Anonymous asked: dear mr. mulbert, i am beginning to think that no one ever love me romantically or ever find me sexually attractive. i'm a 17 year old girl and i've never even held hands with a boy. HELP!!ME!!
I loved this question. I loved answering it.
Being a relatively late bloomer myself (22 being one of Mulbert’s example ages isn’t exactly accidental *cough*), I identified so strongly with these feelings. The empty corridor can seem so lonely and oppressive and endless — as though once your loneliness has started to accrue on itself, there’s no stopping that ball rolling.
But it isn’t true! And I don’t know if this little moose comic can actually penetrate that anxiety — I don’t know if it would have mine — but I know I needed to try. I needed to try because I genuinely used to think I was so pathetic that no-one would ever love me or find me attractive too. (That was my big terror-stricken buzzword: “pathetic”.) That fear haunted my mind and coloured all my interactions.
Then time passed, and I grew, and the world tilted on its axis a bit, and everything changed. Now I’m in the best relationship I could imagine — we love, trust, respect and know each other in the realest of ways, and help each other grow every day — and somehow I don’t feel unworthy of any of it. Anxieties that used to feel terminal now feel like the common cold: still flaring up every once in a while, but easily treatable, no big deal.
Back during the years when I was feeling so low about this stuff, I don’t know if anything could have been said to me that would’ve actually made me feel better. If anything would’ve stood a chance, I think it would’ve been simply this:
I’ve been where you are, and I know this will happen for you.
So if you’re reading this, question-writer, try and believe that. One day you’ll look back on all of this wryly and fondly, I swear, and all you’ll want to do is give your past-self a hug.