I have no desire to go back to high school. I walk by the store Forever 21 and wonder, “Who would want to be 21 forever?” I don’t understand people that say high school was the best time of their lives. And those movies where parents and kids switch places… no thank you.
Don’t get me wrong, I had fun in school. I had friends I cherished, I kept myself busy with school and singing and working. I wasn’t bullied or teased, nor was I part of the “in” crowd. I had my own crowd and we had a great time. It has nothing to do with that.
Really, what it comes down to is that I’m perfectly content to be my regular, 36-year-old grown up self.
That said, there are some things I would do differently if I could have a do-over…
Tried harder. I’ve always had a pretty good memory (just ask Mr. O), so studying for tests and memorizing came pretty easily to me. And while I put a lot of effort into things I was interested in, like music, I did the bare minimum in many other areas, like math. Nobody noticed (or cared) because I still got good grades, but I would like to see what I could have done with a little more effort.
Dated more. I was what you call a serial monogamist. I didn’t date. I had relationships. And there’s nothing wrong with that… Perhaps it’s only after you find your partner for life and settle down that you miss those first date jitters.
Side note: I’m not, in any way, shape, or form, suggesting that more dating would have led me to a different husband. Just that kissing a few more frogs before I found my prince wouldn’t have been the worst thing.
Made more of an effort to stay in touch with friends. I’m still in touch with people from high school, and of course there’s Facebook, but there are certain people who meant a lot to me that I’ve let slip out of my life. There are friends from camp, my year abroad, college, all of whom I miss and would like to give a big hug.
Asked for help. I know I’m not the only one who stubbornly tried to do it all, have it all, handle it all. Now that “it all” is freakin’ ton of stuff, I’m better about asking for help. It’s a life lesson we all have to learn the hard way, but I wish I’d learned it earlier. I could have saved myself from a lot of grief, frustration, and failures.
Appreciated my body more. Growing up I always felt fat. I wasn’t. I actually had a pretty decent figure for most of my teenage years – definitely not a stick figure, but healthy – and yet I never saw it that way. I was actually a pretty fit, strong chick!
I know that my belief that I was already fat contributed to my weight gain in college and beyond – “What’s another bag of chips going to do? I’m already fat” – and I really want to kick myself when I look at old pictures. I wish I could’ve seen my 16-year-old figure through my 36-year-old eyes and appreciated it more.
Some other things come to mind, like being more outgoing, but that’s just not me… I’m an introvert and I like myself that way (most of the time). I don’t think I would want to go back and change my personality, just a few experiences.
What would you do differently? Share in the comments.