October 12, 2011

Reasons Why Being A Teenager Was Both Awesome And Terrible

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You’re laying in bed listening to music when that one song comes on that can just make you wilt. Maybe it’s “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by The Postal Service or, if you’re a teenager now, a song by Paramore. It hits you like a tidal wave of grief and you’re flooded with memories of things you no longer have, things that aren’t yours to keep. Oh my god, the pain of it all! You decide to write these feelings down in a book so you do. You’re treating the pen like it’s a sword and you’re just stabbing the paper. Afterwards, you stare at your ceiling for three hours like it’s the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen. Is dinner ready yet?

You’re doing something that could potentially kill you. You know that thing called common sense? It hasn’t fully developed yet. The desire to have an “experience” trumps any common sense you might have. You put yourself in situations that could end in you being a statistic or That One Person In High School Who Died From Being A Foolish Teenager And Scared Everyone Back To Reality. You had that person, right? Mine was a girl named Maggie who got hit by a train when she was drunk and died at the age of sixteen. I never even met her but I grieved her like she was my best friend. Not knowing her might’ve actually made things even more intense for me. In my mind, she could be whoever I wanted her to be. I imagined her mother being broken forever and her best friend being paralyzed and breaking down in a Dairy Queen somewhere. I could create her arc. I could answer the questions.

You’re kissing someone who you never thought would kiss you back. It’s all about lusting after the unattainable when you’re an adolescent, which can be sad because of the low self-esteem thing, but it also makes moments when you get the guy/girl extra special. I mean, your life actually feels like a movie at this point. There’s the guy with the boom mic standing over you and some special song playing in the background. Every cliche you’ve read about in books or heard in songs becomes a reality. I like it when that happens. It brings everyone down to earth and becomes the great equalizer. Whenever you’re in a fight with your boss, just think of their body shaking under some leafy tree at fifteen, kissing the person of their dreams.

You’re making promises with your best friends about living together in college and staying in touch. You don’t really know how distant you’re truly going to become; you don’t know that you’re going to find about their engagement on Facebook when they were the ones who coached you through losing your virginity. And that’s how someone who once was your everything can slowly turn into nothing. Time is the silent killer of all things.

You hate your parents. You hate yourself for hating your parents. You still hate your parents.

You take two sips of beer, fall to the floor, profess your love to someone, and tell everyone you blacked out the next day.

You relate to stupid melodramatic music because you’re melodramatic and stupid. There’s something liberating about that though. There’s something really awesome about being able to relate to Death Cab.

I might be romanticizing things a bit (what else is new?) but these are all beautiful, sad scenes from a beautiful, sad time. It takes awhile to free yourself from the grips of adolescence (it can go on well into your twenties) but once you do, you’re stunned, horrified, and delighted that such a time ever existed in your life. The second you make the first step to adulthood, adolescence will feel so far away, like a very lucid dream. Teen dream. TC mark

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