Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Nuh badda look back

Published:Monday | July 20, 2015 | 7:00 AM

Saw something on Facebook the other day where persons were asked what advice they would give to their younger selves.

But the advice could only be two words. I thought there's a bunch of stuff I would tell my younger self, but I would need a tad more than two words. So just to play along, but mostly being serious, I wrote the words "nuh badda" or for those not too comfortable with the Jamaican patois, "don't bother." The friend who had shared the advice challenge in the first place, asked me "nuh badda doing what?" I, somewhat jokingly, but not overly comedic either, said "(nuh badda) grow up." She was, I believe, totally confused.

advice to younger self

Thing is, I've thought about it since then, and I actually might have told myself nuh badda after all, just not the growing up part. The only way you don't grow up is if you die young, and if you're going to not grow up by choice, that sounds like suicide. I'm not sure if she feared that's what I was thinking, but I never clarified for her. But anyway, I would have told myself nuh badda take life too seriously. Nuh badda take so long to learn how to drive. Nuh badda overthink things when you're planning an excursion. Nuh badda get nervous when you're thinking about introducing yourself to girls (remember this is my younger self, so I wouldn't be going up to grown women). I'd tell myself nuh badda take the biology exam in CSEC because you're going to fail it and it's not going to come back to bite you in the tush.

Of course, if I had done half of these things, my life might not have turned out any differently. That's why I don't like to watch movies or TV shows that deal with time travel because I always feel the concept is just too unreal. I know it's called science 'fiction' for a reason, but for me, fiction is a little more digestible if it can exactly happen given the right circumstances. But obviously, if you change things in the past, you will change things in the present and future. And because we don't have the ability to see how our lives will play out, or are playing out in alternate universes, there's no way to tell whether these changes will be, or might be for the better.

So, if I was less shy around girls, I might be married now with two children. Or I might have 12 different babymadda. If I had actually tried to play sports, I might have become a world-class player; or I'd be playing in minor leagues for little pay, with no real alternative because my schoolwork suffered when I couldn't balance academics and sport. You just don't know, and you never will.

So do yourself a favour, nuh badda think 'bout your younger self and what you might have or should have or could have done. You'll go crazy, like me.

• Tell me what two-word advice you'd give at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com