When I was 17, 34 felt like forever. Now it feels like an instant.
Sometimes I wish I could go back and tell my seventeen-year-old self some things. I’d tell him to save his money and not to fall in love with assholes and not to turn his nose up at things just because everyone else likes them. I’d tell him that books are written in the spaces between life, and that he needs to stop waiting for life and start living. I’d tell him to drink less vodka, smoke more pot, and maybe drop acid a couple more times while he’s young, because after 25, drugs are kind of lame. I’d tell him not to be so hard on his friends. I’d tell him that he’s always going to be something of an asshole and not to feel too bad about it. I’d tell him not to buy that Saturn. Or the Jeep…at least not the first time. I’d tell him to read more Classics and listen to some of his parents’ music. I’d tell him to skip the earrings and the eyebrow piercing, but that the labret will end up looking pretty cool. I’d tell him to get into the habit of running so that when he gets a desk job he won’t get fat. I’d tell him not to dye his hair blond or to quit that job at United Way. I’d tell him not to go back to Florida because its gravity won’t ever let him escape. I’d tell him that the Tylenol won’t make the hurt go away.
I’d tell him that it will get so much better.
I’d tell him shit like that.
Except, I wouldn’t change the last 17 years of my life for anything. Running naked in the street during a hurricane and a scary few days where I thought I was homeless and being alone in a new city and thinking I was going to die and wandering a strange country by myself. That’s the good shit. The things that make a life worth looking back on.
I don’t ever want to be old, but I love getting older.