Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Conversation With My 18 Year Old Self

On January 15th, 1989, I turned 18. I went out to a restaurant at Rooty Hill RSL with my parents and a few friends because CLASSY. My parents gave me a beautiful amethyst ring. I had no boyfriend. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, despite suddenly being considered legally an adult. I had a mullet perm. Which probably explains the no boyfriend thing. Shut up, it was 1989. Besides, I was excruciatingly shy and quiet. Some things never change. Ahem.

I wonder what my 18 year old self would make of me and my life now. What would a conversation between my 18 year old self and my 43 year old self be like? What would my 18 year old self say? I'll tap her on the shoulder as she is about to cut her birthday cake...

My 18 year old self suddenly stomps in and eyeballs me furiously in all her mullet-permed glory....

What do you want? I was about to have cake! And so are you...for the love of God woman, clearly you don't have the same metabolism that I did anymore. Ditch the cakies and chocolate already! 

*Pauses with cake half way to mouth* Um, okay.

You're hiding cake behind your back, aren't you? Throw it in the bin!

I am not! Okay, yes I am. *Sighs and sheepishly throws it in the bin*

And any other cake or chocolate hidden in the cupboard or fridge! NOW! 

Look, I know you think you're special with that mullet-perm and tiny waist, but let me tell you, it won't last!

Exactly! Throw them in the bin! 

*Pouts* Okay, okay! *reluctantly throws all hidden stash in the bin*

Anyway, what's wrong with my perm? It looks good!

In 1989 maybe, but trust me, when you look back you will realise it was a very bad idea.

Well, at least tell me I have good hair in 2014. What does it look like? 

Um, well, it's going grey and...erm.. I don't really bother with the hairdressers anymore.

Oh, that's weird. But I guess you're too busy working these days! Of course, I had no idea in Hell what we wanted to do at 18, but I'm sure you've got it all figured out now! So tell me, what exciting career did we end up having? 

Erm, well the thing is...we don't really have a career...

What do you mean?

Um, we did work....for a time.. but....

But what? What did we do? Please tell me that I finally 'came out of my shell' like everyone keeps telling me to and we became an Oscar winning actress or pop star? *sits on edge of seat* 

No, but remember how you love books and reading?

*sounding skeptical* Yeeees...but...

Well, we sort of became a pretendy Librarian! *tries to make it sound exciting*

A  pretendy Librarian?! What does that even mean?

You're a Library Technician.

What's that?

Sort of like a Library Assistant.

Awkward silence.

Doesn't exactly sound like a proper Librarian to me. And it doesn't sound very exciting! *pouts*

Yes, but you will go and work at a Law firm when you're around 30 where they will obligingly allow you to pretend to be one for a while!

Wait a minute... a law firm? So, what you're saying is, there are no books actually involved? The fiction books that I love? 

Um, not really. Just legal books.

Oh! And then I develop a passionate interest in Law and end up becoming a Lawyer??!!

Erm no...but you'll work around Lawyers in Legal Libraries doing the filing.

Filing? That sounds utterly boring! 

Well, yes. But the good news is, you become so efficient at it that you are in demand with Library Locums and have to turn down a position because you've become a Mum!

Ohhhhhhh! That is good news! I've always wanted to be a Mum! So that must mean I got married first, right? Who is my husband? I imagine he's some sort of dashing Gilbert Blythe or Mr Darcy type?

Yes, you are married. But you'll realise that Mr Darcy and Gilbert Blythe are fictional characters and marry a perfectly decent sort of bloke called Mick.

Oh. Well, at least tell me that this Mick character is somebody interesting and exciting! Is he a musician, perhaps? Or maybe an artist? 

He's an Accountant.

He's a what?

You heard me.

At least that means he's good with money, right? We must be filthy, stinking rich and live in a luxurious mansion overlooking the harbour?! 

Not exactly. You do own a home. A simple, suburban home pretty much in the same area where you were born and grew up. 

*Sighs dramatically* So, you're telling me that I become a Library Assistant, marry an Accountant named Mick and live in an ordinary house in Dullsville??

You make it sound so bad! It's not so bad once you come off your high horse, Miss High And Mighty Mullet-Perm! HMPH! 

Okaaay...so, with all the money you've saved living in this 'modest' home, we must have been able to travel extensively. Am I right? 


Yay! So where have we been? London, Paris, New York?

We have travelled, just not overseas. But we've been to most places in Oz, though. Tassie, Perth, Cairns, Darwin, Queensland. Not to mention.. Dubbo....

DUBBO??!! You are kidding, right! 

Oh God..I said 'not to mention' Dubbo. Why did I mention it? 

*Hopefully* You were joking?



Look, it's not that bad! I can tell you that even if it doesn't sound very exciting, you did end up enjoying those trips. Plus you were able to buy lots of books at Op Shops as well. 

I have to shop at Op Shops? Am I poor? *still sniffling*

No, no! Just...economical! So no more crying..

I'm sorry. It's just that my life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes now...

Hang on a minute. You've been watching that Anne Of Green Gables mini-series starring Megan Follows again, haven't you? 

*Indignantly* So what if I have?

Sweetie, you need to turn it off and get out more. I hate to tell you, but your so-called current 'friendships' are going to go pear-shaped.

*SObs harder* It sounds like my whole LIFE has gone pear-shaped!!

No, not really. It's all good. Trust me, when your five year old son crawls onto your lap to hug you and says: 'I love you, Mum! You're the best in the World!',  you'll feel pretty content with your lot in life.

Ohhhhhh! *melts* That's right, I'm a Mum! So I have a son?

Three sons. 

How gorgeous! I imagine they are quiet, dreamy, poetic boys who love reading? 

Um.... yes. Yes, they are. *crosses fingers behind back* 

I knew it! So I'm a devoted Mum of three angelic boys and married to Mick. But I must have so much time on my hands when they're at school...

*Snorts* Um.....

What other interests do I have? I imagine I've totally left The Carpenters behind and have developed a cutting edge taste in music? After all, I can't wait to get Madonna's new album!  What does my current record collection look like? 

That would be Like A Prayer. 


Madonna's 1989 album. 

Right. So I still love playing records?

Firstly, we don't really have records in 2014 anymore. Secondly, you still love The Carpenters...

I do? Oh. Well, if you're onto a good thing....

Exactly!  Plus, for about five minutes in 1994 they sort of become retro-cool and for once you are the coolest person in the Universe because you liked them all along...

Well, duh. But how do I still listen to them if there's no records?

There will be compact discs and then there will be iTunes available on the internet, although you haven't quite caught up with the technology...

You've lost me. The internet? 

Yes. You see, computers will become very common place and popular in the future. On them you will be able to access something called the World Wide Web where you can visit web sites. Among them will be social media sites where you can connect with others online. This will be one of your main interests....

Hold it. You rather rudely told me that I need to get out more, but you're saying that that you do most of your interacting with other people on a computer? Don't you STILL need to get out more? 

Ahem. Point taken. *Makes mental note to catch up with friends* However, it's through this world wide web that you are able to start writing a blog. 

What on Earth is a blog? 

Blogs are different things to different people, but I guess yours is kind of like an online journal that you write....

Ohhhhh! And that's when I finally become a literary genius and best-selling author just like my sixth grade teacher and my Mum always predicted??!! 

Christ no. You're too lazy for that. But there are quite a few people who like reading your blog and it's a good hobby and outlet for you. 

So....let me see if I've got this straight...I am never going to magically 'come out of my shell' and do anything earth shatteringly important with my life? Even with my awesome hair, big earrings and even bigger shoulder pads? 

Not really. But the point is, it's all okay. At around age 40* you will discover something about yourself that will allow you to redefine your own definition of success. 

Hmph. What is it? Clearly it's not the ability to be psychic. All my future predictions were incorrect. *sniffs*

You'll have to wait and see. Now go and cut that birthday cake.

I don't want to wait until I'm 40! That's ANCIENT! 


Oh okay, but what should I wish for? The ability to resist cake?

*Sighs* You may as well enjoy it while you can. 

Will do! See you in around 25 years! 

And with that, I realise it has been 25 years since I was 18. Now I do feel ANCIENT. Sigh. 

*At age 40, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Linking up late withLaugh Link and  I Must Confess. 

What do you think your 18 year old self would say to you now?

Can you believe that I had a mullet-perm?


  1. So you know what the thing is, at 18 you have no idea what will make you happy - but at 40 you do. And it may not be the glamour and excitement you were striving for (or idolising) as an 18 year old. It's better...

    1. To be honest I was a shy, quiet and boring and any of those exciting things would have scared the bejesus out of me anyway. It is better because I'm okay with that now. xo

  2. Bahahhahahhahahhaha! This is great. We are of the same vintage. I was all ZOMG Rooty Hill RSL, Vegas of the West! And then all ZOMG "Like a Prayer" totally my teenage obsession! I always wanted a mullet perm as well.

    1. It was a good vintage. Well, except for the mullet-perm thing, but otherwise all good! Thanks for reading. xo

  3. Excellent work Ness!!!! Now I sound like a teacher haha. That was tres clever and funny:)
    I've been to Dubbo. It wasn't that bad!

    1. Mick went to Dubbo last year and apparently there is a drive through bakery, so it's my dream travel destination now. Ahem. And can I get a smiley stamp please, Teacher? xo

  4. Sorry, I get the giggles whenever I hear the name Rooty Hill. How does anybody say it with a straight face?!

  5. I'm wondering what my now 19 year daughter will reflect about her 18th birthday when she gets older. For her entry into adulthood she was bought a lifetime membership of the Gaythorne RSL and a proud Mum brought her her first drink and showed her how to bet.

    Good that makes us sound awful doesn't it... we also had cake

  6. As long as there was cake it's all good. Besides RSL clubs are definitely under-rated. A good roast and a Keno never hurt anyone. Except maybe chronic gamblers...

  7. Love it! Those cuddles and 'you're awesome' from your 5 year really do make all the difference!

    Thanks for linking up with us at The Lounge!