BEING YOUNG AND DUMB AND CREATIVE AS HELL

Source of Dingspiration: Letter to BFF, by 15 year old self

I had a FaceTime date with one of my oldest, bestest friends today. Between updating each other on our love lives, bitching about how much we spend on underthings, and trading embarrassing work stories, we came across the realization that we have been friends for 11 years. 11 years. That’s over a decade. I’ve gotten to an age where I can regularly reminisce about things that happened over a decade ago. 

I couldn’t believe it. My friend had to pull out written proof – letters written to each other by our 15 year old selves – to convince me. At risk of making everyone who is older than me want to kill me, I’ll move on from my mini midlife crisis and focus on the letter instead.

Here’s my thought process as my friend showed me the letter I had written via iPhone webcam. Oh how far we’ve come from strings of sleepless nights spent on AOL instant messenger. (LuvMEimChinese08, a/s/l?) I’ve included a photo of just one page below (out of six) for your entertainment. You’ll have to excuse my use of the word retarded. I’ve left this stuff raw and uncensored.

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  • “Some people say the real world is cold and unforgiving. But human nature is good, I say. And 99.9976% of the time, good deeds are reciprocated by something. It might just be a good thought, followed by a dastardly deed, but still… people are good. [Insert smiley with tongue sticking out.]” Um… what? Why. Just why.
  • Pause for brownie points on vocabulary, though. Note to self, I need to casually use the word ‘dastardly’ in conversation at work tomorrow.
  • Oh wait, this was around the time I had my first ‘boyfriend.’ If you could even call him that. Things are starting to make more sense.
  • “Don’t let the bad days get you down… ’cause the kickass ones are just around the corner…” Aww. Even 15 year old me was a chronic optimist, battling against the current of rushing teenage angst.
  • “I got bored and thought about my sad childhood…” Either 26 year old me has completely repressed some serious memories, or 15 year old me has no idea what I’m talking about. Sad childhood!? I’ll be first to admit I’ve led a pretty cushy life. As white and privileged as you can get without actually being white. I think it’s safe to dismiss all content from here on.

Once I realized there was absolutely no use in even attempting to empathize with my past self, I took a second to let it all sink in.

I came away with two things. (1) Man do I crack myself up. All times, all ages. (2) Boy was I a creative genius! Grown up me’s getting schooled in creative mindset right now.

I was completely unafraid to let my mind run wild, jumping from one random thought to the next. I was then completely unapologetic about recording these thoughts, and fully 150% expected that my friends would read them. …And read them they did!

I may have had the finite tools of pen and paper, but I satisfied every whim. Writing in every which direction instead of just horizontal, changing pen colors with no discernible pattern or system, gluing random colored paper to extend my writing space, showcasing sentences in curly typography with no explanation, doodling strange and sometimes creepy looking things, making up great words like ‘funkdiliyishous’ (another gem to use in conversation tomorrow)…

I was a geysir of creativity. And I didn’t think twice about it. 

Up until today, I thought I still retained that childlike joy and creativity, that mischievous glint in my eye. I considered myself a pretty creative adult in those few moments that I acknowledged I was an adult. Suddenly I realize, I haven’t been exercising my creative muscle nearly as much as I thought. I’ve let adulthood cut me down! I have atrophied in comparison to my hugely intimidating, Arnold Schwarzenegger-sized, 15 year old creative self.

So, new life goal after I use ‘dastardly’ and ‘funkdiliyishous’ together in a sentence at work tomorrow. Carry around journals and sketchbooks and colorful pens. Don’t be scared to be stupid, don’t be scared to be wrong. Channel my inner 15 year old genius and see what happens! 

 

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