A few weeks ago, my best friend took me to the DuQuoin State Fair for a concert with Switchfoot and Lifehouse. She was a lifelong fan of Switchfoot, while I adored Lifehouse. It was a win-win for both of us, especially as we were equipped with food-on-a-stick and strawberry-lemon shakeups.
Jennifer scored excellent seats, and by the time Lifehouse came out to grace us with a show of their greatest hits, we somehow lucked into being in the front row when lead singer Jason Wade came over our way and grabbed our hands.
I remarked that 17-year-old Dusty would be thrilled with how her life is turning out.
And then I couldn’t stop thinking about 17-year-old Dusty, and the things she was going through as a teen, and what she might think of my life as a 32-year-old. At that young age, I was the epitome of positivity — and naiveté. My spirituality was at the highest it had ever been, as I was called into ministry around that time. At 17, I was high on life. I was wild, full of spirit, and ready for a good time. The “real world” hadn’t quite knocked me down yet.
So I compiled a list of what Young Dusty would be pleased to see, and what might surprise her.
1. The 17-year-old Dusty would be devastated to hear that she would wind up a divorced woman at the age of 30. She’d probably be OK with not having children, although she expected to by this point. However, nothing would be more traumatizing for her at that juncture than finding out she wouldn’t wind up with her high school sweetheart. THAT would sting.
2. She’d be mortified to learn what size pants she wears as an adult, but would be pleased with the fact that she could now fill out her blouses.
3. The younger me would love to see that she was pursuing seminary in Memphis, although she’d wonder what took her so long to get there. Her immediate goals after college were to head straight to seminary, but hopefully she’d understand that God had other plans. She’d be amused to learn she’s a youth minister, since that wasn’t on her list of life goals back then. (I can guarantee Young Dusty would be a Pillow Hockey master!)
4. She’d be sad that Creed broke up before she could see them on tour. Actually, there would probably be a period of mourning in which her Human Clay CD would be played nonstop. Then she’d be surprised to learn that most computers don’t come with CD drives anymore, but stream music from the Internet instead.
5. Young Dusty would be a little surprised that she lives in Kentucky. She absolutely never wanted to leave home growing up. But, she’d love the energy of Paducah, and be excited that she could go to the mall and spend real money from her real job.
6. Once 17-year-old Dusty saw all of 32-year-old Dusty’s collection of Star Wars shirts, she’d hang her head in disappointment. You’re supposed to get cooler as you age, not nerdier!
7. She’d be shocked that she eats broccoli. And enjoys it. Like, knock-her-over-with-a-feather shocked.
8. She’d be stunned by the vitriolic political climate she would find her older self navigating. Young Dusty would not believe the spread of terrorism after experiencing the events of September 11, 2001, and would be saddened to know that much of the conflict continues today. It would be hard for her to understand how divided the U.S. would become after being so united just 15 years prior.
9. She’d be in love with her cats, Baxter and Beatrix.
10. Young Dusty would be most excited that God is still faithful and still in the business of keeping promises.