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

7 March, 2024

When my daughter turned fourteen a bunch of years ago, her reaching that epoch made me feel old. But it also got me thinking.

Shortly after my daughter’s 14th, my wife and I were out for a walk when out of the blue 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 sports car, for that matter).

There’s more than a sliver of truth in 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. One day, you look in the mirror and you’re someone who’s a lot 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 current me, there’s a good chance I may have redeemed myself by having:

Maybe not what I expected of myself all those decades ago, but it’s not too bad …

Scott Nesbitt