I tend to talk in absolutes and give advice a lot. Sometimes, that’s good and useful for some people, and sometimes it isn’t. I try to be a good counsel to my friends, and listen and sympathize when it is that, over me and my random “I’m a boy and here are some solutions that may or may not actually be useful” brain that is preferred.

But nothing, nothing makes me wish I had answers as certain as my speech than some of the search strings that lead people to this blog.

To the two people who wondered why am I always worried I’m not cool enough? I don’t know. But we all do it. Me, you, and as I’ve noted before, Steve Case, which I’ll admit is kind of a weird example. I wish I had an answer for you. I hope that after you found me, Google took you somewhere that offered more insight into that one than I can, despite my best efforts. If it did, if you’re reading this, let me know what that link was, okay?

And then there’s the person who wants to know how do I fit in in 4th grade? I wish I knew. I didn’t know then. And I don’t know now. I feel grateful to have made it through okay. But I do know that whoever you are, you are resourceful. And whether you fit in or not and whether the Internet has anything useful to say to you on this point or not, I know that you are amazing.

I first got on the Internet in 1990, using BITNET to read newsletters from student dissidents in China and discuss Twin Peaks with the head of the university honors program I was eventually kicked out of. It was like two tin cans on a string. It was like the Wild West. It was like space; vast and empty and yet filled with the most miraculous things.

When I see the search strings that lead people to this journal (and keep on coming everyone looking for info on A Billion Wicked Thoughts, there sure are a lot of you), I am reminded of those early years of my life on the Internet, of the keen sense of searching (before we knew that the answer was always yes) for someone out there who might be just a little bit like us at our most different or most lonely or most scared or most obsessive or most brilliant.

I don’t know what you can do to fit in in fourth grade. I don’t know why most of us feel like we’re not cool enough sometimes. But I know you — and I and none of us — are not alone.

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