On June 24, 2004, my author’s copies of Just A Geek arrived. According to the metadata, I picked the first box up at 8:32pm. What a weirdly granular bit of information to have.
There’s an essay in Still Just A Geek called “Do something kind for future you.” When I was the guy in these pictures, I didn’t understand what that meant. I couldn’t think about future me, because present me needed everything I could give him just to survive.
But the guy in these pictures, who can’t believe he’s a real, published author, who going to spend way too time feeling like a failure, has no idea that he’s giving a gift to future him. He’s holding a Maurader’s Map that I will eventually use to find all the things that were deliberately kept from him, and me. And when I find them, and I tell his and my and our story, he becomes a New York Times bestselling author, because he isn’t alone.
I want the guy in this picture to know that I can remember everything he hopes for at this precise moment, how scared he is that it isn’t going to happen, and how much that prevents him from just enjoying it. I remember his pain, and how he blamed himself for all these things he couldn’t control. I need him to know that he’s going to be okay.
Buddy, you aren’t and weren’t and never were a failure. At ANYTHING. You are enough. You were always enough.
14 thoughts on “Mischief Managed (#throwbackthursday)”
I’ve been listening to Still Just a Geek on audible and I’m loving it. I’ve laughed with you, and I’ve cried. I cried a lot when you talked about your Aunt Val. My mom was Aunt Val for so many kids. She passed almost 4 years ago and it was so hard. Then my dad sold the house a year ago. I cried so hard when I left that house for the last time. I felt your pain when you talked about that. I grok. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I’m looking forward to listening to the rest. You’re a hell of a writer, and you seem like a hell of a good man, too.
Yep. I’m all in.
I realize humans love to read waaaay too much into photos (especially of people they don’t know), and yet: I’m struck by how your older photos have this shadow in them – you’re happy, but to me, it’s clear that there’s Stuff Going On. Whereas in your modern photos, you just look happy, relaxed, centered. I get that I don’t actually know you, but maybe this random comment is helpful in some way.
Agreed, 100% with this comment.
I’m still learning that sometimes we fail, but that doesn’t make us failures. Life on this rock is hard. Be kind to yourselves, folks. That includes you, past, present, and future Wil Wheaton. 🙂
Ah, that youthful smile. As a mostly unpublished writer myself, I can only imagine that feeling. But you express it so well in these pictures. (Of course, the fact that the pictures are not quite in order makes my left eye twitch a little bit, but I’ll get past it.)
I’m looking forward to getting your book on audio. This post resonates with so much that I have been thrashing around trying to clarify in my mind.
I’ve struggled to have a “sense of self” most of my life, and have just had a “significant birthday” that has made me aware of the finity of my time here. The concept of doing something nice for my future self (and maybe being a little nicer to current me) is such a gift, and I am deeply grateful to you.
Great behind the scenes pics. I got the ebook version years ago (possibly via Humble Bundle). Good stuff!
That smile…definitely happy. I’m happy for you!
Wow. You have put things in a way that helps me with stuff I am still trying to figure out how 3 yo me survived.
I have tears in my eyes reading this, because I can feel it. That moment of dread when the phone rings, the reflexive assumption that it’s bad news. I needed so badly to hear some good news this week. I’m so grateful to read this, and so impressed with your genuine enjoyment of it, and gratitude and perspective..
Wil, I see the awkwardness and the hunger and the hope in those pictures. Everything has been realized, though perhaps not in quite the way you hoped at the time. Then again, the world has also changed–the hopes and expectations have hopefully evolved pretty significantly. You seem to be at peace with where you are now, and that’s great!
Wil, I wasn’t sure where to comment, so I chose here… Watching you on The Ready Room and listening to Still Just a Geek has been, it’ll sound weird, but life changing for me. I’ll keep it short and just say, thank you.
Congratulations on all of your success!
I just started listening to Still Just a Geed on Audible, and only 2h int, I already can’t thank you enough. I can relate to so much of what I already listened that I can’t even believe it. I am sure this is just the beginning.
My self preservation road started just a few years ago and is still ongoing, but I am also very fortunate to have the support of my wife. Thank you for sharing your journey and writing about it twice! I am so glad to have picked this book up now, with all the annotations!
Thank you, thank you thank you!
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