So I never participate on Twitter trends.  I think they’re silly.  Twitter trends are topics that will catch on people attach a hash tag (#) next to the catch phrase in order to be a part of the trend.  When this happens, our tweet will attach itself to the pool, so to speak, of other tweets.  This feeds the fire of other tweets with the hash tag and the trend continues trending and well, you get the picture.  Usually these trending topics will be about what ever is happening in the news that day and they can be fairly interesting.  They can take the pulse of what is occurring in the nation or whatever location you choose to observe the trends.  Of course, sometimes what you tweet will be sucked into the trend without the hash tag, but you purposely attach it to the trend with the hash tag.

Most times, the Twitter trends are ridiculous.  They will be hash tags that someone comes up and they happen to catch on.  Twitter, like all social media, is a collection of people and people — as we know — like to be part of a group.  When they see something that people are a part of then they will naturally feel like they are on the outside looking in.  And so, if they want to feel like including a hash tag will invite them to a lunch table it really isn’t a big deal. I guess I just like to observe it all.

Today, the big trending topic was #tweetmy16yearoldself.  People began tweeting things they would say to themselves if they could at the age of 16.  Responses ranged from the serious to the funny. Flippant to the sage.  Pieces of advice to the random bits of humor.  People encouraged themselves to come out of the closet sooner, to spend time with family more, to travel earlier, to wear more plaid. The responses ran all over the spectrum.

As for me?  What would I tell myself at age 16?  I would have told myself to stop hiding behind walls and developed relationships better, all kinds of relationships, because it’s hard for me now.  I would have told myself that I would endure something hard at 19 and that if I couldn’t avoid it, then I could handle it better. I would have told myself that I matter. 

I matter. 

And I would have told myself that at 19 and at 24 and 28 and at every age, so that when I tell myself that now I find it more believable. 

I would have told myself at 16 that a house-full of kids just isn’t in the cards for me, but that it’s okay.  I would say that I should learn better eating habits because that youthful metabolism is going to come around and bite me in the rear, and whoa, it will be a mouthful to bite.

I suppose there is a lot I would tell my 16 year old self, if I could tolerate sitting next to me, for all the eye-rolling and deep sighing that I would have tossed my way.  Because that’s the thing, our 16 year old selves wouldn’t listen to us “old” people.  Youthful pride already knows everything, right?  At 16 we have all the answers and none of those answers involve listening to advice and experience.  Our 16 year old selves had us in the form of parents, teachers and other adults we admired and respected.  

We always want to think we could have prevented something when the outcome has already played out.  Truth is, we can’t. All we can do is learn from the past and hopefully not allow ourselves from doing the same thing again in the future. That’s what I what I think both my 16 year old and 33year old selves would hope.

C. Streetlights
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Published by C. Streetlights

I wrote and illustrated my first bestseller, "The Lovely Unicorn" in the second grade and I've been terrified of success ever since. Published by ShadowTeamsNYC and represented by Lisa Hagen Books

5 thoughts on “#tweetmy16yearoldself”

  1. Reminds me of an Oscar Wilde quote hanging on the wall of my current English classroom: "I am not young enough to know everything." (:
    I hope that my sixteen year-old-self(for I am now seventeen) would have listened to insights from an older me had she been given the chance.
    I love your blog, and I love having a simple way to keep up with my favorite old teacher. I reflect upon lessons I learned in your class almost daily.

  2. What janhad3 said 🙂 And yeah, I wouldn't have listened but I wish I'd told myself I mattered too. It's taking a looooong time and lot of work to believe it now.

  3. Oh, ugh, my sixteen year old self. I agree with you, it doesn't matter in the end, we can only go in one direction, forward. We have to learn as we go and that is one of the best things about life, that learning.

  4. Hey Jude! says:

    I like how you are official now with your .com.
    Way to go!

  5. janhad3 says:

    Oh, how I LOVE "…is going to come around and bite me in the rear, and whoa, it will be a mouthful to bite."

    I laughed my head off, because, oh, how unfortunate that I can SO relate!

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