What I would say to my 16-year old self, if I had the chance…
I would say nothing and everything I could. At times, I am a realist and seeing as the past cannot be changed, I would say ‘Keep doing what you’re doing kid, you’ll end up just fine.’ Probably the worst advice to tell a teenager!
Ask of me this when I am more idealist than realist, and I would tell myself a lot of things so that I end up making different choices and decisions, not necessarily good ones, but different so that different outcomes can be attained and different lessons learnt. I would tell myself to relax less and be a little less easy-going, and be more serious about studies and future plans. I would also tell myself to be less uptight and more calm. Which is weird because relaxing less and being calm don’t exactly go hand in hand. But then again, I am being an idealist here so I guess that’s allowed. I would also tell myself to stop feeling guilty and enjoy the feelings while they last, because they’re gone all too soon. I would also tell myself not to do things for fun, and do them because they mean something. Although doing things for fun can turn out to be meaningful, unintentionally. Be more passionate about ideas and causes, and don’t let anyone make you feel inferior.
And, being the reflector that I am at times, I would think about the advice I have just given my 16-year old self, and analyse why I said what I did say and how it would make any difference if I had in fact done what I have just advised myself to do. But then again, seeing as this is pure speculation and a conundrum for which there is no easy or right answer, I would be reminded of the quote from Alice in Wonderland, which is the title of this post.
And because there is no use going back to yesterday, I would not think about it any more and go and do things that I don’t want to regret not doing. But it is nice to just speculate and see how life would have panned out. Perhaps it makes the present sweeter, knowing you made all the right choices to lead you to where you are now and are glad that can’t be changed.
What would you tell your 16-year old self, and why?