Is youth really wasted on the young? I've been spending more time with teenagers of late due to my Current Life Circumstances being a [homeschooling] mom and noticed something about myself. A tinge of...something setting in? I don't know what to call it. I've been working to stave it off. Something can happen to us as we get older, wrought with and burdened by the heavy problems of the world, of our neighborhoods, our home. We start to think that maybe, just a little bit...that none of it's really worth it. All that work, that dreaming, that focus...where did it get us? The same place we were before? The same place everyone was before? Master escape artists we all are. Only to find we've circled back again. Even the cycles of pictures look the same: birth, gardens planted, more babies, school pictures, tricycle gangs, holiday dinners, the same injuries, new old books, hearts aflame for the same crushes, the same kids get picked on, the same kids do not...we take pictures of ourselves at the beach...listen to the same birds upon waking in the morning. There's a comfort to these generational promises. And at times, the sinking feeling that we're living in the film Groundhog Day.
But am I in the same place as before---seeking an escape? I was once so young and hopeful and my work ethic toward my dreams so powerful. Now I'm lucky if I have enough ingredients to make dinner. Or even care. Am I more different now than I was, or simply a fuller, but more hidden, dimension of myself? Mother.
I was looking around at all these kids--- their brightness, their boisterousness, their Bigness. Their raw hunger. Frankly, I was intimidated by it. It was a power; I wanted some of it back. The Not Knowing and the Need To Know. It seems all the intelligent adult people I know these days are too busy getting their ego fixes, acting like they know everything there is to know and spreading it like saucy doctrines on the landscape of other graying attention-seekers. No joke. Whenever I say I don't know something, never heard of something, haven't learned about something, it seems almost met with a mocking fury of excitement to correct, criticize, and direct. Wherever did the phrase "I can relate" go? There's a deep approachability inherent to curiosity and humility; so many of us have lost that. No wonder teenagers hate most adults.
This idea, this hope, this hard-won belief and deep longing that it'll be different is a truth. It really is. For every generation. Don't settle for any less. Yes, the journeys may be eerily circular and all too similar and familiar. But this is only in hindsight. And each time around, something changes just a little bit, often for the better. Let us make it never for the worse. No, never, never.