Dear John [and Hank]: I Am 23


I am 23.

Maybe to you that doesn’t mean much. Maybe to you it just means I’m an early ‘90s baby and rocked out to Hilary Duff in my tweens (because, why not?). I collected Beanie Babies and had one American Girl doll (Molly FTW!). I was right in the middle of high school when YouTube became a big deal but was too self-conscious to hop on the content creation bandwagon.

I am a recent college graduate. I majored in English. I write a lot.

So basically, at the moment, life is its own special circle of hell, and I’m not sure how long it’s going to take to find my way out of this dizzying labyrinth of unemployment, lack of fulfillment and, well, nothingness.

Some days, to be honest, the only thing that keeps me going is being able to say I am not only 23, broke, jobless, tired, invisible, but also, I’m a Nerdfighter.

I suppose I’m not the only lost soul who has stumbled upon your work in all of its varieties and found enough value in it to want to say around forever. There’s something about joining an online community of people who understand and like the same things you understand and like that makes all the hard parts of life easier to sift through.

Do I forget to be awesome sometimes? Of course I do. But there’s always another video or Tumblr post or podcast episode to get me back on track.

Speaking of podcasts, there’s a reason I was inspired to write this post today. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing ‘letters’ to people who inspire me even if they’ll never read them. I just haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. I’m exhausted. I’m working really hard and don’t have much to show for it. It’s getting old. I feel like the world keeps spinning and everyone is on an epic adventure except for me.

I feel like I’m going in circles, always going, but never actually getting anywhere.

I meant to bring this up. But someone else’s Dear Hank and John question already did.

First came this:

“I think that the hard part of creation is getting past the part where you’re doing it and no one’s paying attention, because you’re not that good at it.” –Hank Green 

And next came this:

“You gotta take a certain amount of pleasure and joy in the act of making something.” –John Green

They might seem like simple statements taken out of context. Maybe even obvious ones. But they meant something to me. They inspired me. You inspired me. Again.

It’s hard to remember to love what you do when you don’t have a choice. If I just sat around, only applying for jobs I didn’t really want, with nothing to fill in the gaps, I don’t know where I would be. I had a job I loved, but like many things in life, it was temporary, and it’s gone.

So I write. And I set goals. And I try. And no one is paying attention.

I struggle every day with wanting to be a successful writer, wondering if I’m any good at it, knowing I can’t be 23 and support myself doing it, wishing things had turned out differently. I had a completely different dream and it was taken away from me before it even had the chance to see the world. Do you know what it’s like, trying to put all my pieces back together, trying to convince myself it’s all going to be okay?

Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. This is how life goes. I feel like, if I was ever going to give up, it’d be now.

I won’t, of course. How could I? I still love writing even though I never feel like it matters to anyone else. It matters to me.

Would I still write if no one ever read it? I do it every day. I participate as an audience member even if I don’t have an audience myself, because watching other people create content inspires me to create content, regardless of whether or not it’s important to someone else.

I’m a lot of things. I’m definitely not a quitter. I’m a fighter.

I may not be the best at what I do.

I may not be the best at anything.

But I’m only 23. Maybe I’ll get better. Maybe it will all get better.

Even if it doesn’t, at least I know who I am. At least I know what I love. At least, in the grand scheme of the online universe, I am not alone.

Best wishes,


Image courtesy of

Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and health. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist, Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.