A letter

(this is a very earnest post, and if you’re here for backpacks and travel, maybe skip this one)

Hey Brook,

This letter in a sci-fi tale would come to you out of the ether, dropping onto your iBook G3 on some particularly dark night of the soul. I’m you, but 16 years older, and hopefully a little wiser.

(Spoiler alert)

The next few years will be a lot of fun, but also really, really tough. You will lose friends and family to cancer, then to divorce and…

You transition. You finally do it, and it goes mostly ok! You don’t talk to family anymore, but you probably saw that coming, and it’s fine because you have friends who love and support you.

Your finances will get worse for a while. Really bad. You’re going to spend a little while sleeping in your car and on folks’ couches. It sucks. You’ll smoke too many cigarettes, and do some ridiculous stuff.

It works out.

Eventually, you get a job with folks who you really like, and they encourage you. You join a company that is doing amazing stuff with messaging (kind of like IRC, but way, way cooler—you’ll see). After a year, you get a little bit of stock, and finally pay off your student loan debt that you’ll have ground down for 13 years. It will feel great.

You’ll see a therapist, and a doctor, and a dentist with a regular cadence. It will help. I promise.

You’ll love, you’ll lose, and you’ll get back on that horse. Ultimately, you’ll do a lot of reading and spend a lot of time with your best friend, a cat named Snorri. You and Snorri will travel from Austin, to Portland, to Oakland, with a ton of flights in between to Europe, Asia, Canada, and NYC.

I know what it feels like a lot of nights right now. It sucks. It’s real, and you’ve had a hard time. Most people you know won’t get it, and you deserve better. When you get older you’ll know more people who’ve also gone through a lot of shit, and they’ll be good listeners, and you’ll listen a lot too. Don’t stop loving, and don’t stop trying to be open with your friends. It pays off more often than not. Your biggest asset is your heart. Don’t lose it.

I love you, and I can’t wait for you to get to where I am now. For all the good times, and the bad ones, just know I’m here in the future cheering you on.