would you approve of you?

I was driving home yesterday after a day being immersed in writing about the Spier Contemporary 2010 exhibition and I heard my favourite radio announcer talking about actor Hugh Laurie and his 50th birthday. The announcer, John Maytham on Cape Talk, commented that he had "never really got into the House character" which I found really funny, especially as I like both of them for the same reason... they're irreverent, irritable, intelligent and certainly not looking to make any friends.

Laurie's comments on his 50th birthday were really interesting: "From now on it's a gradually descending mist of confusion and doubt. I've never known less than I know now. You hope that your teenage self would like and forgive your 50-year-old self. It would be awful to think that they'd be ashamed and appalled - that you were a betrayal of everything they thought they'd become."

So what would your 18 year old self think of the person you have become?

I'd like to think my 18 year old self would be pretty happy with the almost-50 I've become. I'm certainly happier than I was then, and a lot more secure and positive about the future than I was at 18.

I wonder if it's a gender thing... are women are more likely to reach a place of contentment than men of the same age?

In fact, the only thing I'd swap with that 18 year old would be her figure. But somehow I don't think she'd be interested in doing the deal

Comments

Meri said…
Splendid musing, Lynne. I'd like my 18-year old figure, the fully functional knees, the sense of trust that I would always have someone to love and who would love me, the unbridled belief that I had endless possibilities available. But like you, I'm not sure my 18-year-old self would think that she'd find anything of value to take from my current self (she'd surely not appreciate the pleasures of longstanding friendships, a wealth of memories, the anticipation of trips to exotic places -- well maybe she would).
Lynne said…
Hi Meri "the unbridled belief in endless possibilities"... I have that more now than I did then! I was so naive at 18, and so one dimensional. Or maybe I've just learned how to be happy in the now!
julochka said…
i love house as house and as hugh laurie. and i would love to meet him anytime. 50 or 18. he's my old man crush (seriously, who am i kidding, i'm old myself--but i like saying that).

it is interesting to think of...i think my 18-year-old self would be intimidated by my thirty-twelve-year-old self. and she's probably think i had let myself go, which is no doubt true.

like you lynne, i wouldn't wanna go back at all, not unless i could know what i know now! :-)
Lynne said…
30-12 isn't old.

try saying 30-19... it doesn't work so well as those numbers creep closer together. What happens when you're 30-30? or do you get used to the next decade and move it all up?
B said…
This is very interesting... specially now that I'm about to turn 30. Actually, I think my 18 year old self would be very proud of me and what I've done. But she'd defintely think I've let myself go and would want to give me a make up class!
My teenage self would think I had sold out and wasted my potential energy. And I would tell my teenage self that he doesn't know squat because he hasn't lived through everything I have. My teenage self would then go off and have fun and I'd be envious as hell.
Mary Ellen said…
My 18-year-old self would be relieved that much of the social anxiety and drivenness I had for so long has abated. But - it would be hard for that self to take on the creaks and aches that come with the age.
Lali Fufu said…
Wow, I think this one is my favourite blog post so far. What an interesting concept... You could make a comparison at any age and it would be quite fascinating to note what yourself then would think of yourself now.
I think the child I once was would be very upset with me and think that I'm too cynical, impatient, quick to anger and would want me to play outdoors in the glorious sunshine like I used to. She'd probably tell me to smile more and to have fun
jane said…
hi! found you through blog camp-i love this quote. i knew there was a reason i´ve always liked hugh laurie... am off to read more of your blog:)
Karen said…
My 18 year old self was super critical - not sure that there'd be much understanding there. Just wish that I had her tireless optimism now. Of all things, I miss that the most.
Lynne said…
thanks for all the comments!
So interesting to hear what everyone thinks!