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November 20, 2018

Would Seventeen Year Old You Punch You in the Face?

If the younger version of you met you today, what would he say?

When I was 17 I used to skateboard at all hours of the night throughout the financial district of Toronto. It was one of the most peaceful times to be downtown as nobody was around. It was just the security guards, my crew and the occasional vagrant. Sometimes we'd run into a film crew or the fuzz, but usually nobody was around.

The financial district was a particularly great place for street skating because of all the stairs, benches and other slick concrete structures. At the time I was a moderately good skater and still have a few distinct memories of landing some pretty nice tricks.

One night in a hidden corner just south of the Sheraton Centre I was skating with my friend Jason. It was a hot and humid night, so we took off our clothes and started skating in our underwear. This information is tangential to my point, but it's a detail too fucked up to leave out.

Anyway, I distinctly recall swearing to Jason that night I would NEVER wear a suit. I'd never become a man stuffed in an expensive uniform pushing paper and pretending to be important. Nah, I was sure I'd harness my creativity and end up doing something related to the arts...or become a professional skateboarder.

Man, if I had a time machine and flew back to that night the younger me would smack me so damn hard. (Actually, we'd be smacking each other for various reasons, but that's another story.)

Look at 44 year old me. Earrings - gone. Suit - on. I work in a cube farm. I basically sold out my skater, artist and musician friends for money. Oh, it's not the subject matter I detest - I am deeply interested in finance, economics and the way the world works. No, I would get punched in the face for being a walking contradiction. For trading my values for political bullshit. A game I'm neither good at nor want to play.

The sad thing is, I'm no different from most of you. You all had dreams that went unfulfilled - a future life not lived.

So would seventeen year old you punch you in the face?

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