Look at you. I mean, Christ, just look at you, those clothes, that hair, that demeanor. You’re helpless. Do you want people to see you like this? Do you even care what they would think? Nothing good, I can tell you that. Look at what you’ve done with your life. What happened to your goals, you dreams, your plans?

What would you do if you ran into yourself tomorrow, not another of yourself as you are but yourself when you were seventeen. What would the seventeen year old you say? Would they be disappointed? I imagine they would be. Things haven’t turned out as they imagined and they’re probably pretty angry. Would they think that you got lazy or that you lost your focus? Would they think you squandered your best chances or that you simply fucked up? Worst, would they think you sold out?

No matter what they thought they would be when they got to be you, you’re not it. If you are then you’re either lying to yourself or you had dreams too mundane for any self respecting seventeen year old to have. That or you’ve been given more than you’ve earned in life and it doesn’t count for bollocks anyway. Somewhere along the line you did, even if for a moment, get lazy, lost your focus or squandered a good opportunity. Somewhere along the line, some tiny part of you sold out. Somewhere between seventeen and now you stepped in your own shit and didn’t have the wherewithal to wipe it off and the reek is still clinging to you. You@17 , the you that was eager and feisty, proud and invincible, the you that was ready and capable and jaded in the way that only a seventeen year old can be, that you is really pissed off.

Y’know what? Fuck You@17. You@17 didn’t know shit. Nobody had told them what the real world was going to be like. Nobody had explained to them anything about adulthood. They didn’t know a thing about sleepless nights. They didn’t know a thing about paying bills. They didn’t understand being broke or having to perform on someone else’s terms. They didn’t know about sacrifice, about bruised pride, about long hours or about how the world likes to beat good people down. You@17 didn’t know about lost jobs or heartless lovers. They didn’t know what it feels like to fail, even when you were at your best. They didn’t’ know what it’s like to have more expected of them than they were able to give. You@17 had never been defeated. You@17 had a lot of lessons to learn.

And so do you.

Don’t you dare feel bad. Don’t you dare feel sorry for yourself. Don’t even think about apologizing to You@17. You@17 couldn’t have done what you’ve done, couldn’t cope with what you undertake every single day. You@17 kept fucking up until they became you now and never thought to revaluate the surroundings. You@17 needs to be put in their place.

Now, straighten up, dust yourself off and put yourself in order. There are things to be done, things You@17 would never understand or appreciate. There’s still a world to conquer and legions of left over seventeen year olds’ asses to kick.


Anne Johnson said...

Good post. I wrote a screenplay called "Embassy Row" in which a woman bogged down with her midlife problems got transported through time to change the life of her younger self by doing exactly what you suggest in this essay. The script actually found its way to Kate Hudson's manager, who liked it, but CAA wouldn't sign off.

Given that my mom was a dangerous bipolar, and I was spending my last year at home at 17, I would say my life is a cakewalk now in comparison. Of course I still have the 13-year-old daughter to raise, so it's likely to get lively again.

AutumnZ said...

Wonderful! I like to think that the me at age 34 could grind the 17 year old me into dust. Actually, I don't have to think it. I know it.

Though 17 year old me had much perkier boobs and a tighter ass.

Monique said...

Me at 17? Oh my ... I wish I could go back and say two words: You're fabulous. No, make it three words: You're fucking fabulous!

Jod{i} said...

Now that was eloquent....pure eloquence! I LOVE IT!

Anne Johnson said...

Thomas, you won the union shirt. You can contact me through my web log. Don't let the bored gods scare you, they're just painting the house and sometimes they grouse about it.