So, I’m quite behind the times with this, but here I am catching up. Thanks to a Plinky prompt, which was then answered by quite a few bloggers, I got to thinking about my sixteen-year-old self.
I occasionally feel wistfully nostalgic about my life at sixteen. There are lots of reasons to wish it back [and lots for which to be grateful I’ve outgrown it]. In recent history, though, there is one thing more than any other that makes me long for 16 again– Taylor Lautner.
Yup, I said it [wrote it?]. The teenaged werewolf from that movie which shall not be named makes me wish I could go back to teen-hood. I have reasons; Not the least of which is feeling vaguely less lecherous admiring his buff-ness. But really it’s more symbolic than that.
Let me attempt a nutshell explanation. Taylor was cast in Twhiny Movie #1 back when they thought it may not be super successful and they weren’t yet worried about sequel continuity in the actors. After it was a big hit, there was talk amongst whoever is in charge of whatever it is in movie land that Taylor would in no way be able to portray the same character in Movie #2 since said character becomes huge: tall, buff, strong. Well, 16-year-old Taylor heard about this and decided to prove these so-and-so’s wrong! And how!
Only when you’re 16 can you decide and execute a plan like this. There’s a magical combination of freedom, physiology, and psychology that allows for this window of time when you can actually be whatever you want. When my high-school sweetheart had his 16th birthday, I wrote in his card that in some religions it is believed that the gods are sixteen forever. It’s because of that magic, I think.
So if I could go back to myself at 16 and give myself some advice it would be:
-Adults always say teenagers act like they are invincible and know everything. While it may not be entirely true, it isn’t your job to placate the adults. Figure out who you want to be and start working on it NOW.
-In that vein; write a lot more, keep reading voraciously, find a few active things you really love and do them a lot. Nothing beats developing these habits here and now. It’s a lot easier than trying to change later.
-Sometime in the next few years your confidence will drain away, and you will start second-guessing most things that cross your mind. Try not to let this happen. And if it happens anyway, pay attention to when and why, so you’re better prepared to fix it.
-You know that you are fantastic and special and a good friend and person. Hold on to that, it is invaluable self-knowledge.
-You’re embarking on your senior year, getting ready for college next. You think you might want to be a teacher, but don’t be so quick to declare your major. You have a lot to learn about yourself while you’re learning about the world.
-And it’s okay to consider how much money you’ll be making in your future career. Money isn’t the most important thing in life, by far. But there’s no shame in having some.
-Cherish your friends. Life is about to get nuts-o, and they’re the ones who help you stay sane 🙂
I wonder if I woulda listened to myself. But here’s what I wish I knew then.