Wasting My Young Years?

Lately I’ve been thinking about how time seems to move so quickly, and each year seems more fleeting than the one before it. I was thinking about all my childhood expectations of being a teenager, or even my expectations of being sixteen from two or three years ago and it all seems so far away and so far from the reality that’s taking place right now. I guess I just thought everything would be a lot more exciting? I don’t know, maybe I thought being a teenager would be like Dazed and Confused (minus the ’70s aesthetic) or all those slightly ridiculous Harry Potter fanfics I used to read when I was 11/12. And there’s another part of me too, a part that hoped growing up would be more like Anne of Green Gables or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or something like that, filled with beautiful experiences and dazzling observations on life.

Mostly being a teenager seems to involve a lot of headache and stress. Everyone around me suddenly seems to be doing so many productive things and doing so well in them and going to competitions and finding positions of leadership and helping the community and whatever else colleges are looking for, and then there’s me, sitting here in my cloud of constant impending doom and general anxiety about the future. I wish I had the time to do the things I like, to read all the books I’ve been meaning to, to write and write and write, to imagine freely, to observe the world, to think critically about it. And I wish I could appreciate more all the things I’m learning, because I do find it interesting, it’s just that the pressure to learn something quickly for a test without really knowing it thoroughly and remembering it outweighs the joys of learning, if there are any to be found in the current education system. I don’t know how other kids find the time to do everything and be successful and socialize with their friends; it’s like I missed out on the miraculously-pulling-spare-time-out-of-your-ass gene at birth.

Anyway, for you older people out there, what was growing up/being a teenager like for you?

5 thoughts on “Wasting My Young Years?”

  1. It may not seem it just now, but time is on your side. And so is your written eloquence, which ought to help single you out when the time comes to knock on the doors of colleges. This rush to fill every hour with doing and productivity is all very well, but thought and imagination need to be left to their own devices a while if they are to flourish.

    For me, life got more exciting – and tougher, in certain respects – when I left my home town. Though there were moments of adventure before then, and a handful of what seem like paradisiacal days now, it’s hard to feel consistently enraptured about the world when the world is merely the backdrop you’ve known all your life.

    That said, each stage of life has its freedoms and its chores and stresses. From teenage years or perhaps earlier still, it’s balancing those, and being prepared to – not so much seize the moment, as be in it. Be the person you want to be in it. Till becoming and being coalesce, and you maybe find yourself in a position to make your own rules. It seems to me you’ve gone quiet some way towards that already.

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    1. I’m so glad you think my proclivity for writing will be able to help me down the road. I definitely agree with you, and although doing and productivity may seem important now, I think thought and imagination are also important aspects that need time to form on their own.

      Hopefully life will seem more exciting once I get to see more of the world and learn about it. It’s hard to be excited about things when everything seems to have been going in the same routine for so long.

      I love what you said about finding a way to be in the moment so that “becoming and being coalesce,” and I think it’s an important part of feeling like you have some sense of meaning or fulfillment in your life. Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

      Like

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