Friday, November 5, 2010

Back to the future?

Someone, somewhere, recently posted a question asking what you would tell your 16 year old self if you could travel back in time.  I honestly don't remember where I read this - but I have been pondering the question for several days now.

I've decided that it would be pointless to travel back in time to give advice to your 16 year self.  This is because I am the parent of a 16 year old, and thus am well aware that 16 year olds do not take advice from anyone.  They already know everything, and cautionary tales fall on deaf ears with them because they are invincible.  Nothing bad will ever happen to them.  They will become famous movie/tv/reality stars and have more money than Bill Gates.  They are going to do things their own way, no matter what.


If I could travel back in time and BE 16 years old again, but still know what I know now?  Now, THAT is tempting.  What would I do differently?
For starters, I would NOT have that ridiculous, poofy, 80's hairstyle.

I would study more.  I would wear my retainer.  I would trust my instincts - especially with boys.   I would have more confidence in myself.  I would wear sunblock, and I would NEVER have drenched myself in baby oil and spent hours in the sun in the hopeless attempt to become tan.  I wouldn't care about the mean girls saying mean things.  

And if I could go back in time to when I was in college, and do that over again?

I would not date fraternity boys.  Ever.  I would never, ever, ever drink tequila. I would know that spring break is overrated.  I would pay more attention when my friend/big brother tried to teach me how to change the oil and spark plugs in my car.  I would (again) trust my instincts more with boys.  I would know that if my gut was telling me someone was cheating on me, he probably was.  I wouldn't give second chances.  I would never get a perm.  I wouldn't get that super short haircut.  I would never have quit school in order to become a flight attendant....

Although...actually, I don't think I would change that one after all.   If I hadn't done that I would never have met Mr. Wonderful, or had my kids, or be where I am today.  And truthfully?  I like my life.  My life experiences have made me who I am.  

So, on second thought - as tempting as it sounds - I don't think I WOULD go back and have a do-over on my youth.  Maybe I had to experience the things I did, in that time, in order to be where I am today.

Oh well.  I'll still lecture my two teens about stuff, even though I know they don't listen.  I'll still try to get them to benefit from my experience and be smarter about things than I was.  Even though I know they'll have their own bad and good experiences which will form the people they will someday become.  It's just what we do as parents, isn't it?

What do you think?  Is there anything you regret or wish you had done?  If you could go back in time and live you life over, would you change anything?

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