The Young Know Everything

 

“The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.”

~ Oscar Wilde

 

When I was your age . . .

Almost makes you want to roll your eyes, right?

Well my son turns sixteen this week and I’m nostalgic thinking about how far he’s come . . .

Happy birthday G!!

 

. . . and where he might be going.

It got me thinking about what life was like for me when I was on the verge of sixteen and what advice I could offer my son.

Other than “Cool is overrated” (a motto I’d like you to keep in mind for the rest of this post).

Because looking back at my diary, I can sum up the bulk of my teenage musings with one word:

Cheesetastic.

Seriously.  And if you don’t believe me here’s something I wrote when I was a sophomore in high school–it’s a list I started compiling to predict what I thought college would be like:

 

College life will be fun:  

dorm parties

picnics

dancing in the rain

jamming to the hits of the week

wearing baggy sweat shirts

going with the styles

 

Obviously I thought college was going to be a movie montage featuring the cast of The Breakfast Club (and maybe even Gene Kelly & Debbie Reynolds via Singing in the Rain).

Coleen when i was your age _opt

 Forget SAT scores, I was ready for college–I had a sweatshirt!

 

But wait there’s more!  On the next page of my diary, I detail my future house and backyard.  A yard that is “537 acres” complete with a “show barn and stables.”  Which is hysterical considering I couldn’t even get on a horse without cringing in terror, but yet I wrote:

 

Imagine riding at free will towards the flowing grass swaying in the wind.  Your hair whipping away from your face.

 

Ah yes, dream big–I had that down pat.

So what would I tell my sixteen year old self now?

Forget about trying to please other people.

Because you know what I wrote as my future career back then?  A Young Adult novelist (well, that and a big time screenwriter–how else could I afford 537 acres?), but some time after turning sixteen I stopped considering any of it as a possibility, I let it slip away into that flowing grass and whipping wind.

Apparently I was going with the styles.

I cared too much about what other people thought, and about fitting in.

 

“We all want to be extraordinary

and we all just want to fit in.

Unfortunately, extraordinary people rarely fit in.”

― Sebastyne Young

 

So I say dream big and be extraordinary.

 

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

― Dr. Seuss

 

 

What would you tell your younger self?