I’ve been meaning to write for awhile now. This is my last summer between years of high school, and I find it an odd mix of emotions.
My thoughts are a brilliant calamity of contradictions, but I guess that’s just being a teenager. For some reason I keep asking myself the same question over and over while I dwell on the imminent end of this chapter of my life. I mean, I know I have about another 10 months before high school really ends, but I have a feeling that time will slide past me. The question that runs through my head is this; why have I been so nervous this whole time?
Maybe it’s a coming of age thing, some sort of revolutionary new idea that my self esteem and outlook on life should not be determined by all these kids.
Because we are that, just kids. We act grown up, strive to be considered mature and act like we can handle ourselves. Some of us even dive into the illusion that we have been raising ourselves for most of our life.
I don’t mean to undermine us, or to tell all you “grown-ups” that we need you and we can’t be independent. I’m just making my way to the point that I feel as though something profound has changed since I was a 14-year-old freshman.
We- I- get so caught up in other’s lives and what is cool and what matters and how we’re perceived, that we suffocate who we really are. Maybe that’s the source of the issue teens have (hell, that I’m sure everyone has.) with finding themselves and feeling like no one understands. We feel this way because we don’t have time to express who we really are, we stifle ourselves with other peoples judgments and gossip and drama.
Only now, now on the final leg of high school, do I realize that none of the senseless self-inflicted worries and insecurities should’ve ever really mattered to me. This is such a small part of a big life that these passing judgments and worries are such tiny moments they could hardly be said to have occurred at all.
These kids I know, that I think about and hear about and talk about, well most of them are just passing acquaintances, people I won’t remember in ten or fifteen years, and still they seemed to have ruled over me for the past three years.
Not on purpose of course, I’ve just been so caught up in everything I hadn’t even realized they sat on thrones I built for them. It’s our own fault really, that others words cut so deep. We take them in, drink our friends and peers and high school gods and goddesses words and criticism, gorge ourselves on their views.
We forget that we shouldn’t care, that it shouldn’t matter. That you are you and that’s all that you should ever be. Our paper skin is only ever cut by our own glass bones. Still, still though you read this, though you roll your eyes at these cheesy lines and phrases we’ve heard a thousand times, still you may not get it.
I don’t know if it’s because my age, or some sort of bizarre link of synapses, but I feel a clarity of what is important now more than ever.
A clarity in some respects, a confusing storm in others. I believe we are a mess of contradictions. That is why I feel at once too young to be a senior in high school and yet too old to not already be in college. Why I feel regret that I didn’t know what really mattered right off the bat, and yet happy that I didn’t learn it until now.
I’m not going to pretend I’m some super confident self assured person now- I’m not. I just feel at ease with who I am, and I know I still have someone to become. The real important thing is that now I know the person I’m going to become will still be me.
It’s just a matter of deciding. Deciding that this is not going to be the story of a young man riddled with insecurities and lost in the world. That it will not be a tale of a boy who wallows and drowns in doubts and contradictions and self-esteem issues. It’s just and beautifully simply deciding that I am writing my own story from now on, and not letting anyone else hold the pen.