a matter of perspective

I just watched, for the first time in over 20 years, the third season blooper reel from Star Trek The Next Generation. It’s going to be included on the Blu-Ray disc, and I get to see it before it’s released to offer any notes or concerns that will be politely ignored.

It’s very, very funny. By the third season, we were all a very close-knit family on the set, and when we messed up, we laughed about it and reset the scene.

Well, everyone, that is, but me. In this reel, when I screw up, I get angry at myself. I try to laugh, but it’s clear that I am frustrated beyond belief. I say, “I am so sorry,” but without any of the 10th Doctor’s charm. My frustration and embarrassment is palpable.

When I watched this just now, I viscerally remembered being that awkward 15 and then 16 year-old kid, with the awful helmet hair, the uncomfortable grey spacesuit with the embarrassing muscle suit underneath it, and almost crippling desire to be the kind of cool I was never going to be. I remembered how, when I was on the bridge spouting nothing but technobabble (which was a large percentage of what Wesley got to do in Season 3, so much so that it lead to my asking to be written off the show), it was so hard to remember because it didn’t mean anything, and that was frustrating on a number of levels. I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to perform a character, and most of what I remember doing that season was plotting courses and saying “Aye, sir.” In the blissful, arrogant ignorance of being a teenager, it never occurred to me that there were eight regular cast members, and everyone except the Holy Trinity of Picard, Riker and Data had their turn spouting technobabble and saying “Aye, sir.” I was the only one who was too young and foolish to understand. I was the only one who was too young and foolish to attempt to understand.

Wesley (and I) did get to do some really great things in Season 3: The Bonding is fantastic and Ron Moore wrote a couple of magnificent scenes for Wesley in that episode, Evolution was pretty awesome (and I got to work a lot with Whoopi, which was as totally cool as you’d expect it to be, and got real character growth from writer Michael Piller), and Yesterday’s Enterprise remains one of my favourite episodes of all time. But, like youth being wasted on the young, most of what made that season awesome was wasted on me.

Season 3 and part of Season 4 are really tough for me to watch, because I regret being such a tool back then. I wish I could go back in time and tell that kid to relax and enjoy what was a pretty awesome job, but I know that he wouldn’t listen to me any more than he’d have listened to anyone else. He was a confused, weird, awkward nerd trying so hard to be an adult, and failing spectacularly.

I wish I could go back in time and have a talk with that kid, but I learned something important from Star Trek when Picard told Riker: “There are many parts of my youth that I’m not proud of… there were loose threads… untidy parts of me that I would like to remove. But when I pulled on one of those threads… it had unraveled the tapestry of my life.

I will continue to simultaneously feel ashamed of myself, embarrassed by myself, but compassionate towards myself. That kid was doing the best that he could, and I’ll keep trying to accept that. Maybe one day, I’ll even make peace with it.


71 thoughts on “a matter of perspective”

  1. The things I would tell my younger self if I could go back in time! Back when all the colors emotions moments seemed so dramatic and intense. “Lighten up!” I’d say! But then, if we hadn’t gone through what we went through then, we wouldn’t be who we are now. Compassion, as you said, compassion is key. You learned, right? If you learned, it was worthwhile. Be grateful to that kid for helping you become the man you are.

  2. I’m so very lucky not to have hours of video documentation of me at my most awkward– a luxury, in comparison, I suppose. If there ever comes a day where I can look back on those memories of being “the weird girl” and not turn an ungodly shade of crimson, I will have unlocked a hell of a life achievement.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking. One of the reasons I preferred writing for stage is that memory gets hazy, blurred, the bad fades and the good is burnished with fondness. If I had to look at a video of myself making mistakes at 15? I’d never be able to watch it more than once, because each subsequent time would get exponentially more excruciating.

  3. Beautifully put.
    We all look back on our younger selves and think ‘what the hell was I doing?!’ Personally I want to slap my younger self for all those missed opportunities, but I know he just didn’t get it. I think it’s the quest of a lifetime to just chill out about it and accept that for a while we’re all tools. Maybe that’s part of learning how not to be one as an adult :)

  4. If it’s any consolation, I feel the same way about my early years in software development. I was such a tool back then too. It took having, and raising, a family to really start to understand “my elders”. And now, when I see those “young’un’s” making the same poor choices I did, I remember back to my mistakes, and cut them some slack. Would I have handled things differently if I could go back now? Absolutely. But I can’t, so the next best thing is to be more understanding when you’re on the other end, and give more help and encouragement, and listen better than we were listened to.

  5. We are all such idiots at that age. I certainly was. I think I would die of embarrassment if it was recorded for all time and millions of people were watching it. I bet of set you were a cool kid, though.

  6. We are the culmination of all our experiences. That having been said the awkward Wesley hit home with a lot of us going through the same things in our lives. Having so much pressure to succeed, being so “perfect” but still so flawed. It helped make our days just a little better.

  7. I have read many of your posts but it is only now, that I would like to leave a comment for you. Many of the characters you portrayed were an integral part of my youth. I’m sure like many who are subscribed to your blog, and other social media forums, we identify with your words because we all grew up together. However, many of us don’t have the “eloquent” awkwardness of our youth captured on celluloid. Honestly though, I think you did a pretty damn good job. Stand By Me is still my favorite movie after all these years. It came out on my 13th birthday, (I can’t believe my mother let me see it) and after that, I knew it was okay to be myself. Even if I wasn’t like everybody else. I don’t think I would have come to that conclusion if anyone else had portrayed Gordie. So, I would like to offer you my thanks. Thanks Wil. I’m sure I owe you one.

  8. Yeah I’m definitely glad I can’t go back and actually watch those phases of my life. It’s bad enough remembering and thinking “What the hell was my problem?” But that’s definitely right, it’s those moments that make us who we are!

  9. My favorite thing about you playing Wesley was how honest you were, Wesley the character and Wil the actor have so much in common. If you were born in the 24th century that could have been your real life! But as an adult you’ve learned your lessons: don’t take yourself too seriously, appreciate what you have while you still have it, live in the moment, and so forth. You have nothing to be ashamed of, Wil. We totally still love you!

  10. ” I will continue to simultaneously feel ashamed of myself, embarrassed by myself, but compassionate towards myself. That kid was doing the best that he could, and I’ll keep trying to accept that. Maybe one day, I’ll even make peace with it.”

    So basically you were a teenager, to old to cry, to young to swear, as my father would say. We all look back and cringe at certain things in our life. But if it helps to put it here, no worries. We all heal in our own ways.

  11. I remember watching TNG with my parents in the early-to-mid 90s, being in my early-to-mid teens and having watched TOS with them when I was even younger. We started watching TNG because it was Star Trek and we kept watching it because every few episodes a story would surface that was beautifully scripted and commandingly acted. Or at least I can say that now, looking back. At the time I simply appreciated the opportunity to sit with my parents and share something with them were being a child wasn’t a handicap. It was fun to dream and fun to see someone’s version of all the sci-fi books I loved to read made real.

    Of course, being the age that I was at the time, I naturally identified most closely with Westley. The moments you’ve talked about before as being grating now, the bad scripts with the “Overly smart kid saves the day” cantrips were lost on me back then. All I saw was some other geeky teenager trying to relate to adults; wanting to be a kid; trying to be responsible; wanting to goof off and have fun; and, from the 12 year old mes perspective: making it work.

    So 12 year old me would like to say thank you to 15 year old you for being human. We all look back on our childhood with embarrassment and perhaps some sense of regret, but most of us don’t have ours preserved in every media format and shared with millions. That must be wonderful and terrifying at the same time.

  12. That line of thinking lasted into my early twenties. However, if someone told teen/twenty-something me I’d be carrying mail and not reading, writing or directing scripts I doubt I would’ve believed them then. Hindsight is certainly 20/20. Having children really changed my perspective in my case, I had responsibilities that took precedence over my own ego. I think it’s human of us to think of the “what if” possibilities, it gives us chances to reflect on the person we’ve become as opposed to the person we wanted to be.

  13. I’m looking back over a greater span of years than you, and was as lost in the same odd regrets. My acting opportunities weren’t so grand as yours, but I took them as seriously, and was as poorly equipped to understand my limitations at the time. The work does nothing so well as to make you a sensitive observer of the ,moments as they pass, and greater insight looking back. That’s the lasting gift of living other peoples’ lives…

  14. I don’t know about your personal situation, but it is things like this where peer mentoring might have helped. A former child actor, would have been best. For one thing, the perception of time for a teenager is much longer than for an adult, so those 3 years without any character development felt like 10 adult years. They could have shown you examples from other series where certain characters did not break out for many years.

  15. What a lovely post, Wil. My wife and I considered you one of our absolute favorite characters (and still do), and were sad when you were no longer a regular part of the show. You were human in so many ways, and I think anyone who is even halfway in touch with his/her adolescent awkwardness could identify with the young man you were then. It was part of what made your character real. Thanks for sharing that vulnerable part of your life.

  16. “There are many parts of my youth that I’m not proud of… there were loose threads… untidy parts of me that I would like to remove. But when I pulled on one of those threads… it had unraveled the tapestry of my life.”

    This. Exactly.

    Funny story. When I was in high school (17 years old, I think), I was really trying hard to move up from equipment officer to lieutenant in the band. At my high school, marching band was the only thing we were good at, and it was a big deal. But they chose someone else, and I was devastated. They gave me the consolation prize of “head equipment officer” but I was still a mess. That’s when one of the girls who had graduated the year before (ARealCollegePerson!) told me that while it seemed like my world was ending just then, none of that would matter in the long run and to let it go. I believed her wholeheartedly, because ARealCollegePerson must be smarter than all the adults who said the same thing. Being young is weird.

    1. Isn’t it funny? How we are more likely (at that age) to take the word of someone closer to our own age than the word of an ‘elder’? I remember doing that back then, too. I guess that’s part of what they call ‘growing pains.’

      But as you all have so wisely pointed out, we wouldn’t be the people we are today without those moments. Painful as they may be, they got us *here*. :-)


  17. Compassion is such a lovely thing to learn. And when we learn to have it for ourselves, then we will be awesome at having it for other people because it is so hard to have compassion for ourselves. Embarrassment always seems to get in the way, even when no one else thought you were doing much to be embarrassed about because you were a normal teenager. Thanks for reminding me to have compassion for myself and for others!

  18. Having recently rewatched that Doctor Who mini-ep “Time Crash” with David Tennant and Peter Davison, what you wrote about how you acted when you were younger, reminded me of the part where the 10th Doctor opens up to his younger self and comments that “Back when I first started out, I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important, like you do when you are young.” (the brilliance of Steven Moffat’s writing.)
    And you know what? We did. When we were young, we always felt like we had to grow up so fast, and become like an adult, with no time to stop and enjoy our childhood/ youth. We wasted our youth as we felt we had to act grown up to be taken seriously.
    Like you, I would love to go back in time and speak to my younger self and get him to be not so much of a prat as he used to be. Sometimes, for some of the things my younger-self did, I’d even slap him. But, what we did, shapes who we become, and we learn from those mistakes and we become a better person. That is when we truly become an adult, when we learn and grow.
    But, there’s nothing that says we still can’t enjoy being youthful, it’s what stops us from growing old.

  19. I have little problems with things I did as a teen. But I kept to myself mostly. When I did foolish things, I knew they were foolish. I also saw adults being foolish, just as foolish as teens. Now, as an adult I’m still doing foolish things. “I was foolish as a teen” often sounds to me as if someone really wants to say “I am wise now”. In me, there is no wisdom, not even the wisdom of knowing that.

  20. We were all idiots when we were kids but oh, the things I would tell myself if I could go back. (Though my younger self would have laughed herself silly if I told her where she’d end up.)

    And while I like the quote you used, I think there’s another one that’s useful here too. It’s from your last episode before you left, and PIcard says (I might not have this exactly right, but I know I’ve got the gist): “Oh, how I envy you, Mr. Crusher. You’re just at the beginning of the adventure.” I’ve remembered that line from the day I saw that episode. You were at the beginning of your adventure – you just didn’t happen to have the adventure you thought you were going to have. But from what I’ve read over the past few days (I just discovered your Tumblr and site) I think you’ve had a hell of a lot better adventure than maybe you anticipated. :)

  21. To undo even one thing of myself as a younger person would be to undo who I am now. Even hating how I lived then, mistakes made, I wouldn’t change them. How different would I be now? Not worth it. The growth of a person can be measured in, maybe, knowing that did did make those mistakes, accepting that they were made and allowing them to live in the past tense. Then, maybe, what really makes us “wisest” is not believing that these foolish mistakes are born from youth but, rather, that we know we still make fools of ourselves but have the strength of character to, now, stand up, own it and move on, making reparations where need be and laughing at ourselves where we must.

  22. I’ve been remembering my teens a lot lately, and wow, I really hate the kid I was. But your post, and the awesome Picard quote, have done an amazing job of making me feel just a little bit better. You’re right, who we WERE impacts who we ARE. If we didn’t have those awkward years to remember and learn from, chances are we wouldn’t be the men we are today. Thanks, Wil.

  23. You shouldn’t be so hard on Teen-Wil, he did the best he could. And I liked Wesley dammit! Wesley was a cool role model for a geeky kid…

    And everything you are is because of teen-Wil.

  24. That quote from Tapestry is a guiding principle in my life, and why I don’t believe in regret. If you’re fundamentally happy with how your life is at this moment, you can’t regret any single moment that preceded it. I started watching TNG regularly in season 3, and loved Wesley from the very first drool. He got to fly the Starship Enterprise. When I got to the internet years later and saw all the Wesley hate, I was dumbfounded. He got to fly the fucking Starship Enterprise! Even if you didn’t know how to appreciate it at the time, plenty of us could for you.

  25. I really like that quote from Picard. It really does some things up so well. We learn from our mistakes or missed opportunities. I just am still waiting to get to the grown up stage of life. I’m 39 married with 2 kids, a “grown up” job and I still often feel I haven’t really grown up and become an adult.

    I don’t really know what it is that I’m missing. I think it is the fact that even having a family and all the responsibilities that go with it, I still feel unsure, awkward, and even more pressure as it’s not just my life that could get screwed up with the mistakes. A really bad decision now means that my wife and kids would pay the price too. Being a that awkward, misguided teenager that made a bad decision, was mostly – and possibly selfishly – going to only affect me. I guess always thought of adults as having the answers, knowing what to do and how to do it. I think things through more now, have more life experience, but still feel woefully unprepared for most of this responsibility. Hope this isn’t too far off topic…

  26. I am nearly 50 years old and I remember my adolescent pains vividly. My mother is in her late 80’s and in a nursing home. She can’t recall if I visited earlier in the day, but she can recount with details and clarity the events contributing to her discomfort as teenager. My sons are 13 and 14, and I am presently bearing witness to their sometimes distorted preceptions of how they are viewed by friends, family, peers and most harshly how they view themselves. Being a succesful actor is stuff people’s dreams are made of. Having your adolecence documented and preserved, complete with blooper reel falls into the nightmare category. Please continue to treat the teenage Wil with the compasion he deserves.

  27. Interesting that you’re going back to TNG for this entry. My girlfriend and I have been rewatching the series for the past couple of weeks and last night we got to “The Final Mission”, S04E09, where Wesley and Picard (and an annoying secondary character) are stranded on a desert moon after a shuttle crash. I was admiring how powerful the connection between you and Patrick was in that episode. For me, TNG was awesome not because of the good writing (because, as you’ve said, there were some poorly scripted episodes), or because of the effects (because sometimes they looked cheesy too) or because of the technobabble, but because of the very real and very unique interactions between the characters. You and the rest of the cast had such chemistry together that it was a real treat watching the characters grow and change and interact over the seasons.

    For my part, I was upset when Wesley left the show. I know it was the best choice for you at the time, but man, I wanted to BE Wesley. Watching it now, 25+ years later, I can’t say my opinion has changed much. I still want to be Wesley, a bit awkward, a bit uncertain, but making his way in the world as best he can.

    Keep growing and changing, Wil. We’re all glad you’ve become so awesome as an adult, and are still interacting with us, your fans.


  28. It’s odd how much I appreciate Wesley’s awkwardness, now as an adult but even more so when I was a kid. I grew up with weekly episodes of TNG and Wesley was so much smarter than me, cooler than me and going on way more adventures than me. Sure he was a nerd but then again so was I, and he had the advantage of being in the future… in space. By comparison I and my tricorder made out of cardboard were just sad.

    So while I have made it my mission to destroy all photographic evidence that I even had an adolescence, I am grateful to you (and Wesley) for being with me while I went through it. Wesley opened my eyes to the appeal of nerd guys, and showed me that being a nerd girl was the best I could be. Especially if I ever hoped to get into the Academy.

    My thanks to you Wil, you actually did a lot for me, ya know from the future.

  29. Do we ever stop beating ourselves up, wondering why we didn’t know any better or why we couldn’t appreciate what we had instead of wishing for that which we didn’t? It seems a common experience for all of us! It’s nice to be able to share that — I think it makes us all stronger in the long run!

  30. It seems from the comments you (and we) are not alone in cringing at some of the things we did, said or completely missed in our younger, teen-age years. Every once in awhile, I get a flashback of something that happened ‘back in the day’, as it were, and have to give myself an eyeroll and a sincere, “WTF were you THINKING?” I don’t think that ever ends, until the memories are gone, and who wants that? Nope… what we were informs who we are and will yet be. S’okay, Wil, you turned out pretty good, eh? :)

  31. Few of us could’ve handled having our adolescence on display for the world to see, but I happen to think you did a very good job of it. I am just a bit younger than you (turning 40 this year) and I was an infrequent viewer of TNG back in the early 90’s, but I enjoy it very much now. I’m sorry this was such a difficult time for you, but I do not believe that you are giving yourself enough credit (which, of course, would be a very different blog post: “Wasn’t I Fabulous When I Played Wesley Crusher?”).

  32. I think if I had my teen years documented on film (whether as a character or real life) I would just crawl under a rock and hide until the decade was over. One of the best things about being my age is that I am NOT a teenager any more.
    That said, I loved TNG, watched it all on TV (yes, I am that old), and watched it again when DVDs were invented.
    I’m sorry you have to have your cringe-worthy moments documented for all but I’m glad you have achieved some nice perspective as you have moved away from those years.
    I, for one, have been thrilled to watched your resurgence in the last decade.
    Keep up the good work!

  33. I, too, watched the show as a teenager and had the same feelings of being able to relate to Wesley.

    I would like to point out that the character is actually pretty good in a lot of ways, and is well acted (script problems aside). I don’t think a 22-year-old would have done as good of a job.

    Isn’t it kind of weird when adults play kids in movies and on TV? They don’t get it because they’re not in the middle of living it. The one exception I can think of is Freaks and Geeks, where Linda Cardellini just nails it – but that’s because she’s a very good actor. I bet she can pull out the “embarrassed teenager” character to this day.

    Hey Wil, maybe you should get a role as a teenager and have a do-over! It would be funny! Tell your agent today!

  34. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it must be to go through these difficult/embarrassing life transitions so largely in the public eye. I sometimes look back on writings of mine from five, ten years back, or old friends, or former relationships, and… Damn. I shudder to think what the me of then would have to say to the me of now. Or vice versa.
    Whether or not you believe you were able to appreciate it back then, though, it sounds like you had some amazing teachers. And I am so glad for you, that you began at some point to put less emphasis on “the kind of cool [you were] never going to be”, and more onto the kind of awesome you actually are.

  35. We are all the sum of what we were: our joy and sorrow, laughter and pain, what we have learned and what we did not. The only thing you would have to apologize for is if you were still the same person you were 25 years ago, and this is equally true now, next year, and at any time up until your end here.

  36. I commented yesterday, but I’ve been thinking about this post a lot.

    When I first read your post, I was in the midst of starting to re-read the first book in my series. I finished the first draft of the third in the series this weekend, and, trying to be responsible before going into my editing process, decided I should go back to re-read the prior two books, to make catch any loose threads I hadn’t yet tied up, since the third book is also the final book, and to attempt to ensure consistency through the books.

    As I was reading, there were times when I felt a fierce red-hot tide of embarrassment flush up my neck and ears and face. “I wrote THAT??” “I published THAT??” It made me want to pull the books from the stores, call everyone and tell them to please cut pages x through y out of their copies of the book, never read those scenes again. I was mortified.

    Then I read your post and it occurred to me, it’s the same thing. My first book only came out a couple years ago, so I don’t even have the excuse of having been a stupid teenager. I was a fully grown adult, capable of making measured decisions, and yet still, if I did it again, I’d do it differently.

    But that’s the point. In some things, there are no shortcuts. In some things, we simply have to learn by doing. That means making mistakes and “failing” and falling. The only reason we now can wish we’d done it differently is that now we know better. We wouldn’t know better if we hadn’t made the mistakes. And if we hadn’t made the mistakes, that would mean we weren’t trying hard enough – a fate far worse than failing.

    For me, it was the process itself of writing a novel that taught me a lot about writing a novel. I would never have learned what I know now if I hadn’t written the first book, or the second. And, frankly, if the last book I write is no better than the first book I wrote, that would be a damn shame. We learn as we go. That’s the way it is.

    It made me think of the stages of learning to walk. No one expects a three-month-old baby to know how to walk. That’s just not what three-month-old babies can do. And we don’t look back and berate ourselves for not having been able to walk at three months. We accept it as part of life, part of learning and growing up.

    Okay, I could go on and on, but work calls! I’ll leave you with this poem by Janet Rand called “Risks” – one of my favorites:

    “To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
    To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
    To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
    To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self.
    To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive.
    To love is to risk not being loved in return,
    To live is to risk dying,
    To hope is to risk despair,
    To try is to risk failure

    But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
    The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
    He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.
    Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.
    Only the person who risks is truly free.”

  37. Related, but only because you triggered something for me. Every time I read your experiences about being a “tool”. it would make me feel uncomfortable. I realized, after one of your posts, that I was a toolbag to some people I really love. I’m embarrassed and ashamed when I think of it and I vowed to be a better person. I hated realizing I was being “that guy”, as it were. And that’s not where I want to be.

    So, thank you. Your sharing made me think. And I hope I can continue to think and do better.
    /lift glass

    1. It’s never too late to contact the people you feel you’ve wronged, and let them know that you’re sorry for it.

      /voice of experience

      1. And that victim will absolutely appreciate the apology, even 20 years later. I know, because I’ve been the victim and had a tool apologize to me for their behavior years and years after the fact. I never saw that guy again after the apology, but now when I recall him I have a warm fuzzy rather than the desire to punch him in his arrogant face.

  38. I was watching Trek Nation last night before bed and found myself on the verge of weeping several times. Star Trek, your character on Star Trek, and the things they stood for have had an undeniable positive influence on my life. I don’t know if that is something you can take solace in, but even though you may regret the choices you made in your youth, you were a part of something, an important part of something, that truly changed people’s lives for the better, including yours. I had the douchiest of douche baggery phase as a teenager, and am so glad the cameras were not rolling to capture it. Every life is different, and our struggles also, but the great thing is that those struggles are what identify us as members of the same team. I couldn’t be prouder of being on that team.

  39. You seem like such a nice, down-to-earth, genuine guy. But oh my gosh, you are soooooooo hard on yourself for the way you feel you were as a teenager. You did the best you could with what you had at the time. Like all teens. Like all of us, period. You were living your life in a fishbowl and if I recall correctly, you were the (figurative) punching bag of every jackass that went by. Excruciating, especially for such a gentle spirit. You didn’t know any better. Now you do. And you live accordingly.

    Go, you.

  40. Clearly, the diamond you are now was visible through the roughness of the teenage years or your castmates would no be such dear friends now. I, too, am blessed to have friends who suffered through my teenage angst as I wrestled with being a kid wanting to be an adult, and I’m thankful every day that they stuck with me! You and Wesley and I all turned out okay despite ourselves, as do most of us in the end.

  41. Don’t regret the past. Remember it and learn form it. We are all the sum product of our lives. So you played a few hands wrong. What is important is that you learned from those mistakes, have righted the wrongs, and have found your way past them.

    What is even better is that you have not only used these events to improve your own life, but you have been brave enough to show them to others and say “Don’t do what I did” You never know, you might change someone’s life for the better.

  42. I have yet to meet anyone who liked who they were as a teen. Of course, I only talk about being a teen with friends, and they tend to be geeks like me (more of a geek in the OMGLOVE of cool stuff, and desire to share said stuff with EVERYONE style than the tech style).

    However, what I’m really commenting to say is this: Your post reminds me of the year I dressed in a totally epic Wesley Crusher costume for Hallowe’en. My mother made me the grey uniform, which I continued to wear as clothing until I outgrew it (mostly just the pants). I wanted to grow up to be Wesley Crusher right up until I wanted to grow up to be Agent Mulder.

  43. Wil,
    You’re so sensitive and honest – I can’t imagine how I would have dealt with having to live my adolescence on screen, watched by millions and then also having to put up with the criticism you faced for doing your job!
    When I think about my teenage years, I cringe at the memory and only feel unending gratitude that some people from that time still communicate with me. I was much older when you were on the show, but I loved your character and could relate to him the best. Job well done!
    And now I think: have I improved? Am I better than I was? Being able to look back helps us move forward, if we don’t become paralyzed at the sight!
    thanks for a wonderful post.

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