stuff in your life. 

Your older self.

PS. In about 2 years when Star Trek: The Next Generation starts, you're going to love it !