Advice to my 12 year-old self

I read at Slashdot a great question: “What advice would you give your 12 year-old self?”
Here’s mine:


Dear 12 year-old self,
Your life is about to be forever changed. You don’t know it now, but in three years, you’re going to be in millions of households world-wide.
Everywhere you go, people are going to scream at you that they hate you. Listen to this advice, 12 year-old self, because I know that nobody else is going to give it to you: whatever you do, don’t listen to them, and let don’t let them define your sense of self-worth. It’s going to hurt, a lot, and it will go on for years. You won’t understand it, and you’ll try really hard to convince them otherwise, but they will not listen . . . because they’re just as insecure and confused as you are right now. You’re going to want to quit the show, but if you do, you’ll be 30 before you stop regretting it. Trust me on this one.
Stay on that show until it’s over, and when you’re older, you’ll realize that for every person who screamed “I hate you,” there is another who was quietly inspired by something you did. It all balances out, kid.
You are never going to be cool, no matter how hard you try, so save yourself the agony of trying to fit in. You end up marrying a real hottie who loves your inner geek.

170 thoughts on “Advice to my 12 year-old self”

  1. Ok,
    Now I am confused. Well, not really. I am reading up on your old blogs and somewhere you said that (I believe after you left TNG) you got a letter from a girl you liked, saying you had turned into a total a-hole and a friend of yours confirmed it and you changed your ways. (I tried finding that part again but… there’s years worth of stuff in here…) Also, I doubt very much telling yourself not to care about what people are saying of you is going to help, especially since you still care. (Why else would you put something like this up?) Who wouldn’t, aren’t we all human? We want to be liked by others and it hurts when they don’t like us, it’s as simple as that.
    I assume that what you are trying to do here is have all: staying on TNG, giving your career a boost, not loosing your confidence in yourself by getting called names by all those pathetic losers AND growing up to be a really great guy who marries a really great wife… But I don’t doubt for a moment that you’d be willing to sacrifice staying on TNG (and hopefully making lots of money and continueing to make lots of money afterwards…) in order to hook up with your wife… So how come you don’t add anything about not becoming a jerk and make sure you hook up with your wife? Probably because it is something completely obvious to you, that you would want that. I would want to, if I were in your shoes.
    Personally, I wouldn’t know what to tell myself at age 12. I would love to be able to undo some of the things that happened. Sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind so very much if things had been easier for me in life and I had had a happy childhood and adolesence even if that meant me turning into a complete A-hole. Other times I take pride in the fact that I still have some honor left to me, despite whatever else was taken away from me. But then, I don’t have a wife, as you do. I’ve got little to lose at this point. Maybe when I am 30 years old I will have some more perspective on this. I certainly hope so…
    Anyway, great site, can’t wait for your book to come out (hurry up with that will ya? I keep checking Amazon.com but they’ve got nothing on it there…) and stop calling yourself lame, cos you’re not.

  2. I’m really annoyed by most of the comments that people have left to this.
    I feel terrible that Trek fans made you feel like you had to leave the show. I loved Wesley and was very upset when he left–although they did do it in a pretty nifty way.

  3. Can’t help the hormones, can ya? Not a big issue, honey, and if you can sort yourself out by the time you are 30, you are doing pretty well.
    Always wondered why Wes got cut, though. Most cool that you quit rather than being sacked,
    bless ya mate.

  4. Dear 12 Year Old Self,
    In a few years you’ll be in highschool, grade 9. Your gym teacher will compliment you on your legs and say you should become a runner. He’ll ask you to stay after school and make you do a number of strange poses in your gym clothes which he says is to isolate the muscles in your legs so that he can study them from the photographs he is taking so he will know what muscle groups will need to be worked on so he can train you to be a runner. He’ll then ask you to go into the weight room with him to train and will spend a lot of time feeling your legs while you work out.
    Don’t do it. That pain you feel in your feet all the time is actually osteoarthritis which will go undiagnosed until your 30s. You’ll never be a runner. All you’re doing is giving a creepy guy with a fetish for boys’ legs some whack-off matterial.
    Oh… and that “Jesus” stuff is just a load of crap. I’d give up that religion now if I were you. It will save yourself a lot of unneccessary pain in the future.
    Your’s truly,
    Older You.

  5. To my (15) year old self:
    Don’t ruin your chances with SB. Yes, she stood you up, but the words you put into writing will close that door forever. F O R E V E R. Do not — repeat — D O N O T give her that letter. She was the one — it’s all lost with that letter.

  6. I can’t believe some of the negative comments I’ve seen here. Sigh. People will be people, won’t they?
    From a geeky 37-year-old… I was always pleased with Wesley as a character. My son grew up watching you – possibly one of the only positive role models for kids on TV at that time.
    And guess what? You’ll always be part of the ST mythos. I just wish they hadn’t clipped you out of “Nemesis”.

  7. I just wanted to say that I am sorry. I was one of those that screamed and hollered how much I hated Wesley Crusher. But now when I watch the episodes I see that he is a truly inspiring character. There was so much potential there. So sorry Wil. I would not advise my 12 yr old self because my life went to hell when I was 12, I would depress myself. So again sorry you are truly cool and so is Wesley.

  8. February 24

    I found this over at Wil Wheaton’s site, and he found it over at Slashdot, so it’s not even original. In fact, I didn’t even read the original /. thread, and haven’t read Wheaton’s post on it yet, but I…

  9. hey if you are 13 female and want to find an 13 female that is gay do you come here or some were than here? But i love girls and like to kiss them and more. But can you find me and gay girl. But thank you,
    Kay

  10. Got as far as the idea but I was never one for small print. Who’s worse anyway, you for repeating content or the moron who religiously reads your blog and then criticizes you? Life’s a bitch and then you laugh about it.

  11. I am twelve years old. I think that this thing is a good place for people to go to. But someone needs to make on for people to wright to their 6 year old selves or 9 year old selves you know?anyway I think that your letter to yourself was a very good thing.If I was your 12-year-old-self I would thank you for your support.

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