Ever notice how certain themes go around the Blog-o-verse? Someone comes up with an interesting topic, and then you see a bunch of bloggers giving their take on it? Recently people were writing a lot about their New Years plans and resolutions. My take was about New Years Suggestions because I didn’t really want to be held to them.
One popular theme bouncing around lately is the “What Would You Tell Your Younger Self” post. Many people have written about advice they’d give to the 15, 16 or 17 year old versions of themselves. It’s interesting, but not something I would have written about.
Then I saw a blogger who was only about 19 or 20 years old, giving advice to his 16 year old self. This seemed ridiculous to me. What advice is he going to give? Pimple fighting tips? I doubt he’d tell himself to study harder or not to be afraid to ask that cute girl on a date. Those are things you really haven’t grasped yet at 19. And what he DOES tell his 16 year old self he’d probably want to revise in another 4 years anyway.
This brought me to a conclusion. These things are relative to who you are right now, at the age you are right now. I hear people stressing about turning 30 and at this point in my life that seems like such a trivial concern. Of course it won’t be too long before I’ll be looking at turning 40 and bitching.. and I’m sure people who are 50 will be telling me to shut my damn mouth.
So maybe a better discussion is: What would my current self have to say about the lousy advice my 20 year old self would give to my 16 year old self. Confused? Really?? Then pay attention!
If Doc Brown and Marty McFly had let me hop in their DeLorean to take a spin back in time, one of the things my 20 year old self would have said is:
“Dude, you’re only a few months away from losing your virginity. Way to go bud!”
And to that current day Simple Dude would add:
“Yes, it’s going to happen soon. Until then, maybe chill out on the ‘alone time‘ in the bathroom huh? Everyone does it, but you don’t have to do it quite so often.”
20 year old me would offer this:
“There is a girl you’re going to start dating your senior year. You’ll date her for more than two years before she breaks your heart. Try to be a better boyfriend – maybe she will stick around.”
Current Simple Dude says:
“Hell no. 20 year old me needs to get his prescription checked. Let that chick go. You’re going to have a lot of fun dating in your 20′s, so don’t be a damn fool and marry a high school girlfriend!”
The 20 year old me would touch on school a bit:
“I know school sucks, and you worry about getting busted for skipping class once in awhile. Don’t worry, you’ve got it all figured out – those shit heads will never catch ya. High School is a breeze.”
And 2011 me would have to add:
“He’s right about that. But once you GET to College? Try paying more attention. It’s ok to booze a bit, or hit the wacky tobacky now and then but it wouldn’t hurt to learn something… and shit, maybe put some thought into a career path instead of just winging it. You could save us all a hell of a lot of indecision over the next decade – not to mention making payday a little happier.
Oh, and I know this thing called the internet hasn’t surfaced yet, but if someone asks you about investing in an online casino or something called a website that happens to be named after a South American river and sells books and CDs – at least hear them out.”
Who knows.. in five years this advice may change too. The whole concept of giving advice to your younger self is flawed for this reason. Not to mention any mistakes you think you’d avoid by steering yourself a certain way would just bring on more mistakes.
It’s an annoyingly overused phrase, but in looking back at decisions you’ve made… “it is what it is” hits the nail on the head.
“Holy hell, the trailer parks now have a clothing catalog.”
And an honorable mention to Karen at A Blog Day Afternoon for pointing out that the donkey (ass) in my Half-Assed Weekend button is actually a complete ass… you know, in the photo. At least I think she was talking about the donkey. Maybe she was calling me a complete ass? Hmmm…
What do you have for me today?