Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reasons My 16-Year-Old Self Hates Me

Some people in this world spend their adolescence in tortured angst. They revel in breaking the rules, breaking the norm, and breaking the bank. After all, the world is there solely to serve teenagers, and yet often leaves them high and dry in the unending agony of "You just don't understand."

I had my taste of this. I wrote my poetry. I cried myself to sleep. But mostly...

I was a stuck up prig.

My greatest joy was in doing the "right" thing, even though it meant being a painfully boring individual. No reckless driving, because I was afraid of dying in a fiery car crash of doom. No skipping class, because participation points can make or break your college acceptance, duh. No makeup (for a few more years), because only girls-who-don't-keep-their-legs-closed cake on such a facade of insecure beauty. (I also didn't have acne yet. Things changed quickly.)

This week, my past self slapped me in the face. Not literally, both because that is impossible due to the laws of physics and because my past self does not believe in using violence to solve problems. (My college self almost believed in it once. The girl majorly screwed over my friend and she deserved a good slap across her pretty little mouth. I was going to give it to her, too, but then her pretty little mouth began vomiting. I held her hair. I really am a disgustingly nice person.)

These are the reasons my former teenage self loathes every fiber in my body.

I went to the gym today...for the fourth time in a week. No, 16yo me is not jealous that I almost beat her mile time (booyah!). She is angry that I ran over two and a half miles of my own volition, not under pain of a failing grade. And that I enjoyed it.

I shared a beer sampler with a the afternoon. Or didn't you know? Beer is the devil's drink, suitable only for slackers and criminals.

The words out of my mouth...are not necessarily the most eloquent of expressions. In fact, they often consist of the same word used in noun, verb, and adjective form. It's such a versatile word, I feel that it deserves this place of honor in my vocabulary. My past self believed that such words sent you to the inner circles of Hell or worse-- hurt people's feelings. Note: I have not outgrown my 16yo self enough to utter these words in the presence of my father. Or to write them on the Internet. My sincerest apologies for this circuitous avoidance of said words, but I just can't do it.

I love eating fish...and even worse...

I love eating spinach. I felt very entitled to eat only the least healthy foods in the world. My friends and I singlehandedly supported the local Taco Time. (How is it possible that one chain fast food restaurant can have better brand name root beer than the others? Nevertheless, they do.) Those things catch up to you in the form of gagging sounds from the crowd during bikini season.

I'm not pregnant. Thank the Good Lord. But 16yo me decided that babies needed to be popping out of...somewhere...about the time college was done. That way, I could have an entire softball team by the age of 40. Commence crossing legs now...

Wrinkles. On my forehead. From raising my eyebrows. In surprise, disbelief, and horror. Basically, because people are stupid. So I blame all of you.

I've never met Hillary Clinton. Old dreams involved working for the State Department. Can't you see me as a CIA agent? I can hardly make it through a French lesson and I'm afraid of grocery stores. Back away, suicide bombers. This girl's got game.

I still can't compose a list with which I am decently satisfied. 16yo me thought that 23yo me should be able to win the Pulitzer Prize. I'm working on it, ok?

Any reasons your former, less enlightened selves hate who you've become?


  1. I am rather angry with my former self for using a tanning bed for several years. I suppose my former self would be disgusted with current me for walking around with ivory white skin.

  2. My guess is that you are not alone in having a former self who believed that looking like a lump of soggy carrots is a good thing. My former self believed in tanning by sitting outside for hours on end. My current self is not only not an "outdoorsy" person, but she doesn't really believe in leaving the house.

  3. I loved reading this. I've been thinking a lot lately about what the 16-year-old me would have thought if someone had whispered a few things in her ear about what she would be like at 24. I particularly loved the part about eating spinach and fish. I too think my friends and I made a pretty big dent in our local Taco Bell's monthly rent.

  4. Thanks for reading! My 16 year old self wouldn't believe my life right now, so I'm glad you can sympathize!

  5. I'm 32 and 24 to 32 goes by very quickly. I'd like to have a talk with my 21/22 yo self. I'd tell her to not stop going to the gym, not date that one guy for so long, laugh more, and spend less. Sigh

  6. "Laugh more, spend less."

    What wonderful advice for all of us!

    Thank you for reading!