Welcome to another installment of Things I Would Tell My 20-Year Old Self.
Today we have my friend Sam
from Met Another Frog
here to do the honors. I have big love for the blogging team over at Met Another Frog
. They manage to put out awesome, original, thought provoking content about sex & relationships almost daily – which, if you blog yourself you know is no easy feat. I’m convinced that they are in fact blogging superheroes.
Since we heard from his blogging partner in crime Skye Blue
this fall, I was looking forward to getting Sam’s male perspective on what he would tell his younger self. Even though Sam’s a guy, I can still relate to a lot of the advice he gives his younger self. When I was 20 I partied like a rockstar, got naked with “crazies” (ahem, sometimes I was the “crazy” in that equation) and swigged my share of bottom shelf booze. I hope you enjoy his witty writing as much as I do!
As is typically the case with blogging Superheroes, Sam’s identity is shrouded in mystery. For a visual, this was the best I could come up with. I’m sure the ladies won’t mind the view!
My birthday is coming up and I can’t help but reflect a little, to think about what I have and haven’t done, to contemplate areas in my life that could use a little improvement and pat myself on the back for things I’ve done well. But with the years flying by and my age advancing at an alarming rate, I, like many people who have yet to get married or “settle down”, have begun really evaluating my choices in one area in particular: The sex/dating/mating arena.
I’m well into my 30s now and though I don’t think that’s old I recognize that the 20 year old version of me would beg to differ. But then again, the 20 year old version of me thought guzzling Long Island Ice Teas, downing shots of Southern Comfort plus smoking cheap cigars while swigging Grand Marnier and bumping and grinding with scantily clad young co-eds was a good time (okay, part of that is still a good time); a time when Peach Schnapps was still the height of sophistication.
And like most of us, there are things I really wish I knew then, things I wish someone had pulled me aside and shared before I decided that doing the Worm at the Homecoming Blow-Out would be the way to capture the hearts and minds, if not the bodies of the watching female population. So, if give the chance, here are the three biggest lessons I wish I could impart to the younger, brasher version of myself:
1.Less Is More: In almost every sphere of experience, and certainly when pursuing the opposite sex, less is more. Less cologne. Less drinking. Less (false) bravado. Less conformity. At 20 my primary concerns were girls, fun, drinking and girls. And really fun and drinking were just euphemisms for getting girls and being drunk enough to not fear rejection from girls. So, if 20 year old me called looking for advice before a night on the town, in order I would say, take it easy on the Cool Water, getting sh** faced doesn’t make you more clever it just makes you sh** faced, flashing a money clip or wads of cash at the bar while barking “dude, you wanna do Jager Bombs” only makes you a douche, and just because you play on the basketball team doesn’t mean you all have to be dressed similarly at the club
2.Crazy In The Head does not equal Crazy In The Bed: Look, we’ve all dealt with a bit of crazy. Sometimes we’ve been the crazy. Seriously, who among us hasn’t said something along the lines of “s/he’s bat sh** crazy but man the sex is so good”. Well, I’m here to tell the world that being certifiably insane is not a prerequisite for good sex. When I stopped to reflect on partners I classified as crazy in the head but crazy in the bed I realized two things: First, it wasn’t the crazy that made the sex good it was that these particular individuals were open and willing to try new things; crazy has little or nothing to do with that. Second, what constitutes good sex at 20 is going to be waaaay different at 30. In fact, I think sex gets better as you mature and become more comfortable with yourself and better understand your likes and dislikes. Sex at 20 was an Olympic event; harder, longer, faster etc…Now, for me at least, I’m not competing I’m participating. So, if 20 year old me is listening through the mists of time, step away from the crazy girl, step away from the crazy girl. Seriously. You’ll save yourself time, energy, scratch marks and death threats.
3.Valentine’s Schmalentine’s: I’m not going to give you guys one of those “Valentine’s is such a commercial rip-off, plus you should be treating your partner well all the time” speeches. Though I do believe all of that is true. But I do wish I could tell 20 year old me to take a breath and not put so pressure on himself. Maybe a little background is needed. The young lady I spent Valentine’s Day with when I was 20 had a laundry list of do’s and don’ts for this day. Her expectations were high and she seemed locked into some form of Cold War-esque brinksmanship with her friends to see who could up the ante and receive the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. This was stressful and dispiriting. And do you know where that girl is now? Well I don’t either and I couldn’t care less. Point being, anyone making such a big deal out of Valentine’s is probably missing the intended point of the day to begin with. Listen, young Sam Sharpe, find yourself a girl who doesn’t put that much stock into Valentine’s Day, a young lady who cares and appreciates you for who are. And you know what? Without that pressure to meet some weird or arbitrary standard you’ll likely feel more inclined and able to do something nice or special for that special someone.
Now, those three lessons would do 20 year old me a world of good. But the truth is it works both ways. As setbacks, heartbreaks and breakups have hardened my heart and jaded my soul, there are a few things I could learn from 20 year old me. Here is one:
Kick Back Relax and Have Some Fun: As much as I mock some of the things I found entertaining in my youth there is still much to learn from it. Somewhere along the line, as I entered the work force with bill payments and student loans bogging me down I forgot the sheer thrill of just going out with my crew. I forgot how good, energizing and just plain fun it was or is to hang out with my friends. The past couple weekends have afforded me the chance to do just that. I’m sure 20 year old me would be miffed to know that the crew I rolled with every weekend in my 20s might get together two or three times a year if we’re lucky. Blame a combination of work (all of us), kids (them) and neglect (again, all of us) for that. On a couple of occasions I’ve heard it said that a variation on “I should have spent more time with or made more time for my friends” is one of the more prominent regrets of the aged and infirm. Not to be a downer or anything but I don’t want to be on my death bed wishing I’d seen my friends more often.
They say youth is wasted on the young. They also say experience teaches wisdom. Which really could just be interpreted as a more polite way of saying wisdom is wasted on the mature. Or you really have to screw things up a bunch of times before you figure anything out. Regardless, with my birthday on the horizon I prefer not to worry too much about all of that. I prefer to laugh off the folly of my youth and prepare to enjoy the experiences to come. I hope you do too.
What would you tell your 20-year old (or younger) self?
More “Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self”: