September Listography | No. Twenty-Five
things I would tell my 18-year-old self
1. Resist the urge to tell people who you’d like to go to prom with. Resist the urge to write it down in a yearbook. For one, you’re not even gonna go to the prom. And also, you’re just gonna forget his name before the year is up and when you see it again in 20 years, you’ll have absolutely no memory of him.
2. You will, however, never forget the name of your sophomore crush. And you will always lament the fact that nothing ever came of it.
3. Those friends you miss so terribly after moving from your childhood home at 15 will be your friends again in the middle years of life. You’ll be reunited by a virtual community called Facebook, and it will seem as if no time has passed at all. Weep no more.
4. And while you’re at it, try to make some new friends right now. Life’s gonna be pretty miserable for years if you don’t.
5. Also, find Chris R., apologize for your prejudice and fear, and make whatever amends are necessary to restore the friendship. The way you ended things will always be your biggest regret.
6. And furthermore… get over yourself already. Your classmate Dwight, whom you find so intriguing and cooler than anyone you’ve ever met, is totally gonna call you out on the social anxiety and teach you to see yourself the way that others see you: kinda arrogant and set apart. Go ahead and take that to heart, but make some changes, as well. Go out of your way to connect with people. Start noticing the people around you and stop over-analyzing yourself. You’ll thank me for this. It’ll save you years and years of grief and pain.
7. Be aware, too, that the “writing” you did for your semester journals in senior English class — the ones you thought would make you a star pupil and garner you an outstanding student award — are nothing more than pathetic, hormone-fueled drivel not worthy to be read even by yourself. Get over it. Don’t be offended when you’re not recognized as a talent. You’ll get much better as the years go by. And it’ll mean a lot more by then.
8. On the other hand, the tremendous disdain you feel for Lord of the Flies after being forced to read it a second time in the same high school career (thanks to your family’s move to a new town)… that contempt is never gonna change. You’ll still hate it as much at 40 as you do at 18.
9. You’ll always like Balthazar Getty, though, so don’t apologize for diggin’ his pre-teen self in the movie remake of Flies. And pay attention to the kid playing Simon. He’ll become James Badge Dale and will work with Kiefer Sutherland one day. And you’ll love him greatly, even when he begins to look like a neurotic professor. You’ll be glad you knew him when. But also realize that no one else will share those interests.
10. But Josh Brolin? Yeah, you’re way ahead of the curve on him. He’ll be embraced beyond anything you can imagine and your love for The Goonies will be validated many times over.
11. Still, you should be ready to defend everything you like. Less than five people in your entire life will ever truly get your love of pop culture. But, man oh man, those people are gonna rock your world!
12. By the way, you’ll barely remember the music you’re listening to in 1987, but you’re never gonna stop loving the music that came before it.
13. Except INXS. You’re totally gonna love INXS for the rest of your life.
14. On a serious note, you should start listening to your parents a little more. When you’re living on your own, you’re gonna end up calling your mom every single time you want to cook a meal. It would be good for you to start learning now. That home economics class she made you take last year is gonna come in handy if you’ll remember what you learned. And Dad… well, turns out he’s right about most everything you’re challenging. That’s because you’re more like him than you realize. But they’ll also start to see things your way before long, so you should cut ’em some slack, too. They’ll become your best counsel and your greatest allies. Promise!
15. Lastly, you should know that God really is pretty cool. You should get to know Him now so you don’t have to spend the next nine years sinking further and further into Joseph’s pit. If you’ll reconcile now, you’ll be able to to enjoy your college years and perhaps even remember what goes on during that time. God’s worth the effort. And so are you.
My Listography was inspired by the site of the same name and list-maker extraordinaire Andrea at hulaseventy.