Post Birthday 2019.
Stopping my autoimmune medication for Crohn’s disease after 17 years.
Stick to the three point plan.
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What Would Your Teenaged Self Think Of You?
There was a piece on Medium last month called ‘What would your teenage self think of you?’ by Timothy Kreider. It’s a wonderful piece and I really encourage you to read it. I’ll link it in the show notes.
It is a thoughtful essay from someone steeped in Gen X. Here’s a quote:
“Since we were demographically negligible, no one much bothered pandering to us. So as far as we were concerned, corporate entertainment — network sitcoms, Hollywood movies, Top 40 radio — was to be ignored, disdained, or derided as mass-produced, lowest-common-denominator crap for boring consumers, for Normals — what the kids now call “basic.”‘What would your teenage self think of you?’ by Timothy Kreider
I would point out that its Gen X that have built the nightmare suvalincescape around us but that’s a great description and has a lot of truth in it.
Whilst I am technically a quote unquote millennial, I prefer the sub demographic of Generation Y – or millennials that remember a time before the Internet.
Because I was a hardcore punk I have always felt that I have more in common with the sensibilities of gen X than mellenial life. Particually related to the concept of selling out which the essay focuses on. The post also begins with a discussion of zines which I love. Anyway. I bring all this up as the title alone with worth talking about. It’s also a thought experiment therapists play with their clients:
What would my teenage self think of me?
It was my birthday Thursday, it seems like a good time as any to reflect.
To have a theoretical discussion with my past self. I’m a dreamer: Full of hopes, dreams and fears for the future. so I’ve always had some sense of direction of travel and tried to follow that flow.
If I was somehow to be in a room with my teenage self, 14 or 17 it doesn’t really matter except with one important detail. My crohn’s disease.
Above all, I think I’d be shocked that I don’t have a single tattoo, But would be happy with the amount of piercings i have. I’d be amused by the fact I wear a studded belt with my suit to job interviews and important meetings. A total power move.
I’d immediately want to know how Star Wars turned out (see episode 1914 on Media properties not being your friend) and I’d be disappointed.
I’d be tickled that Robert Jordan died before he finished the wheel of time and there was a period when I worked in a bookshop and tell people who had slogged through 11 books with barely disguised glee.
I’d scowl at the fact im no longer in a punk band but I’d probably understand. I’d admonish him for his years of anti ear plugs stance. Call him a moran and then ask him to speak up a bit.
I still don’t wear brands in the main but I’d be surprised that I do wear is Adidas. The fact im still wearing merrell chameleon slams II’s wouldn’t surprise me, but i’d be saddened that the quality of each pair has decreased with every pair over the years.
I don’t think i would be surprised at the state of the world around me, in fact I’d probably be shocked that it isn’t a lot worse yet already. The mass migrations and water wars are yet to come.
He’d tell me “no mistakes no regrets” and I’d say that he will soften on that approach over time. Adding the line ‘Just missed opportunities’. You can’t live your life as an asshole forever – it’s just not worth it.
I’d tell him to remove toxic people from my life sooner rather than later, and that Apologies – however hard – are good, actually.
My 17 year old self would probably cry when I told him that as of my Birthday this week in 2019 I’d finally come off my immunity suppressant medication. after taking it for a further 17 years. No more blood tests and fear of killing my liver.
That the brush with death and his stoic acceptance of having an incurable chronic autoimmune disease will shape everything that lays ahead. I’d tell myself of all the deep pain, trauma and tears that are still ahead. That his stubborn manner of facing the future was or is the best way forward, even if he would question the approach it in his darker moments. We’d agree that it was fairly good news that I wasn’t dead yet and that life was worth living.
He and I would be glad that my family still has its happiness and health. That fortune still smiles even when one goes though darkness. But we are happy and still love our family very much.
I’d tell him that I am happy and laugh in bed with someone I love every single day.
That ashen wastelands can be walked out of and he would nod and steel himself for the road ahead. That there is a lot of work ahead and its souly his responsibility to get it done, one thing after another. And that getting organised is a learned behaviour, not a natural one
He would see that I am more myself now than ever before, not measuring myself against others and what they may think, that spirit burns bright in all people and they illuminate their own paths, and that your touch can’t touch their shadows
And finally, I’d tell him that the future feels exactly the way I thought it would. That some hopes and dreams materialise. The universe works the way I suspect it does and the plan is, and always will be the same.
The above is the original script I wrote for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in audio due to time constraints.