The other day I saw an ad for a Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Break titled “Play by your rules teaser”, where the narrator hypothesises:
Imagine you met your 16 year old self.
What would he say about you…
about your job,
Make him proud.
Meeting my 16 Year Old Self
This got me thinking hard and took me down a trippy rabbit hole… If I met my 16 year old self, he would totally flip. He would not believe what he’d be seeing. He would totally get hard and his mind would run wild non-stop for 8 days and nights straight.
What would he say about me?
He would say that after so long I got the guts to do what he thought was not for him; what was not possible. He would probably ask me how in the world I did it and why I waited so long. He would not fathom the energy I put in changing my gender expression.
Putting in context the bigotry and conservatism in which he grew up he would be torn between a sense of shame and relief that I did what I’ve done.
He would totally ask me to borrow and try some of my outfits. It would be a wild all-nighter dress-up session and we would take thousands of photos him dressing up.
About my job
He would be somewhat surprised that I developed into digital media education. He would not believe our dependency on interconnectivity but he would not be surprised about how I got to where I am professionally.
Though he would understand how I’m a loner he would not be able to comprehend my persistence in taking dance and fitness classes. He would be mostly onboard with my choice of outfits though he may want me to wear more daring things. Remember, he’s just 16.
He would laugh at how little I eat and tease me with what he can eat without any repercussion on his weight and size. He would be amazed at my ability to restrict myself from eating many of the things he loves to eat without limitation. He would find it almost impossible that I’m roughly the same size as him.
He would wholeheartedly approve of my car and would ask to take it for a wild drive. It would be very interesting to ride shotgun with him at the wheel in my car.
Make him proud
Overall he would be very proud, probably more astonished than anything else, and maybe with his lack of empathy, exposure and experience, he may also be a bit ashamed of my gender expression.
What if He Were to Meet Me?
Writing this almost makes me cry. I’m sixteen again.
One thing is my current self meeting my 16 year old self and seeing it with my adult eyes. Seeing how naive and unripe he is, understanding what’s in his head in those days and his environment at the time. I just saw him. We locked eyes and stared at each other. He’s so full of himself thinking he’s bigger than life. Such an arrogant prick. He wouldn’t dare tell his friends what he’s thinking deep inside. Maybe I would slap him and tell him to cool it.
Another thing is seeing it from his perspective, where he only wonders what it would be like, thinking about it every day and not having the most minimal clue that he could do it. He had no idea, no indication, no real incentive. His environment and its expectations of him never offering a sliver of hope to try what he longs.
My current self cannot imagine what kind of implications meeting me would have on my 16 year old self. After the 8 days and nights of non-stop wild running mind, I don’t know what he would do. Probably he would be motivated to start his process right there and then. Probably he would get depressed that he could not do it at that time. Though he knew exactly what he was, his interests, his life long curiosity, I don’t believe he could see a path forward. I’m kinda glad he didn’t meet me. It may have caused him the dysphoria I never had. He may have lost that arrogant confidence.
Before meeting me he would not know about the possibility of starting his process for a few decades more. But if he actually knew it was possible, I don’t think there was any way he would have waited as much as I did. I don’t know how he would have dealt with that knowledge back in that conservative environment full of expectations from him.
P.S. You can watch the ad on the Mercedes-Benz YouTube channel.