Sunday, January 21, 2007

To Be 17 Again....No F-in' Thank You

Perspective is an amazing thing when you think about it. It is also probably one of the worst things ever at the same time. Perspective enables you to feel like you know something no one else does, but it also forces you to act like you know something no one else does. It must be countered with age, wisdom, and reason in order to become an actual useful thing.

Weird start for a piece I know. I spent the day yesterday with a group of 17 year-olds. It was a very interesting and illuminating day. I almost feel like I should apologize to my parents for everything done and said at that age to be honest. I look at them and wonder how did I ever make it this far. I mean they view the world like it is their own private joke and seem to pity those too old to get it. They cannot help it I know and I also know I was the exact same way at that age as were you and everyone else. There is a reason the old joke "hire a teenage while they still know everything" exists in the first place.

The group was great and friendly and they were the tight knit group we grew up watching in John Hughes movies. It was great watching them interact, but the parents each at one point in time said "wouldn't you love to be 17 again?" To be honest, no I would not. Senility has yet to set in and I still remember what it was like to be 17 the first time and would not subject my worst enemy to that hell again. It seems great at the time, but that is because you only have 17 years experience behind you. The thing most 17 year olds do not realize is that it only gets better and more intense with time, not worse.

There is a trade-off with time that most teenagers do not realize until it has happened. The amount of free time and lack of responsibility is traded in for the ability to actually enjoy your free time and the freedom to live life. I did not feel any different at 21 than I did at 17, but I had more freedom and responsibility. Today, at 35 I still feel mentally like I did at 17. I have the same passion and beliefs (mostly) and still listen to the same music, but I have also learned to balance the passion of youth with the wisdom of age and that is the main reason I would never want to return to 17 again. To know exactly what you want to say and what you think, but to be unable to express it properly is a hell beyond words. That is what it is like to be 17 and no thank you I did it once already.

There is another side to that and it is the wondrous aspect of being 17 that is lost on all 17 year olds: they have their entire lives ahead of them. They are unburdened with the weight of regret. They literally have their entire lives ahead of them with all options still on the table. Every year we age we close another door to a possible future and at 17 the doors are still mostly open. It is sad that we do not notice the doors until we stand before a sea of closed doors.

15 comments:

joanie78 said...

You Nailed it.

Serena Joy said...

I had a hell of a good time when I was 17 and, mentally, I still feel about 17. Would I physically want to be 17 again? Not on your life!

I really liked your perspective on why you wouldn't want to relive 17.

Kanrei said...

It is funny because as a child I always wondered what it would "feel" like to be 35. I would never have believed anyone if they told me "no different than 16."

Roxan said...

Being 17 was fun, but I wouldn't want to repeat it. I can remember watching those tv ads with a mom in them and thinking "Is that how I will act when I get to be that age?" Funny thing is I still feel the same way and look at these tv ad moms as being way older than me when I know they are years younger.
I guess it means I never quite grew up or rather I matured, but didn't age.

RexZeitgiest said...

Mentally I would not want to be 17 again....Physically, HELL YA....I was a stud and my knees didn't hurt all day.....

I spend time with my neices and nephews who are, or have been, or will be 17....But when I talk to people outside of family in that age group, they speak an entirely different language....

When I was 17 I had hair to ass and wore a leather jacket, rock tee shirt, and combat boots...I was the ultimate heavy metal soldier.....A real metal head, not a glam rocker or goth..I hated goths...(ah, 84-85', where did you go?)

Face it, we are old now....'cept Joanie, SJ, and Roxan of course......

Kanrei said...

'cept Joanie, SJ, and Roxan of course......

Kiss-ass =P

I would love to have my 17 year old hair back. My knees were pretty sore back then and I am much thinner than I am now. I was a semi-metal soldier. I consider myself hard-core, but was probably more of towards poser. I mean I liked Dokken for example.

Serena Joy said...

Good save, Rex. LOL.

Kan, you liked Dokken? I didn't think anybody else had ever even heard of them.:)

Kanrei said...

Serena,
Yes I did. They were one of my favorites back then. I was raised on classic rock and loved that, but I also loved the non-popular pop-metal. Weird to like unpopular pop, but that was my thing. I am never shocked when someone has heard of Dokken so much as shocked when someone admits to liking them.

RexZeitgiest said...

Dokken was ok, but I was more into Megadeath, Metallica, Metal Church, Voi Vod, Witchfinder General, Sacrium, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Mercyful Fate, Gwar, etc.....

I listened to the Heavy metal lite, but prefered the hard core...

My dad always told me my taste in music would change, and it has, but it has always remained HARCORE!

RexZeitgiest said...

dohhhhhh......HARDCORE!

Scary Monster said...

Me thinkin it be a toss up! Me enjoyed me teens, but Me is thinkin life make so much more sense to me now. Gettin rid of responsibility would be nice though.

Serena Joy said...

You're one up on me, Scary Monster. Every time I think my life might be making some sense, I realize it was a false alarm. Sometimes I'd like a little less responsibility, too, but I don't think that'll happen while I'm alive.

Kanrei said...

Life makes perfect sense if you remember it has no overt purpose. It is the blank slate and we add the value to it.

I like that actually =D.

I loved Megadeth and some Metallica. Metal Church never got into. I was mainly 70's rock even then. I had Yes, and Led Zep, Pink FLoyd, Rush, etc.

Serena Joy said...

Life makes perfect sense if you remember it has no overt purpose. It is the blank slate and we add the value to it.

I like that actually =D.


I like that, too. Very much.

a lemming said...

I get lucky every now and then and the letters actually fall in the right order =D