Dear High School Me

I’m going to tell you this, and you may not believe me, but I swear it’s true: You know how DEEP inside you feel like an incredibly cool, astute, visionary type of human, but then the second you get out of your Mom’s car and walk into school all of that disappears and you feel different at best, and like a freak-show at worst? Well, it’s the first part that’s true.

(You are an incredibly cool, astute, visionary type of human.)


See, you are going to spend much more of your life being an adult than being the hormone-riddled, angst-ridden teenager you are right now. Right now, you are cultivating some serious character. In about 20 years (and you won’t believe how fast THAT is going to swing around!), you will be the woman with an interesting life that half your friends wish they had the nerve to live.

You don’t know this yet. . . but one day, you will go to Italy. You will walk around Rome by yourself and feel completely at home. You will perform on a stage in New York City, and afterward people you don’t even know will tell you that of all the performers, they could only watch you. In Cape Town, South Africa, you will climb over a wall when the park officials aren’t looking and stand on the edge of a very high cliff and look straight down to where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans are crashing into each other. (Please be careful.) And you will cry because it is so beautiful, and because you know not everyone is fortunate enough to do something like that.

You will ride an elephant.

You will walk across Deadvlei, in Namibia, and do your own silent, private dance with trees, still standing, that have been dead for 1000 years.

You will lie on wet moss, on your belly, looking over the edge of Victoria Falls in Zambia.

You will fly in a micro-lite airplane above the heads of galloping giraffes at sunset. (Seriously.)

You will walk along the edge of a mountain, for two hours, in cold rain, alone. You will not be afraid.

Because. . .

You are not here to be average. (And you know that.)

Right now, you feel that there are people who don’t like you, or who just think you’re odd. This is true. This will always be true.

There are people who give you the impression that they don’t like you because your way of being gets under their skin. Your you-ness challenges their safety, their in-the-box way of seeing and being in the world.

Be patient with them. Have sympathy. And remember: You are an incredibly cool, astute, visionary type of human.


Your Older Self




Alison Today

Allison Tipton Milner, a native of South Carolina, lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her divine husband, exceptionally witty 9-year-old son, and 3 troublesome dogs. While she still defines herself as a dancer, these days she combines her love of movement and performing by teaching yoga and cracking jokes. . . simultaneously.
Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.



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