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?