Mistakes and Mishappenings
There’s a lot of hoopla about teenagers, a lot of TV shows, music, magazines, clothes, technology, books, etc. devoted to their attention and consumption. Yet as teenagers are the inspiration of millions and millions of dollars of profit for the sources of these mentioned things, they get such a negative review from most adults in our society. Is it jealousy spurring this opinion, or embarrassing recollections from the past? Do adults envy the so-called “glory days”, or do they scorn the mass confusion this time of adolescence caused them?
Success and mistakes are the driving forces between these two ideas. Think about it: an adult who misses high school must have been successful in the chowder-headed form of society. An adult who despises teen-hood must have made some interesting decisions along the way, that they regret and take out on the current masses. So I guess it all depends on when you make your mistakes: adulthood, leaving you to covet the past, or adolescence, leaving you to curse your former dumb ass self.
And I suppose it also depends on how much you dwell on your mistakes.
How I came to be thinking about this matter was delivered as a text from one of my friends sent at 6:37 pm on a July evening. She sent me this quote, “I don’t hate you. I’m just disappointed you turned into everything you said you’d never be.” Not as a direct reference to me (so I believe…), but just saying that she wasn’t sure why she loved that quote so much. “So true of high school,” I replied back to her. When you sort though all of the fallen friendships, anger at parents, break-ups, you can scarcely find a teenager who cannot apply that to some situation they’ve been through. Everyone knows as a teenager you drift through “phases”, trying to figure out who you are and who you’re not. So, naturally as a human being, you make mistakes. Maybe they become a mistake within the first ten seconds or ten years later, but mistakes either way. Do these mistakes make us adults? Yes. Then why do we get so much crap about it? So we don’t become adults like Hitler. But didn’t Oprah make mistakes, too? Yes… So then what’s the difference? Learning from them. Then why the hell are they bad still if they teach us how to live our lives? Good question.
As teenagers, we all know that parents are blinded by affection or their own stupidity. And therefore their ideas about what is right for us can be completely bogus. But as parents, they all think they know teenagers about their lack of morals and conscious thinking. Therefore they feel the need to control our lives as much as possible.
The two groups are both sort of wrong—parents sometimes have moments of clarity where they say something that makes sense, teenagers can reveal how much thinking goes into every little thing they do. But can these groups be reformed to change the stereotype? Is it possible for adults to realize that teenagers are aware of the world around them (for the most part)?
As for teenagers, how are we supposed to avoid being a grippe, bitter adult? How do we spot the mistakes that will haunt us and those we will grow from?
This past summer I’ve had my share of mistakes. I’ve gotten into a lot of shenanigans with my friends, resulting in some high school stories I’ll never forget. The idea of me someday regretting them breaks my heart, even though they have given me some rather shameful moments. So here I am, asking: If we are all human, and we all screw up, and none of us are perfect, and all of us can’t change the past, then why the hell do you care what age I am?
You know that somewhere there is an eighty year-old woman proudly smoking a joint outside of Save-A-Lot when she told the nursing home staff she had a doctor’s appointment. And I bet you that no one said it was peer pressure.