You know, there are a thousand little indignities suffered by teens every day. It is a testament to the will to survive that so many of them DO make it to graduate from high school. They deserve more than diplomas. They deserve medals.
I don’t know what made me think of it, but I remembered this horrible span of about 6 weeks out of my Senior year (during which I hid in various places around the school–or off campus, but you didn’t just see that, Dad–during the lunch hour because I was dodging the well-orchestrated vendetta of a boy I had dated briefly.) and thought, “Not for the faint of heart.” Teenagers are such twits. I was a twit anyway.
I’ve said before that whenever I run into someone I knew between ages 15 and 23, I feel like the first thing I need to do is apologize for having been that age. I was awfully sanctimonious and eye-rolly. How do high school and undergraduate professors manage all those horrible children?
(Side note, has anyone else ever noticed that the guitar riff from Under my Thumb sounds a lot like the bassline to Bang a Gong? That would make a great mash-up. Someone do this for me, please.)
A friend of mine was talking about one of her teenaged rituals of watching a specific video documentary every day, and said this: “[It] would make me cry sometimes. It was just so intense and pure and even though I couldn’t really process it with [my] little brain, I knew in my bones that was what life was really about: getting out there and doing something. So I’d just cry [because] I didn’t know what else to do as a teenage girl.”
I think that sums up the teenage experience beautifully. These kids know in their bones that there is a life out there for them, but the slow reveal of adventure and adulthood is always just beyond their grasp. It is frustrating, and it is a deep, pure anguish of desire–they can’t put their hands on it, and they can’t quite understand what it is they are trying to grab hold of. So they act like teenagers. What else is there for them to do?