If you could go back in time and talk to your 16 year old self, what would you say? I’ve seen a lot of posts about this, with sage advice to their younger selves.
The thing is, it’s not going to matter. Even if you invented a time machine and went back, what do you think would happen.
Your 16 year old self is sitting in her room listening to lame music like maybe The Smiths and writing angsty poetry and in mid-heart break about some no good guy who did her wrong.
You say: “Don’t worry about him, I’m your future self and trust me, he means NOTHING to you. Now get up, get dressed and have some fun.”
Do you think Young You is going to snap out of that teen-angst depression and be all sunshine and rainbows?
I think not. More like Young You will wail – “… but I luuuuurve him….” and ignore your good advice.
Your 16 year old self won’t listen to reason. Your 16 year old self will have the trouble and road blocks on the horizon pointed out to her in neon flashing lights and still do nothing to avoid them. Your 16 year old self will sit inside with the blinds closed on a a bright summer’s day wallowing in self pity when she could be out having fun. Your 16 year old self will fall for the wrong guys, she will listen too much to her friends, she will doubt her own voice… over and over again.
There is a reason for this: your 16 year old self is a dickhead.
And you want to go back and change that?
Think about this, if you weren’t a dickhead at 16, you’d still be a dickhead now.
If you hadn’t fallen for the wrong guy and thought you were going to die because it wasn’t possible to live without him, you’d have never learnt that you can suffer heartbreak and still pick yourself and keep on living.
If you hadn’t said those stupid, embarrassing things that just blurted out of your mouth without you thinking, you’d have never learnt to keep your mouth shut.
If you haven’t said those mean and hateful things to your mother in a fit of anger, you’d have never learnt you have the power to inflict pain onto another… and have never learn just what a terrible thing that is.
If you haven’t got drunk and vomited all over the footpath where everyone had to walk into the school social and had everyone in the school know it was you that did it, you’d have never learnt that you can make a arse of yourself while drunk and still face people the next day.
I think there is a reason we can’t go back in time. You were a dickhead then – but you’ve moved on. You are smart enough to learn… and that’s why you’re not a dickhead now.