My Letter in a Bottle This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 24, 2012
I have written plenty of stories, poems, essays, letters, and thank you notes in my life, but I have never written to a stranger. I cannot stop thinking about who you might be. You could be anyone, with any story, and I want to meet you.
Have you ever been driving through town by yourself and suddenly really seen the girls on the tennis courts, or the man drinking coffee? That happens to me a lot. Now I do not mean that I look at someone and think to myself how cute their hair is. When I really see someone, a stranger, living out their everyday life, a life so different from mine, I become very overwhelmed at the vastness of human existence. I have this crashing feeling of wonder. What is everyone, everyone in the world, doing at this very moment?

The possibilities are endless. Everyone has a different life, so everyone is facing different problems and different pleasures. A six year old boy is learning to ride his bike. A seventeen year old girl is falling in love for the first time. A group of kids in Darfur are chasing a scrawny dog through the alleyways. A lady in Spain is teaching a salsa dance. A doctor is performing surgery; a band is performing songs. An artist is making paintings; a baker is making pastries. And I am writing this letter. I am starting a club for special needs kids, helping to run Habitat for Humanity, and striving to make all A’s.

How is it that our lives become so different from one another? How do our likes and behaviors range so greatly? How did so many ideologies, theories, and viewpoints develop from the same species? Is it all in our DNA, our genes? Or are we who we are because of how we are raised and how our culture has influenced us?

It intrigues me to think about the fact that while my biggest worry is getting into college, another girl out there is trying to avoid her father and the dreadful associated memories. Another girl is preoccupied with raising her brother and sister. Yet another appreciates being able to hide behind her burca.

Despite the widespread diversity in the world, we as a human race are surprisingly similar beings. We all have traditions, value education, and share experiences with others. We all want to feel cared for and loved. This is what brings us together, loving connections. We are often intrigued, and pulled in by another’s differences, their quirks and oddities. Once we dig deeper and realize our roots are the same, however, that is when relationships are formed.

I do not know who you are, but I know that you are different from me. Your whole life is different. Yet, if I was to talk to you, I would most likely be able to discover that we are very much alike. To me, this is the best kind of friend. Someone who is new, and interesting. Someone who can teach you something new about the world. Someone who, throughout all of this, you can still relate to.

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Jetta_WroteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm
I agree... This is so POWERFUL and so breathtakingly true! I loved this... You've really given me something to contemplate.
CammyS said...
Dec. 2, 2012 at 8:45 am
This was awesome! I feel like this a lot, as well. Like at school- the kid who struggles for Cs on assignments and just doesn't care about school, the girl who loves making snide comments to her friends, the janitor, the teachers- every one of them is leading such a different life that I know pretty much nothing about. It's just so overwhelming, like you said. When people ask me what my superpower would be, I think it would be so cool if you could live a day as someone else... (more »)
mahogany165 replied...
Dec. 2, 2012 at 11:24 am
Thanks so much, I really appreciate the comment!
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