but I already WAS flossing


You are given a time machine for one purpose only: you get to go back and visit yourself at 20 years old for about five minutes. When you arrive, and your 20-year-old self is done freaking out, what exactly do you tell yourself as advice?

IanXY88(bl).jpg  IanLucyFarmLawn(bl).jpg

meaning THIS guy has to listen to this OTHER guy… (pics: 1988, 2007)

0 thoughts on “but I already WAS flossing

  1. Salem's Little Sister

    1. Put down the bong and go to class.
    2. Moving to Texas when you are 24 with only your dog and a dream will be the best decision you’re ever going to make.
    3. Do not let an ass in a Camero, living with his parents and sporting acid washed jeans and a matching jacket make you feel like you are lucky to be with him. Please give him a smack in the face.
    4. You are never going to be a label maker, on time or a Junior Leager and that is ok! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you aren’t enough, because you aren’t living out the dream they had for you. This is your life, not theirs.
    5. We will still miss Dad every minute of every day, but it won’t be such a sickening, raw pain.
    6. You are going to marry an amazing man who loves you to pieces and have a precious son.
    7. Do NOT dye your hair red for Halloween even if it makes a more authentic Thelma and Louise. That shit will not wash out!

  2. Megan

    1. Put down the bong and go to class. (tm Salem’s Little Sister)
    2. That red-headed bass player *will* break your heart into million tiny pieces, but you will find love again at least twice.
    3. You will find a career that provides both financial and intellectual sustenance.
    4. SSRIs will only get better, and they will save your life.
    5. You will marry a nice guy who worships you.

  3. Scott

    I wouldn’t say a thing. I wouldn’t want to alter history in the slightest.
    I might encourage him to exercise a bit more, and try a little harder to not be a stubborn idiot at times. But even that might change something.

  4. GFWD

    1. Go ahead and shave that cheesy moustache and cut off that mullet TODAY. You cannot imagine how spectacularly tacky that look is going to be in the future. In fact, how do you feel about being bald? And weighing 50 lbs. more than you do right now? Just asking . . . no particular reason.
    2. Speaking of fashion, that one tuck thing you do with your shirt in the front of your khaki shorts . . . well, it’s never really going to be in style, but you stick with it baby. Even though it hasn’t “come back around” even 20 years later, we must keep the faith.
    3. Worry not that Kansas just hired Roy Williams to be their coach. He’ll be back. And he’s going to win two more titles at Carolina before you turn 40.
    4. Speaking of titles, Dean is going to nab another after that Rat Bastard in Durm gets a couple, back to back. And you’ll hate Laettner WAY more than Danny Ferry. Ferry, by the way, will one day buy you a beer at the Selwyn Pub in Charlotte.
    5. How do you feel about both of your Achilles tendons? Just to put it in perspective . . . you’re gonna blow them both out.
    6. Interesting that you enjoy all-nighters and staying up late. That won’t change, but you’re never going to get to sleep in again. Ever.
    7. Your friend barometer is remarkably accurate. You will be keeping in touch with many of the friends surrounding you right now. How you ask? Well, it’s complicated, but it involves computers and pocket-sized telephones. You’ll see.
    8. Hey, keep reading that Wednesday’s Child column on the back of the DTH. You’ll understand later. And look for a pink house somewhere in town. Your friend Gai can help you find it.
    9. You can keep looking around, but she’s not going to be found anywhere on campus. She’ll look like she’s a Carolina girl, but she’s in Atlanta right now. She’s four years younger than you and probably two years more mature. A friend you haven’t yet met will introduce you. You’ll figure it out.
    10. One day you’re going to be looking into the eyes of two little people who look up to you with your same eyes and features. Little versions of you. It will fill you with love, joy, awe and responsibility all at the same time. It will be the most rewarding job you ever have.
    11. Speaking of jobs . . . remember how you used to love watching Perry Mason as a kid? I’m just saying.
    12. Don’t feel too bad for Harvey Gantt. You’re not gonna believe who becomes POTUS after the next two presidents.
    13. You know how you feel about being at Carolina right now? Lucky for you, that feeling NEVER GOES AWAY.

  5. LFMD

    Of course, this advice would have altered the course of LFMD life history, but here goes. . .
    1. Lighten up
    2. Don’t study so hard
    3. Sleep around
    4. You’ll be hearing about a little pill called Prozac in the news soon. Look into it.

  6. Greg T.

    1. Go to Carolina – you will never regret it.
    2. Stand up straight and keep your eyes up! Otherwise, 20 years from now you will drive yourself nuts trying to change.
    3. There is nothing wrong with taking medications.
    4. There is nothing wrong with talking to a therapist.
    5. Take chances!

  7. eric g.

    1. Let go of the past. It’s not coming back.
    2. Yeah, it sucks that Glen Rice torched us for 36 points. But take heart. There are going to be three national championships in the next 20 years.
    3. Don’t get married the first time you think you should.
    4. Buy stock in anything involving a computer.
    5. As it turns out, old Alfa Romeos aren’t such reliable everyday transportation.
    6. Beware of the real estate market.
    7. Get a pug. Now.
    8. Relax. It’s going to be all right.

  8. tbruns

    1) Go with your best friend and bike ride up and down the California coast ( yes I know it means leaving Ohio) Who knows what will happen
    2) Take the first opportunity and move in to the house closest to the University of Cincinnati campus. Who needs money at this age?
    3) Date date date…hell you don’t have to love them right now..liking is enough, you never know you may get laid!
    4) Make a decision about your education and don’t listen to Uncle Bob you probably would have made a damn good English teacher

  9. LFMD

    One other thing:
    Be kind to your parents. Stop with the snark and be respectful well. Friends will come and friends will go, but in the end, your family will always be there for you.

  10. julie

    1. Trust your gut; it really is pretty accurate.
    2a. That dude from high school that you’re about to start dating? So not worth it (I’m a high school senior in this scenario)!
    2b. Speaking of boys – that guy that you will meet in freshman year. After the first break-up, get over it. No need to punish yourself 2 more times; people just don’t change that much. Whatever bothers you the first time around will still bother you the second and third, but the second and third break-ups will get progressively worse emotionally.
    3. Don’t worry so much that you don’t know “what you want to be when you grow up.” What you end up doing is so off the realm of realistic consideration – you don’t even know it exists.
    4. Life can be very circular – don’t worry that you may end up back here and work with people you’ve known practically your whole life. It’s ok that you didn’t move far. You’ve traveled a lot and visited many places; sometimes there is no place like home.

  11. Big Scott

    1a. Put down the bong and go to class. (tm Salem’s Little Sister)
    1b. Put down the beer and go to class.
    1c. Put down the bourbon and go to class.
    1d. Get out of her bed and go to class.
    1e. Get out of your bed and go to class.
    2. You only have to meet the right one once. It will make all of the heartache and misery with all of the other ones fade into insignificance.
    3. Learn how to appreciate differences in others.
    4. Be a little nicer on a daily basis.
    5. Judge less, forgive more.
    Sadly, I would have never listened to any of these suggestions at that age. Thankfully, #2 may have happened anyway. That being said, I’m glad my wife didn’t know me back then.

  12. MarkC

    1. buy stock in Sun Microsystems
    2. Study statistics more, seriously you will like it (you are a geek, embrace it)
    3. Sign-up for a marathon
    4. Read Chomsky, Kant, Nietzsche, Foucault, etc… but don’t expect answers, relax and embrace that too, it is who you are
    5. Carolina for grad school is the right call, consider a Ph.D. too, it is hard to get back once you leave
    6. When you get to Chapel Hill look up Ian Williams, I bet he would be fun to hang out with

  13. michelle

    1. It’s great that you’ve finally decided to get good grades this year (you are a 17-year-old high school senior) but don’t be such a dick to Sean and Brynne.
    2. When you go to Hawaii for five weeks next summer, ENJOY IT. Don’t be such a sour puss all the freaking time.
    3. Your romantic life will suck balls for the next 19 years, but the twentieth year will make it all worth it (and you won’t believe how beautiful the ring is!!!! Or how lovely your future husband is.)
    4. Don’t be scared about moving to Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, Napa, anywhere. Every move will bring you great things. (Well, except maybe Kansas City. If you can get out of there – and out of that douchebag’s life sooner – do it.)
    5. Make an even greater effort to see your family as often as humanly possible, especially when you all live in the same city.
    6. Go easy on the Midori and Zima in college.
    7. College won’t be as fun for you as most other people, because you are going to be too serious and work too hard (when you aren’t drinking Midori and Zima) but you’ll make up for it when you move to Chicago.
    8. Keep the faith. He really does show up.

  14. CM

    1. Keep the faith. He really does show up.(tm Michelle)
    2. Change your haircut. The ’80s are over.
    3. Keep writing even though your next five novels will be rejected. The next will make you a little money that will probably save your life.

  15. Ehren

    Nobody really cares about whether or not you succeed. The only person it really matters to is you. Stop doing shit just to piss off authority figures — they could care less. 90% of things that happen to you are your fault or your success. Act accordingly.
    Also, learn to play an instrument and buy stock in Sun Microsystems or Apple.

  16. kate

    I was around Lucy’s age 20 years ago, so I doubt anything I tell my 4½ year old self will stick. :)
    This is for myself 10 years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school…
    1. You’re not going to keep in touch with any of these people after high school, so stop worrying so much about what any of them think of you.
    2. You WILL, however, keep in very close touch with your sister. She’s your best friend. And she’s awesome, so treat her a little better.
    3. What happens on 8/17/01 isn’t your fault.
    4. Carolina is definitely the right choice. Don’t be so afraid when you first get there.
    5. Living with your brother will be one of the best experiences of your life.
    6. J-School. Look into it immediately.
    7. People lie shamelessly about stuff you wouldn’t believe.
    8. The experience of learning you don’t know a person AT ALL after 2 years sucks, but it will not permanently shake your ability and desire to trust and love other people. It will take you about a year to realize this.
    9. 2008 is not your finest year.
    – 9a. Moving to Chicago in August with no money and no job and a lease on an apartment you can’t afford is the dumbest thing you will do. So how’s about you save yourself and the ‘rents alot of money and time and just don’t do it?
    – 9b. Oh, wait, lying to your parents about graduating is the dumbest thing you will do. Maybe instead of #9a, you stay in Chapel Hill and take the last 3 hours you need…?
    10. You DO get your degree, even though it feels like you never will. And it’s okay to be proud of yourself when you do. Just because it took you 6+ years, it doesn’t mean it’s still not an accomplishment.
    “You know, a lot of people go to college for seven years…”
    “Yeah, they’re called doctors.”

  17. Salem's Little Sister


  18. julie

    As another addition to Neva and Salem’s Little Sister…when any guy tells you of course there is no girlfriend, turn around and walk quickly away. Do not care about how (fill in the blanks) he is.
    Also – stay away from the KA house. It will never happen and you shouldn’t wish that it would.

  19. Salem

    1. There’s a book, Delivered from Distraction. Check it out.
    2. If you’re going to be a slave your first eight years after college, do it in NYC.
    3. Do not wait to take your Math requirement until summer school of your fifth year. If you do, it will not go well.

  20. ally

    So many things I wish I could say. The top 5 are:
    1. Finish your thesis.
    2. Believe and trust yourself a bit more but don’t be scared to ask for help.
    3. Grow out your hair. Stop slouching.
    4. That guy, the one you are convinced is the one, isn’t the one.
    5. Call your mother more often.

  21. LFMD

    More pearls of wisdom:
    If your friends think that the wonderful boy you have a huge crush on is gay, then he probably is. Save yourself the heartache, and move on.
    You are so cute and you don’t even know it. You won’t be surrounded by your own peer group forever. Have fun! Be confident! Experiment! Kiss lots of boys (not the gay ones, though – see earlier advice!)

  22. Rebecca

    1. Go ahead and have sex. You’re going to love it!
    2. Sleep around – what the hell! You’re young!
    3. Don’t have sex with boys from dook. They’re not that good.
    4. Walk away from Bill. He’s not the one. (Okay – have sex with him first. He’s a good first lover.)
    5. You know Bill’s roommate Matt? The introverted genius from New York who listens to weird music? Let’s just say you’ll get used to the music…

  23. GFWD

    Looks like I’ve gotten some solid leads to take back to the 19 year old me!
    14. Go to Manley Dorm and look for a girl named Laurie. She is on a new kick, having recently talked to HER future self, and looking to get lucky more often. So, I’m telling you that you might have a chance.
    15. Find Neva. Get the courage to talk to her while your roomie hits on her friend. Make fun of drunken frat boys. Talk about med school.

  24. Neva

    these ARE awesome!
    I’ve got one… tell GFWD his mullet so damn cool!
    And, I’d mention to my young self to exercise more – you’ll feel so much better. But, I’m sure I wouldn’t listen.

  25. LFMD

    One other thing for young LFMD to do:
    Blow off class (I never missed a single class in all four years. Not one. Even when sick. Nuts!) and pick up that bong.

  26. LFMD

    First, Young LFMD would have to go to the card catalogue at Davis Library and figure out what exactly a bong was, but you get the picture.

  27. Rebecca

    Laurie – Greg DID set the campus on fire. Or maybe that was Ruffin… Love ya GFWD!!! (And tell Ruffin I said hello again!)

  28. emma

    Maybe trying to set up your two best friends while you are in law school – not the best idea. It’s okay though, one will still marry you and the other will remain a dear friend.
    Get off your butt and exercise. You will really like it, once you try it.
    Keep having fun. You have more free time now than you ever will for the next 20 years.
    See if you can get an invite to a party at the Lodge.

  29. emma

    Oh, and don’t be so tight with money. If you are in Europe and have the chance to see the Sistine Chapel, pay the money. When will you have the chance to do that again?

  30. janet

    “don’t take life too seriously……….caus life don’t even know your name ” …….the trick is to know just that.

  31. Big Scott

    “You have more free time now than you ever will for the next 20 years.”
    This might be the best one yet in my book. Being back in graduate school at 40 years old (how did that happen?), I can’t believe the 23 year olds that I hear, “I don’t have any time” and “I don’t know how I’m going to get everything done.” Try it with a full-time job and two young children. Sheesh! But, then again, I didn’t appreciate it at the time either.
    If I only knew then what I know now. See earlier entries about putting down all of the mental and physical intoxicants (and the basketball for that matter).

  32. Joanna

    It could have been so easy. . .
    1. Break up with long distance boyfriend.
    2. Move out of grad student dorm to coed undergrad dorm.
    3. Quit worthless jobs (e.g. Brueggers at 7:00am Sundays).
    1. Find friends with bongs who skip class.
    2. Quit the sorority.
    3. Take fine arts classes, despite risk to GPA.
    4. Return that particular phone call.
    5. Look up Matt Hanley in the student directory and track him down.
    6. Take a break from serious relationships. You aren’t getting married anytime soon.
    7. Have more casual, safe sex.
    8. Try St. John’s Wort and otherwise seek help when needed.
    9. Tell parents this character building crap has to stop and demand money.
    10. Know yourself before contemplating grad school and, if that’s too vague, never go to law school.

  33. Caitlin

    1. Don’t worry that you don’t know what to do with your life, you still won’t know when you are 36.
    2. Don’t buy that crappy and overpriced plywood loft bed for your dorm room; don’t attempt to cook in that “kitchen” on the third floor of Winston; and don’t go see Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” movie when you were feeling depressed anyway.
    3. Despite title of this post, start flossing now. Your future self’s periodontist will be out thousands of dollars and you will be grateful.
    4. That drunken fling in Prague turns out to be a very good thing.

  34. Eileen

    I would lie. I’d say in my kindest, most sincere voice – “Everything’s gonna be alright,” because why worry me?
    Or, I could tell the truth – “Not everyone is as kind as you and sadly, people don’t always mean what they say, but just keep on loving and do your best to live each day. And guess what? Time travel will be possible, so that’s cool.”
    Then jump into the Delorean and don’t look back!

  35. Joanna

    Strike #7.
    I’m don’t think 20 year olds are emotionally equipped to handle that. With some of these suggestions, are the mature versions of ourselves projecting?

  36. janet

    aw ian…………i just want to hugg you………..i am giving up cigs today……….because my kids want me to………………am gonna do it…………..bloody hard thing to do………………………………………………………………….but priceless in the reward…….

  37. Neva

    was hoping to hear yours today Ian!
    I’ve got one more – learn Spanish, while your brain is still young. Maybe even go do an immersion program or something. You’ll use it later. I promise!

  38. Sean

    1) If you have a passion and a dream – think very carefully and soberly about it. You’re not a very emotionally stable person, so your dreams and passions may very well be aspects of some greater illness, so make your decisions carefully.
    2) Quit screwing your friends.
    3) There are things for which you have talent. These things are meaningless. There are things you’re bad at. Don’t be humiliated or humbled by that, just let them go. There are things you are *good* at, which is different than being talented. These things will become the important things, so focus on that.
    4) If possible, love your friends even more and, when possible, love your lovers significantly less. Your friends are way more important. Eventually, you’ll find a best friend that you love having sex with. Marry that person.

  39. Annon

    1.) Don’t get married now just because you’re engaged (!) and its the next logical step. You need to live on your own for a few years to gain perspective and learn how to pick up after yourself. You may end up with the same guy anyway but do yourself a favour and choose him instead of walk blindly down a path because you don’t want to rock the boat.
    2.) There are these things called student loans you can get — anyone can get them, you don’t have to be rich already. Stop blaming your parents for not understanding the system when you graduated, its not like that where they’re from.
    3.) Your lack of extended formal education ends up to be a blessing not a curse. You still end up in a job where you hire people with more education than you in specific areas, to help you make decisions. You won’t believe what will be on your business card in ten years. Keep working hard and pay attention to that kind CPA who needs some help and is willing to teach you.
    4.) You’ll continue to get hired for your front desk appeal over your abilities for the next 7 years. So what? Don’t be jaded and cynical about it. You end up exceeding expectations of those who hired you in that manner and eventually have a job you’ll love, and respect from those around you for your intellect. You’ll know when you find it, because the guy interviewing you will ask what you want to do with your life, and you’re left without an answer because that will be the first time someone asked. Ask your self now, and answer.
    5.) You know that training you got to babysit the kid who needed injections? It will come in handy with your own baby. You become great in making tough daily decisions over another little person’s life.
    6.) Its never too late to change yourself and your attitudes. Lighten up!
    7.) You really shouldn’t get so very drunk around men, even those who you think you know well. You’ll get yourself in trouble and hurt people.
    8.) Keep doing what you’re doing with the friendships, you’re doing a great job and you’ll have many in the years to come, some very close and dear to you where you’ll least expect it.
    9.) Don’t cut your hair short. It looks funky for about 4 hours and that’s it.
    10.) Figure out a way, get help even, to gather your self confidence from within. Simply seeking and getting attention doesn’t mean anything about your worth. It becomes hollow and before you know it you’ll be in your mid thirties and you’ll wonder wtf was that all about.

  40. elisabeth

    Going to California for graduate school is a great idea and you will finish.
    Don’t hold so many grudges. Keep up with your old friends, they may not be here forever. Ditto for family.

  41. wottop

    I actually had this chance. When I graduated from college in December of 1990, my father suggested I go out to Colorado and work at a ski resort before getting a real job. My 22-year-old self decided not to.
    After working these last 20 years, I realize how right he was.


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