There was a Twitter-Meme a few weeks ago that got me thinking.
It was basically where you tweet at your 16-year old self. In browsing through these tweets there was a universal theme; that people had regret about the pain they had experiences, but that it would be worth it.
Ok, this is true. I think I’ve mentioned before the merits of a life where you get knocked around a bit. It makes you stronger, but I’m certain that the negative needs to get tempered with positive. Enough to keep you sustained and pressing forward.
Back to the meme. I was a pretty angsty teenager, trying to mete some sensibility from my meager middle-class upbringing. I was, as we all do (in an ironic way), trying to figure out who *I* was. In thinking about this, I came up with the lyric:
When I was young \ I wanted a better world \ Where better words \ Were spoken by better people
This really perfectly describes my worldview as a teenager who believed the whole world needed to bend to my will. The world was messed up, and I just wanted to rule it. This lyric also rang true for me, because I recognize there is a duality to my nature, nature herself has multiple facets, but that is a post for another time.
It also did not ring true, because a world where better people speak better words is not a world where I would be speaking; you and I are imperfect and perfectly so. Time might yet find us upon golden shores and with fancy meals and good company; this is the dream, it is true, but it is not the reality, at least, not right now for me (though the company is top-shelf.) I believe that as each new improvement upon my situation is achieved, new ones will arise to challenge me, and the day when challenges are scarce and foes are fiew might never come, but the journey is the destination.
I am, to this day, just as full of angst, and just as full of a need for self-discovery.
I do not believe in regret, either, because I am committed to enjoying my life, and if there were mistakes that were made, they were mine to make. The imperfection is manifest in the result: if I can live with it, and not let it take me over, I am the victor and the mistake is null.
So what did I tweet to my 16-year old self? “They’ll never find the bodies”
“They’ll never find the bodies.” I like it!
I’m not sure what I would say to my sixteen year old self, but it wouldn’t have anything to do with regret. When I was that age, I thought that the idea of receiving a communication from my future self was pretty cool (insofar as I expected there to be a future self. I thought I’d be dead by the time I was 30). Now that I’ve got a different perspective on those years, I think that teenage me did okay without future me’s encouragement. Also, the anarchist punk that I was might not want to hear from the man that I became, and I can respect his wishes.
i’d tweet at 16 year old me “Screw your life up now before anyone cares about it later.”