Today’s writing prompt: If you could tell yourself at 16 years old anything, what would you say?
Me at sixteen. Haven’t thought about that in a long time. Probably not since I was fifteen. At sixteen I was shy with girls so didn’t date. I wore my hair long even though that wasn’t really the style then, but all my heroes were long-haired rock stars. I kept my shirts unbuttoned probably one more button than made anyone comfortable, but I didn’t have enough self-awareness for it to matter to me. I was doing okay in school, it was my junior year. I recall I was one of the more advanced violinists in the school orchestra and became friends with the youngish orchestra teacher, Doug. I played guitar relentlessly, and my brother was becoming quite a good player himself at thirteen, and I think we were just starting to play together. But if I had something to say to my past self, I’m not sure what it would be.
The idea almost sounds like an indicator that I don’t like myself now, that I would want to change something and be different or better than who I’ve become. I’ve spent years learning to embrace all the light and the dark in my life, and I have to think that whatever tools and confidence I had as a teen served me well as I moved forward in life. So what would I say to myself? Would I offer advice? Tell myself to avoid the first, really unhappy marriage? I think not, because I clearly needed that one to get to the awesome one I have now. Would I advise myself to buy Intel stock (it was 1982)? Yeah, I might do that. Would I give myself advice on a career choice? At the time I was sure I was going to live the life of a musician. It didn’t really turn out that way, but nothing to be disappointed over. So what would I say? I can only think of one thing. I think I’d whip out my Schecter Vampire and say “Hi, 16 year old me. Wanna jam?”