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Are you the same person you were at 18?


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So, I’ve been reflecting on change a like. I’ve changed a lot over the past 20+ years, and I’m really glad that I have, but 18 year old me would not get along with 40 year old me. That kid would be really disappointed in how lame I am now, and I couldn’t stand how insufferable I was with everything.

On the other hand, I’m at my brother-in-law’s house right now and his childhood friends are here and everyone agrees that they haven’t changed at all since high school and that’s a pint of pride. I don’t get it at all.

Where do you fall? Maybe I was just such an asshole that I needed to change? 

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No one should want to be who they were at 18. That's super sad if you ask me. Any adult that pines for being back in high school has failed at life.

That said, there are some aspects to youth I am glad I have hung on to. At 18 I was a complete edgelord, anti-main stream, anti-tradition, super judgmental know it all. I've managed to outgrow most of that thankfully, but I have definitely maintained my not-being-a-follower status in eschewing group think and being told things. I like to think I have the same independent and loner spirit I had at 18, but at least now, 28 years later, I'm more reasonable and kind.

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The older I get, the more I realize the less I knew when I was 18.  I was frankly cocky, impatient, and opinionated to the point of almost being arrogant, and thought I knew it all.  The only thing I miss about being 18 is being in shape and having the energy levels I had.  

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At 18 I was still a virgin. Fuck going back there. Used to smoke a lot of bongs too. OG incel baby. 

Didn't last long. Thank goodness for tertiary education, alcohol and amphetamines. 

Then thank goodness for the subsequent decades of the real world to smack some* sense into me.

 

* I said "some" sense. 

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I think I'm pretty much the same as I was when I was 18.

I don't think I'd get along well w/my 18 year old self, wait, how are we even interacting!??? Is this time travel rules or what!? Did he find a time machine!? Did I!? Who built this time machine!? Okay, ignoring that critical issue for the moment, I think the question of how the two of us (the one of us, actually!) would get along together is kind of silly when there's so much I can warn me about the world that's coming between '05 and now! I imagine we'd put aside our differences and learn to overcome our similarities and then just get straight to trying to ineffectively prevent or at LEAST mitigate world historical disasters — the Haiti earthquake, for example, or, wait, am I showing up on my eighteenth birthday!? If I'm showing up on my eighteenth birthday then I maybe have time to help save a few lives from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami; I've been assuming that me now at the age I am today is back then in my eighteenth year at exactly the same period of time in my eighteenth year, I assume that I'm seven months and six days into it, I've been assuming that the me of July 6 2021 has time travelled back to July 6 2005 but that scenario isn't written in stone. And, like, is he showing up here or am I showing up then!? If he shows up here does he eventually go back to live out his life and become me!??? How!????

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8 hours ago, Jacen123 said:

Were we the ship of Theseus all along?

At the cellular level, no.  Brain cells, nerve cells, teeth, and eye lenses  do not regenerate like skin cells do. 

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There is more of me. I guess. HA! Mostly people from high school say I haven't changed much and they can still recognize me by my laugh. I think I've changed. For the most part there's a lot a inward change. I think I fly off the handle more (due to stress - I mean Tina shit on my front porch and didn't tell me about it until I went to leave the house and almost stepped in it last Tuesday). Right now I'm ready for a real live vacation. Thank gawd our Dad is going to be here soon so he can help me do things with Tina and give me a break.

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She says she's not mad at me but I don't know. It feels like. HA! She went out to smoke a cigarette at 2 AM and came in holding her pants in her hands so I don't know if it was a "I couldn't make it in time thing" or she's really mad at me. The Sunday before we were supposed to go to Church together and she told me "I'm not going" and then put on her shoes and went to buy cigarettes. I know she's jonesing awfully hard for drugs and was so happy when she got her Xanax prescription filled after badgering her kidney doctor to get it.

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Screw 18...I was still the same person until my early 30's.  I have always had the same hobbies, interests, and similarish beliefs.  I think the biggest area of my personal development happened because two close professional mentors had some tough conversations on how I needed to change if I ever wanted to get to where I wanted to go.  If it wasn't for me hitting near rock bottom, I don't know if I would have listened to them.

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There seems to be important distinctions to be made when pondering yourself or someone else longing for their High School days. Such as literally wanting to relive High School, having nostalgia for that era, desiring the benefits of youth.

I agree it probably is sad, or in the least perhaps worth further inquiry in a psychological way, if someone literally wanted to relive High School. However if I could have the benefits of youth, sign me up.

Physical resilience, less responsibility, and the sense of immortality when the end of a lifespan seems unfathomably distant. Hell yeah.

Although all of that is different than pondering how you’ve changed since your youth. In that sense, even with being quite apt to acknowledge and write about difficulties and anxieties, I’m generally comfortable with myself now and I probably wasn’t then.

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Well yes and no...sort of. 

I still retain a lot of the same core beliefs and personality, but I've nonetheless changed a lot since then. I think I'm more openly myself now than I was back then because I'm not trying to mold myself to fit in with the group. Like, I think back then I think I felt that I had a role to play in the group (and out) and I tailored a lot of my actions to that role, and so did most of the others in that same group. But I'm actually still friends with most of those people (just not as close). I can say the same for most of them - they're the same people, just more of themselves and less "us" if that makes sense. Hell, I'm married to one of those people, and he loves me more now than he did when I was 18, so I don't know what that says really. 

I like to think that if I could go back with everything that I know now then maybe I could get to where I am now faster...

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I would like to have both the benefits of youth and the benefits of the 90’s back, too.

I am so, so different than I was in high school, but I think high school me would think I’m pretty cool.

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