We’re always longing for something. Longing to graduate, longing to get drunk for the first time, to turn 18, to lose our virginity, to travel, to move out, to get qualified, to get a Proper Job, to get married, have children, grow old gracefully…
And then to die peacefully. To die with our longing.
How rarely do we stop longing for a second and simply embrace how young and free we are right now? Yes, we’re stressed, we’re fucking anxious, a quarter of us qualify for serious mental illness… but maybe that’s because we haven’t allowed ourselves to step back and look at our lives for what they are?
We don’t have a mortgage. We don’t have to cook for a family of six every single night. We don’t have to worry about gas bills and electricity bills and water bills. We don’t have to think about buying toilet paper, or canola oil or whether the frypan has lost its stick. We’re not complaining about a sore back that is only sore because we’re old, not injured. We’re not fighting with our wives or husbands, crying in bed every night, wondering whether it’s time for a divorce.
We idolise people who are good at growing up – those who have managed to buy a house before they’re 25. Those who have been dating the love of their life since they were 14. Those who work in an office instead of fast food. Those who have bought their own car or pay their own phone bills. We’re desperate to achieve adult status, to achieve a sense of ‘stability’ as if stability is defined by ticking boxes and achieving material goods. But we do this at the expense of some of the things we should be doing during our teenage years.
Take Comfort Knowing You’re Not Boxed Into Anything
This mysterious ‘adult box’ isn’t really a box at all, and often we forget that we’re responsible for building whatever it is we want to fit ourselves into. I think the important thing is, make sure there’s always an open space for you to crawl out of and build something new. You never have to be stuck in one kind of lifestyle, one kind of career, one type of damaging relationship. This is the time we’re supposedly supposed to be building a future for ourselves – make sure you use flexible materials.
You’ll Be an Adult For a Heck of a Lot Longer Than You’ll Be a Teenager
So while we’re teenagers, the least we can do is live it up for what it is – McDonalds runs, memes, failed exams, crappy teachers, Snapchats, embarrassing hook-ups, driver’s licenses, no job or a shitty job, the first taste of alcohol, the first cheekyvom, clothes we think make us look good (that in 10 years we’ll look back at and cringe) etc, etc, etc… All the stuff our teenage years are made up of.
Enjoy The Fact You Can Bounce Back
You’ll break an arm and it’ll get better. You’ll get wasted and your hangover will be minimal (esp. compared to the hangovers that await future you anyway). You’ll fall in love with someone and you’ll have plenty of time for your broken heart to heal. You’ll fail an exam, but it will be okay – it doesn’t mean you’ve failed your life. You’ll be okay, you’ll bounce back from it. It’s time to live the best years of your life.
cover photo cred: Victoria Langley
first photo cred: Megan Doherty
second photo cred: unknown soz