Reconnection with a Younger Me

Posted on: 05/22/2023

I feel old. You wanna know why? Well, it's been about 6 years since I started running text RPs on popular messaging client Discord.

This realization has come with a lot of self-reflection-- on the boy I used to be, on my writing errors and wins of the past, and of the friends that I made along the way. It was a whole different time back then, where most of us were high-schoolers with nothing better to do, and plot events used to go by in the blink of an eye. Looking at us now, post-COVID, post-graduation, it's weird to think that everything used to happen so fast. It's altogether very sobering to realize I used to get mad when nothing happened for like, a week, and now that's my RP circle's standard.

As winter turns to spring, I've found myself reconnecting with some of these friends that I made in the early days and have drifted apart from for one reason or another-- most of the reasons boiling down to, well, we're adults. We have more important things to do. There are some exceptions, of course, but one thing seldom changes: we're all still thinking about each other, all the time.

For the better part of the last few months, I've been recapturing some of the joy of collaborative character creation with two of my longtime friends and catching up. I think it's the happiest I've been in a while, which is a little funny, because the two characters that this whole thing centers around arguably represent me at some of my lowest points. They hate the characters of people that I hated, they share a great deal of my teenage asshole tendencies (whether I meant for them to or not), and they're both so deeply toxic.

That's not to say I don't enjoy writing toxic entanglements, I think the most fun writing I've ever done generally revolves around people being horrible to each other in various intentional (and unintentional) ways, but when I look into the eyes of these characters, I am confronting myself at 15, at 17, when I wanted a world that bent to my will so I could catch a fucking break from it all.

It's weird.

Right now, I exist in the general internet peripherals of a group of ~15ish year olds who love the SMG4 show more than anything in the world. Like it or not, I am once again bearing witness to the world at 15. It's confusing, and angry, and you never know what anyone is thinking. Admittedly, I have a lot to say about the Internet that we're letting Gen Z grow up into, but I'm hoping to save the meat of that for an essay further down the line. You know, once I can hone down the topic to something digestible.

The point is, I'm trying to be nicer to my younger self. That's not to say I'm ignoring all the fights I used to pick or the shit I used to sling for literally no good reason. I was a brat and an asshole. But my brain wasn't developed, I had next to no friends or hobbies outside of the internet, and I was generally taught that it was funny to be mean. It took a lot of learning the hard way to grow out of that, and I'm altogether thankful for the people in my life who were patient enough to stick by me.

If there's one thing I want to instill into the people younger than me that are currently going through this for the first time, it's that it's okay to make mistakes. Being a teenager, especially now, is hard as shit! It feels like everyone is hostile towards you simply for existing, simply for having the potential to cause trouble, and you can feel unwanted and angry as a result. The most important thing you can do is be gracious to others, at least try to understand where they're coming from, right? Because if it ever happens to you, people will try to do the same for you.

Anyways, I'll step off my soapbox now.

I've got to go to a work assembly soon, so I'm going to cut it off here. Um, something, something, apologies for not having any website content to show for my absence. I'd love to work more on this ol' thing, but my OC brainrot is kind of preventing me from doing anything but thinking about things adjacent to them. Maybe next month! Or... the month after that? Ahh, no telling what the future will hold...

This is Medley, signing off.