If I were to ever meet my fourteen year old self, I would be the first in line to slap her across the face and then pull her into a tight hug. Because, really, she was kind of this brat who thought she knew everything when she was grasping for something to believe in after her grandfather died.
I recently found this folder of poems I wrote at that age while I was in Michigan. There were two main themes attached to the poems (songs, really), and one was infatuation and puppy love inspired by my first love A. The second is this rebellion against my mother, doing things that she didn't agree with. Like date a guy who was four and a half years older than me.
Luckily, I have learned my lesson (and also luckily, now that I'm twenty, four and a half years isn't as bad as when I was fourteen) and I'd also be the first to admit that I don't know everything, that maybe what Mom and Dad and Sue were saying wasn't because they wanted me to have a broken heart or to piss me off, but because they were just looking out for my well-being.
Another thing I found that was really interesting for me was that my fourteen year old self has a Goals That I Want to Accomplish List, just like me, at twenty, has. And it's just interesting to see the similarities and differences both lists have, which, in its own way, reveals that while maybe some beliefs have changed, others haven't, and as such, has actually become a part of who I am.
My fourteen year old lists consists of the following: (and those that are bolded have been accomplished, mind you.) Find someone who loves me for me. (Maybe it wasn't like the movies, but I know that I loved A and that he loved me.) Get my bellybutton pierced. (Yeah, don't want to get that one done anymore.) Fall in love. Go to England. Go to college. (Technically, I'm in college, so I'm doing that goal as we speak.) Become famous. (Maybe not obviously so.) Get married to the love of my life. Have four children (at least one girl). (I think if I have two kids, I'd be fine. But we'll see. I'm open to amending that one or leaving it.) Go bungee jumping. (Michigan Adventure style.) Get my driver's license. Go on a road trip the summer I graduate high school. (Okay, so this technically didn't happen, but the one I went on with Ben, my step-brother, totally makes up for it. Shenanigans doesn't even begin to cover what we went through for those twenty-four hours!). Kiss someone under the mistletoe. Kiss someone as the clock strikes midnight on the New Year. Do something really romantic on Valentine's Day. Teach A how to surf. Go snowboarding. Build a snowman. (I think I attempted to build I chick snowman with boobs and everything, but building a snowman is way harder than I thought. Thanks for lying straight to my face, Charlie Brown.) Have a real snowball fight. (With my brother, in Michigan.) Graduate high school. Makeout and dance in the rain. (I don't care how cliche it is, I still want this.) Watch a really romantic movie with my boo. (I'm not as gung-ho about this one as I was back then, actually. And I'm sorry for my terminology.) Let my family (both sides) meet A. (Yeah, not going to happen.) Record a Christmas album. (You have to admire my ambition.) Go to a USC game. Go to a Green Bay game when Brett Favre is still quarterback. (Never going to happen now!) Perform in front of a live audience. (Welcome to choir, speech, and school projects.)
Now, here is what my twenty year old self has come up with in terms of where she wants her life to go. Get a pilot's license. (Probably because I'm afraid of controlling something that could very well kill me and I want to conquer a fear. Plus, Papa always said it was a good idea to get one. Just in case.) Go to Chicago. See the Biograph Theatre, Dillinger's grave, and Little Bohemia. (One of the best times of my life - thanks Dad!) Meet Johnny Depp and have a conversation with him. Go to Alcatraz and into Alvin Karpis's cell. (Another amazing time in my life - thanks Dad x2!) Publish a book before getting my bachelor's degree. (I was actually so close to accomplishing this one...) Publish a poetry anthology. Travel everywhere. Meet Michael Keaton and have a conversation with him. Fall in love with someone as brooding as Bruce Wayne and someone as charming as Tony Stark and have them love me back. Meet Robert Downey Jr. and have a conversation with him. Be a guest on The Daily Show AND The Colbert Report. Go to Spike's Guys Choice Awards. See Eminem in concert. (This will be bolded, late September 25.) See ACDC in concert.
Obviously I have shifted from romance and bubbly love to more career-oriented goals, but as you can see, love is still important to me. And being loved back is important to me as well.
Maybe my fourteen year old self was a bit of a brat - a typical teenager determined to make her own path - and she did, for a while. She's still on that path, but much more open to what others have to say in terms of advice, even advice she doesn't want to hear. But she took a stand for something, fell down, and now she's standing in me, my twenty year old self. And even though we're different, I'm not going to let her down. Because she has potential, opportunity, and deserves the best in every aspect of life.
Plus, she makes lists just like I do, so she definitely has some redeeming qualities.