Lately there have been a string of blogs giving advice to the writer’s teenage self. I pursued a number of them and had a chuckle thinking of things I would say to myself if possible.
Yet it doesn’t help me now. No matter how much I wish I had invested in Apple, I can’t go back and buy stock. So let’s flip the question.
What would my teenage self say to my adult self? If I, as a teenager, saw me now, what would I say? (And, yes, I realize that it a very awkward question to read. That took me several minutes to figure out how to write it, too!) I’m not saying that as a teenager, I had it all figured out. I thought I did. I thought I was going to change the world.
However, there are aspects of youth that we adults could benefit from if we just remembered them. Somewhere in the real world, we have lost that passion, the drive, the excitement of youth. Paul says in I Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” And don’t forget David was young when chosen to be king and young when he took those stones and God’s promises to kill Goliath, something seasoned adult warriors were too scared to do. In the New Testament, it was a boy who gave Jesus the five small barley loaves and two small fish to feed a multitude.
So just maybe Adult Vicki can learn something from Teenage Vicki. Let’s give it a go.
(On a side note: I’d love to post a picture of me as a teenager, but unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of that time. Shucks. Just imagine me with large bangs, long hair that’s windblown from riding my horse, and nerdy glasses.)
- Do what you enjoy more often. Stop constantly working and worrying about work. If you’re not doing what you love, stop it and make a change. Why suffer at a job that you don’t like and doesn’t pay?
- Let your hair down, roll down the car windows and belt out the loudest tune that first comes to your head (even if it is from the ‘80s).
- Don’t miss out on a chance of fun and adventure. Forget your bed time and responsibilities of the next day. You’ll be tired, but it will go away. The memories of the adventure will stay for a lifetime.
- Buy a boombox, so you can listen to music anywhere. The bigger, the better. Then carry it on your shoulder.
- Stop worrying and start dreaming. Remember when you thought you could climb the highest mountains and solve the world’s biggest problems? Get back to that.
- Read the Bible more.
- At least once a week, go cruising with your best friend. This gives you time to clear your head, listen to music your parents don’t like, talk about things you don’t want anyone else to hear, and check out the other people your age. Besides, it’s cheap. Gas is only .89 cents a gallon.
- Play piano more.
- Laugh more. Not the polite kind. The kind that comes from your whole being, is uncontrollable, and makes you cry. If you can’t remember how, watch movies that make you laugh like the original The Pink Panthers, The Gods Must Be Crazy 1 & 2, and The Princess Bride.
- Spend more time with friends.
- Be yourself. Throw away the masks. Nothing is worse than a fake.
- You finally got to buy a car, and you chose THAT? How embarrassing! Just what were you thinking? Please don’t tell me that you actually like driving it!
- Boredom is a fact of life. You will always be bored. To combat it, try bugging someone who is not bored.
- This is just a stage of life. Wait a bit and everything will change.
- Loosen up. It’s just a floor that got dirty. It can be cleaned. Most of the major problems you think you have aren’t that huge.
- Seize the day. Remember when “Carpe diem” was your battle cry?
- Do something great. You have the ability and freedom to do what I can never do. Use it and stop sitting around wasting it.
- Give me some money. I’m broke. And hungry.
What do you think your teenage self would say to you now? Is there anything s/he could teach you now? And are you interested to know what I’d say to my teenage self if I could?