Saturday, April 07, 2007

On being 16

AB asked me the other day what my 16 year old self would think of me today. Hard question.

As a 16 year old I was just very confused. But I think most 16 year old girls are. Here are my thoughts.

Regarding work... I think my 16 year old self would be impressed with what I do. At that age I wanted to be a doctor. I thought I would be a physician and was aiming that way. I thought I was a biology person, which I found out later I was much more physically minded than biologically. Though I still wonder what it would be like to be a physician.

Regarding family... At 16 I either didn't want kids or I wasn't going to have them until I was in my 30's. So no real surprises there. What does surprise me is how thoroughly happy I am being a mom. I never knew I could love two little beings so much. I looked at motherhood in my teenage years as a chore, something you were supposed to do. I am so glad I waited to have kids... this is one area my 16 year old self had it right... having kids when I was older was best for me. (Had I had them in my 20's I would have 12 now and be so poor, kids are just way too cool.)

Regarding marriage... I didn't think I would be in my mid-30's and be so happily married. Everyone I knew, including myself, had divorced parents. It seemed the norm, which meant that people couldn't possibly be happy in marriage. Simply not true.

Regarding politics... what is that statment... "if you aren't a liberal when you are young you have no heart, if you aren't conservaative when you are older you have no brain". Ok, so not that extreme, but like most teenagers I saw the gross inequities of the world and wondered why people didn't do anything about it (but of course that didn't apply to ME actually lifting a finger). I vowed never to commit myself to a party and to vote on each issue individually. While my political beliefs may have moved more centric as opposed to my left wing teenaged time, I have maintained my non-party affiliation through the years and fully intend to for the rest of my life. The aspect of politics that my teenaged self is probably reeling over is that I married a Republican! Aw well, it makes for good dinner time conversations!

Regarding life in general... I would look at myself and think, "sell out". That was the first statement that came to my mind when AB asked the question. Sell out. I don't listen to or know the new college list music. My listening tastes are almost exactly the same as my mom and stepdads... that can't be "cool" can it?

Side story - My mom ran the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996 (I think) and my sister and I went with her. We stayed with a cousin in Boston who always prided herself in being cool and up on music and such. Then she asked us if Hootie and the Blowfish were considered cool, she really liked them. She freaked a little when we told her they were pretty mainstream. I am at least honest enough to admit that my music tastes probably don't qualify me as cool anymore. I get the fact that my favorite music station (LUCY on XM) is making jabs at me at nearly every chance... "the music that made you cool then, like car seats and stock options don't now".

I have trouble reconciling to myself how my first impression would be "sell out", yet in nearly every other aspect of my life, broken apart, my 16 year old self would be proud. I guess I have to chalk it up to the dichotomy that is being a 16 year old girl. (So dreading 14-17 years from now...)

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