Friday, June 11, 2010

16 Year-Old Self Prompt

Yesterday's writing prompt from was "If you could go back in time and meet your 16-year-old self, what three things would you tell yourself?" This got me thinking, which, I know was the point. Today's is "Tell us about your first kiss." And, that was just an embarrassing mess on Amy F's back porch at the end of eighth grade. So, no.

My first response was glib (to the advice prompt): don't get fat. So, I asked some friends what they would say (cop out, I know). One had some very sage advice, given what the following years would bring for him: things are about to get really tough, like nothing you've ever experienced before. But just know it's temporary. Matt said: get contact lenses. We talked about it a bit at lunch today, and I don't think that anyone actually came up with any real answers. We were speculating about what we should tell our 16 year old students, now, so that they don't end up in jail or on welfare, but we kind of avoided our personal situations.

I mulled over this for a while and decided that it struck me that one of the messages behind this prompt is the idea of regret for choices that we've made along the way. This bothered me. While I certainly think that I probably could have made different choices, I don't regret them. Periodically I wonder how things would have been different if I'd chosen another path, but I don't harp on it because that's not what's happened. Those choices are done and out of my control, so I'm not going to waste energy worrying about what's done.

I came up with a realistic, "Get to know your grandmothers better." I still had two of them at that point, and they're both gone now. I couldn't really think of too much else. "Keep your nose clean, and stay in school" just aren't realistic. I've got the cleanest, most boring 'nose' ever, and I've clearly never had an issue about staying in school. I might advise about the influence of toxic people in my life, but I've managed to deal with them pretty well, too. So...I've basically got nothing. No regrets, it's all good, I think.

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