However, my answer has always been a very assured:
"Twelve year old me would want to kick my ass."
When I was twelve I very much so believed in the power of Punk Rock, being a know-it-all, and telling everyone exactly what was on my mind as it was on my mind. 'Poser' was my favorite word and the very concept that someone could like more than one genre of anything was completely out of the question. Fishnets and plaid skirts were staples, and god forbid I was ever caught dead in any other shoe than a Chuck Taylor. I was close minded and cruel, I was also the most picked on kid in school.
Now at twenty-two I still believe in the power of Punk Rock, I still believe in letting people have a piece of your mind...if not all the time, I still love a good pair of beat up Chuck Taylor's. However at twenty-two I definitely have accepted my deep admiration, and dare I say love, for Pop and Hip-hop music. At twenty-two I've found myself to be extremely open-minded and generally accepting of others. Despite all belief I've actually made a friend or two here and there.
Now I know twelve year old me would definitely be proud of all of my tattoos...if not totally disappointed that I got a The Smiths tattoo before I got a The Cure tattoo. Twelve year old me would love my red hair, and all the writing on my walls. Twelve year old me would definitely throw a major nod to my record collection, and that I finally have a record player even though she'd hate that it's pink floral. I also know that twelve year old me would be so into the fact that I'm with someone who looks like Keith, even though twelve year old me was so against marriage. She'd probably tell me something snotty like:
"He's hot and all but you're stupid. Don't ever get married, being married is like dying. You're too young to die already."
Which would irritate twenty-two year old me and also make me laugh.
When I think back on me at twelve I have mixed feelings. On one hand I totally understand that I was a complete handful at best, and on the other I feel like I was just generally misunderstood which is okay because I STILL feel generally misunderstood. When I was twelve I was bullied to the point that my mother had to pull me out of school early because someone had brought a knife on my bus. I just had a lot going on in my life and in my head then.I remember I used to sit in my closet to hide from my family/ the world and I would plot my big escape when I would run away from everything and everyone. But instead of run away I made a really great friend out of an old enemy, her name was Taylor.
When I was about sixteen I saw some street art downtown that said:
"Be the kind of person you needed growing up."
It was a total gut-check because it was one of those things that said everything I had been feeling but hadn't found the words for yet.
All of the intense bullying I went through at twelve made way for the person I am today. Sure, I am still leery of just about everyone, I am still a sarcastic know-it-all. But I know that when it comes down to it, for what it's worth, I am one hell of a listener and an objective one for that point. I am slow to judge those around me based on who they are in a moment of emotion. I believe in getting to the root of things even if it takes a long time to get there.
At twenty-two I am the kind of person who will strap in and hang around for the whole ride, I don't give up on people. I like that about me and I think twelve year old me would like that about me too, albeit begrudgingly.
At twenty-two I know how to handle other people with great care and acceptance because a complicated snot-nosed twelve year old needed someone like me to stick around after she had said all of the meanest things about me just cause she was, ya know, a little weird and liked to see what people were made of.
So what would my middle school self think of me now?
She would think I was a sell-out, she would definitely think I am a poser, she would want to kick my ass for wearing Hollister jeans, and although you wouldn't hear it from her she'd probably actually kind of like me and if I was lucky maybe she'd kind of look up to me too.