So, here’s a photograph of me at age seventeen–taken with a crappy cell phone a few years ago. Now check out the third photo down of Tavi Gevinson. Hilarious. In a back to the future situation, we would totally be pals in high school. I wish I’d been wearing my own beloved tiara in my photo. I’m in my thirties now and I’ve changed in some ways, but at my core I still feel like the same person. It’s strange to realize that my mom was my age (she was a very young mom) when this photo was taken.

Would I have had a style blog at 17? HELL YES! Sometimes I really wish the seventeen year old me could have had the access that kids today have to Flickr and other creative tools starting at such a young age. I would have loved the possibilities. The chance to connect with kindred spirits would have been amazing. I don’t regret the analog way that I grew up, but I get a little twinge sometimes. I’ve definitely found a number of pals online over the past few years that I adore, but we all had so many experiences before our iPhones and Macbooks. Days seemed to last longer when we were kids and we really got to know ourselves.

I’m curious to see where this early access to tools, outlets and ability to quickly find birds of a feather leads the next generation of creative kids. Watching clever, brave ladies like Tavi and Olivia Bee grow up online makes me feel hopeful. It’s nice to see the misfits so stealthily take back the night. They are smart and strong–I love what they have to say and I feel relieved to see such vibrant and poignant viewpoints emerging from the next league of ladies. So young and already creative, shining stars. I wonder if they will create careers for themselves that always have a public aspect or if they will be able to feel comfortable for periods of time with breaks from it. I’m looking forward to seeing how they decide to navigate through this challenge.

How would it feel to have so much of your identity wrapped up in sharing your thoughts and creative work, non-stop and on such a grand scale? Are they missing that solitude that the kids of my generation were able to easily carve out for themselves? Do they get those solid hours of introspection and reclusiveness you need sometimes when you’re honing your craft, working on your art and just figuring out who you are? Do they need them? How do you truly define yourself while everyone is watching?

4 Responses to “Seventeen”
  1. britt speakman says:

    Exactly the questions I’ve been wrasslin’ with, as the mother of an almost-four-year-old girl. I LOVE you!

  2. verhext says:

    & how do you define yourself when you can just google for an identity? I LOVED the thrill of the find. and was SURE I was the only one who liked certain things.

  3. Sarah says:

    Such a thoughtful post! I think it’s much easier on them than it was on us because they can reach out to the world and find validation in ways that were almost impossible for us, but of course they have their own host of problems that will ensue (i.e. what happens to a fragile teenager when their fickle fashion fans turn their backs on them?) p.s. I nominated you for Liebster Blog Award! xoxo Sarah

  4. Jen McCabe says:

    Britt– I love YOU!

    Tamera–I loved the thrill of the find too and I guess along that path you always learn about more things that you love, the history of it and learn to be self-reliant.

    Sarah–I think so too and THANKS, lady! xoxo