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Sharing Time: > What Were You Like at Age Sixteen?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments What were you like when you were sixteen? Would you have predicted you life's path? If not, what would you have predicted instead?


message 2: by Zen (new)

Zen (zentea) | 515 comments Afraid of STDs. A good girl.

NO.

Continuation of being a good girl....ROFL!


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I had a small core of good friends, much like today. I was on the geeky side, nowhere near popular, but in a school big enough that it didn't matter.
I played at open mics and talent shows but I would never have predicted that I would play my own songs for a living after college.
I was horse crazy and a constant reader and writer so that hasn't changed. I think at sixteen I thought I might go into genetics or neurology though, since I hadn't yet realized that chemistry II would be my downfall, and I hadn't yet taken the wonderful history classes that would convince me that should be my major.
I knew already that I would be leaving Canada as soon as I could - I was cramming five years of high school into four - but didn't know I'd still be in Maryland now. I had absolutely no specific dreams of the future: no mind-pictures of a spouse or a house or a family. I was content to let the future shape itself, which has stood me in good stead. Now is really the first time in my life when I would like the ability to make some longer range plans.
Oh, and I probably could have saved myself some trouble if I had realized then that I was gay.




message 4: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments at 16 i really would have predicted i would have a double wide by now...


message 5: by Richard (new)

Richard | 347 comments Wow, that's quite a vivid picture you paint there, Sarah. Sounds like you made some very good choices.

My memories of 16 are a bit blurred. Sadly, not because of alcohol abuse, but because I spent almost three hours a day dipping my head repeatedly into heavily chlorinated water. My life was all about school and swimming until I left home at 17.


message 6: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) This was me at 18, not 16, but the answer to the questions still applies:



Any questions?


message 7: by Nuri (last edited Jun 03, 2009 09:56AM) (new)

Nuri (nools) | 538 comments Two questions, I realized. I think I will just answer one for now.

I remember when I was 17, I did an assignment for a class I was taking. Not 16, I know, but I don't think it would have been very different for me a year earlier. We were told to put together something which would detail our lives, like a short autobiography, and express our dreams for the future. I decided to make a file on my life, sort of pretending the government had one on me, and filled it with photocopies of key writing samples, transcriptions of journal entries, childhood pictures, fake documents (birth/death certificate, passport), voter registration, diplomas. It was for an easy A class. It was second semester senior year, and I probably could have gotten by with a couple pages about myself, but I went all out.

I remember most clearly now my future Curriculum Vitae (to explain my dreams and such), which suggested I'd major in comparative literature and classics as an undergraduate and move on to grad school at one of the better English departments in the country, with East Asian studies on the side. I would know six languages (including English, Korean, Latin, Mandarin... can't remember the other two) and go on to be a professor in literature at... Hah, I am embarrassed to say. I anticipated years of experience teaching in and structuring the higher education system in underdeveloped East Asian countries. I remember wanting to add that I'd write something important, but I couldn't decide what it would be about or what the title would be, so I left that one out.

And here I am, premed-ing. I never expected genetics, and I am still a little sad that Latin doesn't have enough space in my remaining semesters because of all the labs I need to take. But science is cool, too. : )


message 8: by Kevin (last edited Jun 03, 2009 10:20AM) (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments when i was 16 i had no thoughts what so ever about the future. mostly i just took each day one at a time. mostly woke up and thought about chicks, cars and loud music (that has changed though as i don't think about cars that much now). i was trying to skate through school doing as little as possible (algebra I, school newspaper, advanced PE, art....)and always had a job to make my spending money for chicks, cars and loud music. i did wacky stuff like setting my shoes on fire, swallowing live goldfish and carving a girls name in my arm with a pocketknife to get the attention from girls and it seemed to work. not sure what is more sad, me doing it or them liking it. i drank a bit, smoked a bit and went to see Queen live in concert that year.

little did i know that within a year i would leave home never to go back, two friends my age would be killed in car accidents and i would seriously suspect bowie, mercury and elton all didn't care for chicks as much as i did.

would i change anything if i could go back? you bet. i was a small town boy with blinders on, unaware of people, cultures or anything outside of my small space and slice of time.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments By sixteen, I was actually pretty happy. I played clarinet in the band, was in upper level French, and was about to drop math (after retaking Trigonometry) forever!
Here I am, forcing my best friend Gretchen to be in the picture:

[image error]


message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments ah...the Rebel Librarian


message 11: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 03:41PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Great pics Gus and Jackie.

Kevin!! WTF? Self mutilation at 16? Aww, I wanna give 16yoa you a hug and whack you upside the head at the same time.

Nools, I think you're young enough that your 16 year old self and dreams are still fairly attainable if you want to bring them to fruition. They're fairly noble goals, too. Pre-Med, pre-schmed... ;)

I'm about to learn how to process DNA, I think (keeping fingers crossed that it doesn't happen), because the researcher who processes it on campus is about to move his studies out of state and DNA processing is required in at least 3 of our study protocols. I'm hoping that they decide to ship them off to a lab out of state instead, though, because I hear it takes a full day to process just one. I wouldn't mind that if we weren't busy with other stuff, too, and I could reasonably alot a full day to just DNA processing, but I know that won't happen if they decide to keep it here.


Me at 16:

I had two close girl friends - one who was exactly like me - innocent, naive - and the other was my complete opposite (rule breaker, wild). Neither of them ever hung out with each other, so my time with my friends was split between the two of them doing separate activities. I also had a small core group of guy friends who all played on the golf team who would come over to my place fairly regularly to hang out. I think they liked my mom's homemade snacks. They'd jump on the trampoline or play basketball on my driveway. I still hadn't kissed a boy yet (was my BIGGEST concern in high school), so I went out of my way to hang out with guys I knew wouldn't try to sexualize our relationship. The golf guys were totally innocent and goofy like me... at least they were around me.

I was 16 during the last half of my junior year and the first part of my senior year. I was younger than most of my class. I tended to gravitate towards people at school who were in the lower grades - I felt maternal towards them - wanting to give advice and help them with their problems in classes. I loved that they looked up to me and I always treated everyone as my peer. I had a teacher (who's a friend of mine of FB) who liked me enough that she sat me in the middle of the classroom, in the middle of all the popular guys in our class. She told me later on that year that she did that because she was hoping that one of them would notice me and she was wanting to fix me up with one of them. That made me seriously blush. I was hyperaware of her motives while sitting between all of them and embarrassed every time one of them was nice to me or talked to me, even in the hallway or during lunch.

I was involved in French Club and theatre arts, and the environmental club. I loved theatre - it challenged me to face my fears. The other two were not very involving. We'd meet on occasion and do one or two activities a year. I made mediocre grades.

I was too busy daydreaming or writing notes to friends to care about my performance in classes (except English - I always LOVED English). Before my mother married, I was a straight A student... and then my ex-stepmonsterdad married my mom and moved in with us. Because of him, I avoided home as much as possible. He was controlling, untrusting, and emotionally abusive - and I found out later, an alcoholic. When I was home, I was likely hiding in my room to avoid being grounded for stupid stuff... or babysitting for a neighbor... or at a friend's house. I was so grateful to be out of my own home that I went out of my way to be as helpful as possible when something needed to be done at a friend's and/or a neighbor's home.

That affected my life so profoundly that I didn't realize that I never smiled at school. I remember sitting next to some guys in theatre one day and we were all having a good laugh about something and one of the guys just casually mentioned to me "Heidi, you're really pretty when you smile. I never noticed that before." I never noticed that I didn't smile. After he said that (and after I got over the initial blush from the compliment), I made more of an effort to leave my problems at home and just enjoy the high school experience.



message 12: by Nuri (new)

Nuri (nools) | 538 comments Oh, Heidi.

Thank you for sharing.


message 13: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments very transparent and thoughtful heidi. i appreciate that


message 14: by Sarah (last edited Jun 03, 2009 11:34AM) (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Interesting thread, everyone. I'm just glad we all made it out the other side.


message 15: by Nuri (new)

Nuri (nools) | 538 comments You, too, Kevin! Reading these, I imagine that even though we're all really different, there's something about 16 that's the same for everyone.


I didn't even notice until this thread that 16 was such a forgettable year for me. Supposed to be a big deal, "sweet sixteen" coming of age and whatnot, but when I look back on sixteen, at the handful of entries I wrote that year, I remember that I was mostly unhappy. Which is strange to me! I thought I'd lived a mostly very happy life. When I look closer, it's just a handful of very happy moments slathered in a lot of undeserved privilege. I suppose that could be seen as mostly very happy.


message 16: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 11:55AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments It's all good, peeps! I take heart at the "ex" part of his title. He got to see LOTS of Heidi the Bear (except I probably wasn't playing with him). :)

I should mention that I also assumed that I'd be married by 25, have a great CAREER, a graduate degree in psychology, people would call me "Dr. Heidi," and I'd have the 2.5 children, the white picket fence, and the marriage. Heh. :) I had NOOOO idea I'd have worked in tv news, film production, working with youth, and DEFINITELY not in substance abuse treatment research, no marriages, no home ownership, and the only baby I can claim as my own is my dog Robby by this point in my life. I'm truly happy with the way things have turned out for me. In hindsight, I know that what I wanted then is not what I needed in my life up to now. I'm content as a tick on a dog.




message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

What good memories you people have, about the only thing I can remember about being sixteen was that I got my drivers license, and my main objective was to get someone from the opposite sex in the horizontal position. I had no conceived notions of what I wanted to do when I grew up, and never planned on leaving the town I grew up in.

But like Heidi I am very happy with where I ended up.




message 18: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 11:47AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments 16 year old I would've definitely steered clear of "my main objective was to get someone from the opposite sex in the horizontal position" 16 year old you. :)


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Heidi wrote: "16 year old I would've definitely steered clear of "my main objective was to get someone from the opposite sex in the horizontal position" 16 year old you. :)"

Um "Ouch"

But you wouldn't have been alone.




message 20: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 12:02PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Jim wrote: "Um "Ouch" But you w..."

It wouldn't have been personal, Jim. I mean, c'mon... I'd blush and turn my head when my friends brothers and their friends would walk around the house shirtless.

You didn't read this part of my first post, did you?

I still hadn't kissed a boy yet (was my BIGGEST concern in high school), so I went out of my way to hang out with guys I knew wouldn't try to sexualize our relationship. The golf guys were totally innocent and goofy like me... at least they were around me.







message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Heidi wrote: "Jim wrote: "Um "Ouch" But you w..."

It wouldn't have been personal, Jim. I mean, c'mon... I'd blush and turn my head when my friends brothers and their friends would walk around the house shirt..."


I did read it Heidi, and I had some friends I felt that way with too, my next door neighbor was one of my best friends, we were like brother and sister. I am just glad you did what you needed to do.





message 22: by Lori (last edited Jun 03, 2009 01:03PM) (new)

Lori At 16 my strongest objective was to steer clear of my mother before she went off on one her rages. I pretty much stayed in my room at home and listened voraciously to Joni Mitchell as I plotted my escape and patched my jeans so that they looked like a patch-work quilt - this was 1970. I was already a chronic insomniac and supported the flesh tone concealing crap!

I had no idea what I wanted to do, but read alot. Stayed out of the house as much as possible. My parents were convinced I was on drugs, but really only smoked pot very occasionally and never at home. I was in fact a very good girl!

Because I was basically catatonic at home I was loud and obnoxious with friends, ha! I only had 2 close friends, and altho I wanted to be more popular, that pattern of few but very deep friendships lasted my whole life and I later became quite content with that.

I was completely and utterly in love for a boy I was too afraid to get near, but would obsessively ride my bike back and forth along the street he lived, hoping he would come out. hee. I listened to Roberta Flack's The First Time.... Lots of Cat Stevens, Crosby Stills and Nash, Laura Nyro, Judy Collins and other hippy dippy folk music. :)

I played the viola in the school orchestra and the All City High School Orchestra, but never practiced much except when my mother was having one of her fits because I knew she wouldn't disturb my music. When no one was home, I'd put on Swan Lake and flit and flutter around my living room in my old toe shoes.

Oh and I worked on my school newspaper.

Boy was I a mess! :D


message 23: by Lori (new)

Lori BTW Heidi, how long did that marriage with your Mom and the monster last?


message 24: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 03:45PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Lori wrote: "BTW Heidi, how long did that marriage with your Mom and the monster last?"

1988-2001. My sister had it waaaay worse than I did. I moved away to college when she was still in elementary school. He'd make stupid rules like NO chocolate, no razors in her bathroom (he'd confiscate them and split the blades if he found them). He'd dig through her private mail, listen in on her phone calls, forbade either of us to date redheads (because his exwife was a redhead), or to watch any Jane Fonda movies (even though I had to watch Agnes of God for an assignment to write a report-he was a Vietnam vet); he'd leave threatening notes on her dresser... and that was all before she left for college.

My mother had divorce papers drafted a few years before she had him served.

Her hesitance was around "I feel sorry for him - he has no one," and the state's divorce laws splitting all assets 50/50, no matter who was at fault. He had no assets and lots of debt accrued. She had considerably more assets and less debt than he did. No prenups signed.

He's still fighting her for more money in court. I am pretty sure she's not feeling sympathetic towards him anymore.




message 25: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 01:47PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Other than your mom's rages, Lori, your teen years sound pretty cool. Great music, bike riding...

"When no one was home, I'd put on Swan Lake and flit and flutter around my living room in my old toe shoes." was my fave. :)


message 26: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I still do that.


message 27: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Which?


message 28: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Both.


message 29: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments music, bike riding or flitting about in your toe shoes to swan lake?


message 30: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments The last part.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Heidi wrote: "music, bike riding or flitting about in your toe shoes to swan lake?"

Are you sure you want to ask Heidi?




message 32: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Say it. Just... say it.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Pictures, please!


message 34: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 01:56PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Jim wrote: "Are you sure you want to ask Heidi?"

Yep. I'm sure.


message 35: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 01:57PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Jim wrote: "I did read it Heidi, and I had some friends I felt that way with too, my next door neighbor was one of my best friends, we were like brother and sister. I am just glad you did what you needed to do."

Oh, the boys around be weren't all so hormonal, scary. We were mostly innocent, uncorrupted. :)



message 36: by Lori (new)

Lori So how's your sister these days, Heidi? Does she bear psychological scars? He sounds like a serious nutcase aside from being a control freak.


message 37: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 03:15PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Surprisingly, she's fairly well-adjusted. She's a really good mommy. She does need to lay off my nephew's eating habits, though. He'd eat ranch dressing with a side of macaroni and chicken fingers if it was left up to him. She'd like him to eat healthy all the time... no pizza, burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, or mac & cheese. :) He's only 7 (turns 8 in a month), and gets more exercise than both of us combined.


message 38: by Félix (last edited Jun 03, 2009 03:19PM) (new)

Félix (habitseven) I was what used to be termed a juvenile delinquent when I was 16. Well ... not quite. I was on what they called academic track in school (college prep) but I tended to hang out with people who were going to be garage mechanics and such.

I can think of a few times when I was saved by the grace of a higher power while driving or riding in fast cars. In one instance, the car going pretty fast in front of me ('65 Mustang owned by one of my pals) on a back road went sideways into a giant elm tree, splitting the car in two. That was a bad night.

My parents had no clue of the things I was doing in those days.


message 39: by Julie (new)

Julie | 568 comments Heidi, it sounds like your ex-stepdad and my ex-stepdad could be brothers. Pretty much the same crap with mine, controlling, abusive, alcoholic, etc.
But my mom married him when I was 9 and finally divorced him when I was 14 after I had left home and told her I wouldn't come back as long as he was there.
He isolated her from all of her family and friends.
What an ass.
So when I was 16 I was still reeling in the new sensation of freedom that accompanied his absence. I couldn't believe that I could be friends with anyone I wanted(since he didn't approve of pretty much anyone for one reason or another.), and that I could go out of the house to hang out with them.
I was pretty weird, because I tried to be. Something about growing up in a small southern town where everyone seemed to be alike made me decide to go nutso and wear the most tacky things I could find. Orange plaid pants and a fuzzy pink headband were some of my favorites.
I had my two best friends with me all of the time, and we had our own little world. I had a lot of fun, but also was depressed a lot too. I still had a lot of issues from the horrible stepdad thing.
I like to think I have now pushed them all down into a deep dark box inside where they will never ever come back to haunt me. :)



message 40: by Heidi (last edited Jun 03, 2009 03:46PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Julie said: "I was pretty weird, because I tried to be. Something about growing up in a small southern town where everyone seemed to be alike made me decide to go nutso and wear the most tacky things I could find. Orange plaid pants and a fuzzy pink headband were some of my favorites."

YES! OMGoodness, yes! That's so funny (and familiar... not me, but easily some of my friends and/or family).



message 41: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments When I was 16 Loverboy was popular, McDonald's still had signs telling how many hundred thousands had been served and being called a pollack was a put down. A dime bag was pure uncut skunkweed and you drank whatever brand of beer your buddy's old man did. There were no preggo chicks in my school of 500 that anyone knew about and we had one interracial relationship in our school that involved a girl from Texas with bad acne. Sound like my pop now don't I? LOL


message 42: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Wait wait wait wait ... that was Julie who said that. I never wore fuzzy pink headbands. Well... hardly ever.


message 43: by Julie (last edited Jun 03, 2009 04:33PM) (new)

Julie | 568 comments Okay, I found a picture.

It's really bad because I don't have a scanner here, so I just took a photo of the photo, but you get the general idea.

Here I am, 16 in all my weirdness. Plaid pants and fuzzy headband included.




message 44: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Quick edit there, Heidi.

Is that your dog, Julie?


message 45: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments I woulda been lightin' myself on fire and doing wheelie's on my bike to hang out with you


message 46: by Julie (new)

Julie | 568 comments Kevin "El Liso Grande" wrote: "I woulda been lightin' myself on fire and doing wheelie's on my bike to hang out with you"

Aw, how sweet!!
(and I totally would've fallen for it:)

And no, Larry, it was a friend's dog.


message 47: by Lori (new)

Lori Julie - you left home at 14? Where did you move to? I guess what I'm asking is if you had any legal problems to do so, some kind of guardianship. Sounds just awful. Butgreat pic!


message 48: by Julie (new)

Julie | 568 comments Oh, no it wasn't that big of a deal, cause I have a lot of family.
I just had to go live with my sister, but my mom didn't try to stop me at that point.
I was only gone for around 6 months before she kicked him out.
I left cause he had decided to take me out of school and learn me all I needed to know himself.
What a hick.


message 49: by Lori (new)

Lori Heh. He wanted to learn you. Learn you proper English no doubt.


message 50: by Julie (new)

Julie | 568 comments Yup. That and how to hate Mexicans.


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