Monday, August 02, 2004

Words of Wisdom

I've been noticing a trend while cruising the blogs. The adults seem generally obsessed with minutia, the boring trivia of unfulfilled lives (see my previous rant), while the teens are mired down in (what else) the angst of being teens. As a person who has not only been there and done that, but has also worn the t-shirt (at least until I spilled marinara sauce on it) I would like to offer my perspective in the hopes that it will ease your pains and guide you through the next years.

When I was in high school, I was plagued by the feeling that I possessed a superior intelligence, especially compared to those who would call themselves my teachers. I eventually graduated, lived a little, and gained a new insight. In retrospect, after only a few passing years, I realized that I had been completely right the whole time and that I had now grown big enough to stomp the holy crap out of them. Unfortunately, by then I had moved.

Our parents always insisted that our generation had it much easier than theirs, something which I'm sure their parents told them and so on back to the stone age when Og told Grok not to bash his little sister over the head with his club, and to turn his hat the right way. On the flip side, my fellow high-schoolers always insisted that today's youth (meaning us) had it harder than any generation before. Like everybody else, I was eager to believe that I faced the toughest obstacles, but I just couldn't accept it. Sure, the technology and the pace of life was ever-increasing, but I believe those are just details, dressings over the actual wounds. I think the real problem with being a teenager is that you are a person aged between twelve and twenty.

Those are very trying years, no matter who or where you are or whether your idea of high-tech is an MP3 player or a butter churn with a tassled handle. They are the years that you bridge the gap between the child you were and the adult you will become. They are the critical years for developing relationships and abilities to cope, and it's those that are so important.

Life for adults is not easier; we've just had more experience in dealing with it. We have spent years developing coping mechanisms, such as Denial, Self-Loathing, and Beer. It's like watching a concert pianist and marveling at the way her hands float over the keys. She doesn't have an easier piano; she has dedicated years to honing her craft.

As loathe as I am to try to offer advice, I have to put in my two cents (3.5 with interest) and stress how important it is that you develop the right skills during this time. I don't have to tell you what they are - deep down, you already know (hint - it's the difficult choice). Many decisions in our lives come to what's easy versus what's right; they rarely overlap. Taking the easy route will get you through the day, and sometimes that's the best you can do, but in the end it will make you a highly-skilled loser. Trust me - I've seen potential evolve into a dedicated waste of space.

Now, many moons later, I can look back at a time almost half of my life ago and imagine the smiling faces of the teachers and faculty I once hated and feared. I can see their aged and careworn faces, and I can smile at them, secure in the knowledge that, not only am I still much younger and can kick the crap out of them, but (thanks to my military training) I can kill them with a wet noodle. Don't even get me started on all the hours I spent on the ranges firing machine guns and tossing grenades. If they're smart, they'll stay out of my way (gun sights).

I hope this helps. It helped me. If I had taken the time to say all this to a therapist, I wouldn't be able to afford fuel for my collection of flame-throwers and chainsaws.

Psychological, out.


Anonymous said...


Grant said...

Thanks for reading.

Rys said...

Can Jesus freaks say "Damn"???

Grant said...

Fuckin' A they can. I have to confess that I didn't even know Jesus was lost, so I haven't been looking for him. Anyone who has seen the anonymous poster's saviour, please turn him in for a reward.
I did make a wrong turn recently and found myself at the entrance of a strange looking low-rent housing facility featuring rows of cinderblock houses, an huge and expensive church near the entrance, and a small office with a large billboard announcing the number to call for god. I don't remember the number, but the area code placed it in the Atlanta suburbs, so at least I now know that god's local.

bakagirl said...

what's up with the jesus guy? I liked this post. I'll keep this in mind... ~linda