The best substitute for experience…

…. is being sixteen. – Raymond Duncan 

I’m only 26. But I can’t remember being 16. It wasn’t THAT long ago right?

But I’m convinced that this past decade is the decade where we make leaps and bounds. We’re just starting to become an adult at 16. At 26 – we’re pretending we’re a full-grown adult who can pay bills on time (runs off to pay credit card bill and rent), go to work, and eat healthy meals (eats one more cookie). We feel like we know who we are…some of the time. We know we can drink and vote and hopefully do both (preferably not at the same time). 

I can drive now. Yes – confession time. I didn’t get my license until I was 17 and 2 months. 

Guys – at 16, I didn’t like sci-fi. (Okay, so I had LOST and Harry Potter – but those are like fringy sci-fi. And LOST hadn’t gone crazy yet. We thought there were going to be answers!). 

At 16, I was just as much the hopeless romantic that I am today (well, today I’m hopeless AND cynical and if you think that creates entertaining inner-monologues you are absolutely correct.) I had only kissed one boy.

I haven’t kissed THAT many more to be honest (yes, I know the number, and it can be counted on two hands).

At sixteen I thought I had friends that I would be friends with forever. I haven’t talked to some of them years. Of the people that were at my surprise birthday party – I’ve talked to exactly none of them. 

I was still working on growing out the last of a perm – horrible decision and had started straightening my hair daily. I had horrible short bangs. I didn’t dress well – but I thought I was hot stuff, like most 16 year olds. I barely wore makeup but in the way that 16 year olds don’t have to wear makeup because everything still looks good with no effort. 

I was a sophomore the year I turned 16. I was in band (duh) and drumline and 4-H and that was the extent of my extracurriculars . (Let me tell you about 12 hour drumline practices [that’s not 12 hours a week, thats 12 hour days]and then you’ll know why I didn’t have much more of a life.) My only job was babysitting when able (see above statement regarding drumline practices) 

I was quieter at 16; more timid and less willing to try new things. I wasn’t willing to go out on a limb – still not really, but I make the attempt. But I pretended I was worldly and knew it all. 

At 16 I was going to work in public relations. Well, I was going to working in public relations for a NASCAR driver. An INDYCAR driver if I was desperate. A track as last resort. Not-for-profit work ever crossed my mind, nor a job so far removed from that PR/Marketing realm.

I wouldn’t change a thing about 16 year old Jessica. She and her experiences helped form 26 year old me. 

If only I could remember some of them…

Inspired by: Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.

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