You poor sap. I know you won’t believe any of this, but you should. How can I get it through your thick, acne-pocked skull? All the stupid things you are so worried about really aren’t very important at all. In fact, they are the opposite of important. What if I told you that all the “winners” around you right now were actually the losers? Well, I just did tell you that, but you still don’t believe me because I’m an adult and 16 year olds can never trust adults.
What if I tried to explain it this way: That feeling you’ve never been able to put a name on — it feels something like, let’s say, a bone-crushing insecurity and cluelessness about your place in the world — just forget about it! That’s right. You can forget about it and go about your days — confident with the knowledge that it’s all going to work out just fine.
Could it be that this kind of confidence would just turn his 16 year old self into one of the winners who will eventually turn out to be a loser? Isn’t that kind of confidence exactly what separates the winners in high school from the losers? And what else but insecurity and cluelessness about your place in the world leads a 16 year old to give up on the present and try to explore ways of being that might one day give him real self-confidence and not just the artificially, socially propped-up kind?