Yesterday I was reading Rookie Yearbook Two and in the interview with Morrissey, in response to the question "If you could tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?" he said:
"I am still my teenage self. If you think that we all step through a door marked Adult, or that we sign a Grown-Up Document, you're quite wrong. We remain as we always were, and that, alas, is one of life's many nasty tricks."
If that's true, why didn't anybody tell me? why did I grow up believing the opposite of that?
Why have I always felt, why do I still feel like there is some magical age where I am all of a sudden going to "have it all figured out". Why do I think that is even an attainable state of being?
I cried on my 18th birthday because I thought I had to all of a sudden "be an Adult." (Doesn't that seem like something an adult would do? cry about growing up?)
A couple weeks ago I was telling a friend a story of one of my students coming to me with a problem. I joked that I said to the kid, "I'm glad you came to an adult you trust. Now let's go find a real adult who knows what the hell to do in this situation."
It was a joke of course, but there's some truth to it.
In a recent episode of Parks and Recreation Andy is freaking out about his new job and April tells him, "I'm going to tell you a secret about everyone else's job. No one knows what they are doing.Everyone is just faking it until they figure it out."
substitute "life" for "job" and I think the quotation is just as apt. but why is it a secret? Why do people of my generation feel like they are not meeting the expectations of their age? Do people reach a certain point in life where they realize they will never "figure it all out" and just make peace with that? Or is it that people really do figure it out at some point and my turn is coming?
If I could tell my teenage self something here are a few of the things I'd want to tell me:
Your hair looks awesome.
When someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, instead of saying you don't know, ask them back and see what they say.
You aren't as bad at everything as you think you are, just keep doing stuff you like it's fine.
You are going to travel.
You are going to pick a major you aren't sure you'll like and like it.
You are going to pick a job you aren't sure you'll like and like it.
Don't think your skin will clear up when you're older, it won't.
Don't think things will make sense when you're older, they won't.
Don't tell yourself you'll be happy when you get a better car, or a better job, or move away, or get a haircut. Those lies are poison.
Don't be so resistant to change.