As I stirred my mug of Maxwell House, I had a sudden flashback to ten years ago when, instead of trying to complete an essay for my masters, I was struggling to do some preparatory sketches for art class in secondary school. I stayed up so late those nights with my first boyfriend, trying to squeeze enough kisses and handjobs out of the day, that I’d be too exhausted to do any homework, so I’d have to wake up at 6 am to do those sketches – or get an earful from Ms. Walsh. A lifetime ago. A different Emma. But still remarkably the exact same person. Fifteen year old me was a coffee novice, gulping cups of instant shite, then slurping down mochas from the vending machine in school before after-school study. Mochas, imagine! I’d get irritable around 4 pm, whether from coffee-withdrawal or downright tiredness, who’s to say?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fifteen year old, almost sixteen year old me. Ten years seems like a very significant milestone. I’m happy to put some distance between then me and now me. I think I had a pretty by-the-book adolescence: boyfriends, underage drinking, all those teenage dramas. It was never dull. I’m glad it happened the way it did (if nothing else, it provided enough fodder for all that teen-angst blogging). However, I’m also happy to say it was forever ago. Not that twenty-five year old me is all that different. Given the time, resources, and attention, I’d probably behave the exact same way, making the same mistakes and embarrassing myself in the exact same way. Maybe the only thing preventing that from happening is the fact that I have a job and – somehow – a reputation that I’m rather keen not to tarnish.