Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

What Would Your 14-Year-Old Self Think of You Now?

Earlier this month, my daughter turned fourteen. Besides making me feel old, that epoch got me thinking. Shortly after my daughter’s birthday, my wife and I were out for a walk and I said:

If my 14-year-old self met me, he’d probably be disappointed.

My wife asked Why? and I (half) jokingly responded that I don’t hold a fourth dan in any martial art, that I only speak one language, and that I don’t own a Lotus Esprit (or any Lotus, for that matter).

There is some truth to what I said. Often, many (if not most) of the expectations and dreams of our youth fail to become reality. In fact, many of us become more like our parents’ generation than we care to admit. We’re stuck in day jobs we don’t particularly like. We get locked into boring, monotonous routines. We get stuck following rules and conventions. We take to heart what others think about us or expect of us.

I’ve never understood why that happened. But it does happen. Slowly. Very slowly, over a long period of time. Then, one day, you look in the mirror and you’re someone who’s like everyone else. Hardly the image you had of yourself when you were fourteen.

Yes, I’m (to a degree) caught up in that cycle. But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying really hard to change that.

As for what my 14-year-old self might actually think of my 46-year-old self, there’s a good chance I may have redeemed myself by having:

  • Traveled extensively
  • Written a lot, and made my living with my keyboard for the last 20-odd years
  • Moved abroad permanently

Maybe not what I expected of myself 32 years ago, but not bad.

What would your 14-year-old self think of you today? Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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