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.