Writings

A Teenage Dream


I have great sympathy for teenagers, especially those at the beginning of their teens, where the necessity to establish an identity is underway. That time when brand clothes or not brand clothes, tits or no tits, acne or less acne, sex or no sex...are all major preoccupations and can if there is a lot of insecurity in the mind of the teen completely steal focus from the, seen from an older perspective, way more important issues of, independent thinking and the embryo of whatever plan you have to realize the dream of creating a future circumstance that feels interesting and enjoyable.

In many ways I see that it was much easier when I crossed those hard years, there was less choice, less people, less irony...I have a few teenagers in my life. One the daughters of my best friend is a typical example with raging hormones and confusion written all over her. I also teach dance to some teenage girls, and although they are vastly different, what unites them all, is that confusion and open or hidden anxiety of what the future will hold, who they will end up being. All are stressed out by the demand of school, parents and peers whose opinion often suggests and pulls them in different directions. And all of them want to look good, be liked, and get the most out of these formative years as possible. Not an easy proposition especially not these days when the world of the wide web is such a big player in most of their lives. At least I didn't have to concern myself with the to me rather useless effort of producing selfies that are liked by your particular age bracket.

Sometimes I fantasize about what I would tell the teen me if I could reach past the boundary of time, what kind of sound advice would I give her. I would definitely give her a big hug and tell her that all those experiences that awaits her, that will cause a bit of pain, will amount to something in the end, and that to pass on some of the accumulated thoughts around those experiences will eventually at some point be aimed at helping and inspire others.

But the thing is, that as painful as it is sometimes, you have to let people make mistakes, so also the teenager. Because the real learning experience lies in how you decipher the outcome of your actions and it sometimes it needs to be experienced to be fully felt, all you as a bystander can do is to as many times as possible remind them that the heart has to rule their decisions, that love is the only force that will make for a happier life.

And even if I did manage to break the barrier of time and space and revisit my self as a teenager, I don't think she would listen, she would probably be annoyed at her future self and their "good advice" , and that is not necessarily a bad thing, a fighting spirit is much needed in this tumultuous existence, it is a far better asset to cultivate than complacency.

And what more appropriate time to cultivate a fighting spirit than in your teenage years, when the war of hormones physically support your efforts and convictions, the time when the dream of your future is still an unfulfilled wish, and still has the time to mature and become reality. It is indeed a very good time to let your imagination take flight and then if you're clever, direct that fighting spirit towards your commitment to follow your dreams. Cause your teenage dreams are the promise of your potential, then you will spend the rest of your lives trying to figure out which buttons to push in order to access it, but what you secretly dream of in your teens is still possible. Remember that if you are a teenager, or feel like one sometimes, remember that the future is still a blank slate waiting for your expression. The rest is up to you.

 

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