|Circa 2004 -- Junior High School|
"Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty, if they forget what it was to be young"
-Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I promised myself when I was younger that, like Peter Pan, I would never allow myself to grow old and forget what it felt like to be young.
I'm quite happy to report that at 24 years old (almost a quarter of a century, gasp!) this is soooooo soooooo very far from happening. In fact, I am certain that this (forgetting youth) will never ever happen.
Almost everyday, my adolescent nephew comes to me to tell me stories about school and stuff and sometimes he asks for advice. I'm so happy that when he tells me his stories I still know how it feels to be in his shoes and how easy it is to feel like the world is such a terrible place and the universe is conspiring to make you feel all miserable.
He has these stories about the girl (or girls) he likes, his friends, teachers, fitting in, trying to be cool and such and I try as much as I can to impart on him knowledge from experience without sounding all snooty and grown-uppy.. so instead of giving him direct advice, I mostly share to him stories of my youth. He says he likes asking me for advice because he feels like we are on the same boat.
My partner, he oftentimes laughs and tells my nephew he is being melodramatic and dismisses his stories as silly and ridiculous. Telling him to stop entertaining such drama and focus on studies instead.
Of course I know that he (my partner) is right. But when you are in his (my nephew's) position, it really is hard to ignore those feelings. When you are young and your hormones are raging, its really annoying when an adult tells you to stop being so melodramatic. You'd hate it when they tell you that there are bigger problems in life blah blah blah. Because when you are at that age, it feels like those problems are larger than life itself. Telling an adolescent there are bigger problems will not, at the very least, help in easing the emotional burden.
Bills? Never heard of those.
World hunger? Who cares!
Of course, i am all for advising and educating him that there are indeed other things he should focus on. I do tell him that he should not occupy himself with love woes completely or think that being cool is the most important thing on earth.
But I have not forgotten how it felt to be young so regarding teenage problems such as love and fitting in as something silly is very hypocritical. Very wrong in my opinion.
Teenage problems are not ridiculous. They are real.
Of course when we do mature, we learn that those problems weren't really as serious as we thought--your classmates not liking you hardly resulted in the apocalypse. But telling a teenager that will only go on deaf ears.
Like Dumbly said, "Youth cannot know how age thinks"
And when I really think about it, why do so many people scoff at teenage romance anyway? Why do so many people laugh at teens who say they are inlove? Why do a lot of people regard adolescent woes as silly and not worth understanding?
If teenage love and life is so ridiculous and trivial, why do teenage stories fill the pages of literature? Why are films and television series set in high school such a hit?
I, for one, think that stories of adolescence makes a lot of sense.
Because teenage life and love is often devoid of logic and reason. It's pure, unadulterated passion. And isn't passion the ultimate spice of life? Isn't love without passion boring?
Adolescent life is life at its purest sense. It's life minus fears and worldy worries.
Ah, youth! To be young and carefree!
We should never forget. Never.
Growing up is okay... everyone will have to grow up eventually... But growing OLD? YUCK.