I am a big …okay this is a lie …. I kind of like Chuck Klosterman. I like to read his quotes online and to revel at what he thinks about all the wonderfully philosophical questions he poses in his books. However, in his newest books, he asks a rather poignant question about what you would say to your 15-year-old-self if you only had 15 seconds (the book is called Eating the Dinasaur). I like this question because I thought at first I knew exactly what I’d say (two years from now, do not sleep with your druggie boyfriend because you think you’ve loved him for the last three years. Remain firm in your Catholicism and save it, girl). But as I reveled in the question some more, I had to think about other things that I might say to my 15 year old self that have caused even greater issues in my life (yes, more then virginity, gasp).
Would you tell your 15 year old self to their face? At a party? walking the dog in the park? Would you poof out of the air or simply get on the treadmill next to them in the gym? Would you come by in a dream? Would you make them scream (okay that one was just for the rhyming affect).
I really thought I might want to come to 15 year old self via a fortune cookie.
Although, I’ve never really …introduced myself as a Capriquarious at bars and such when men hit on me, I have went with my best friend, Seth, to Barnes and Noble one too many times to read all about myself according to the stars. I read my horoscopes on days when I feel like I really need to be grounded (is that the opposite thing to what I should be doing in this case) or days when I’ve had a really terrible, no good, very bad day and see if the other Capriquarious’ also had that same kind of day and if maybe we should come together in some sort of meeting of the cosmos and cry it out.
I kept the note my mother wrote me when she took me to McDonald’s the day before my 18th birthday and made a list of everything she needed to talk to me about before the big one-eight. This included college “not being Cassie’s new party scene” and “do I need to get you more ProActive or set up another dermatology appointment)”
I also really enjoy those new wrappers on the Dove Chocolates (not as much as I’d enjoy a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s wonderful world of chocolate) where they say sweet things. I don’t remember what they’re called, maybe Dove Remembers. I still have one in my wallet that says….(these dot, dot, dots are me retrieving my wallet and looking), “Warmth on the Inside can melt Cold on the Outside.” What a nice little sentiment for a winter day, I think.
So, that ALL being said, I know I really listen to my fortune cookies, my dove chocolates, my lucky numbers, my star signs, etc. So, maybe I’d set up a stand with a bunch of fortune cookies and when I came along (at 15) I’d hand myself the one that I need to read.
There’s so many things I could put in this fortune, but the most ridiculous part is, I really have no regrets about my life. I’ve lost a lot of friends because of teenage-mid-twenties drama episodes and being roommates, and growing up and moving on, but I think I’ve accepted all of these losses and actually think I’m better now that I have had them. So, I couldn’t easily just write, “do not move in with Kat and Caroline your junior year of college.” That’s about as cop-out as writing “don’t have sex with the druggie boyfriend on spring break.” None of these will quite do. Maybe I’d have to just write, “see a therapist because you’re a whole big bag of crazy my friend” and then move on from it all, but maybe that’s copping out too.
I could go really corny and say “follow your dreams, major in what you love in college,” but I already did that, I love to write and I’ve loved my entire college experience, good and the bad so I’d have to do it exactly the same. I think I might just tell myself to “travel and live, and don’t be jealous of everyone else because you’re intelligent and beautiful.”
I think I’d have to go with something like that, to build my confidence. Maybe something I could hold on to forever. To be honest, I have no idea what I’d say to my 15-year-old self that wouldn’t dramatically change my entire existence now. I like where I’m at, so how could I change a thing for a fortune cookie.
Maybe I’d just write “recycle” and hope my future self is environmentally friendly and has a low carbon footprint so when all the natural disasters of 2010 happen, I can be happy with myself.
I don’t know, I really don’t. So I’m going to ask this of all of you, what would you tell your 15-year-old self if you only had 15 seconds and how would you say it? Answers please!
I am a writer, educator and genuine creative living on the coast of NC. Our house is built on sunshine with my husband BJ, dog named Tucker, and our two very sassy cats: Fromage and Jasper.