Ten things I miss about being a teenager…

There is something magical about thinking back to a time when life was simple. When we lived a life that allowed endless dreaming and opportunity. I attribute my nostalgia for the past to my status of being the star sign Cancer.

It is not that I don’t appreciate my present but my past holds some gems and an attitude that I cannot fully embrace as an adult. As I am living my final year of my 20’s, a mere 10 years after being a teenager, here are my top ten things I miss about being one…

10. Money:

As a teen, my allowance stretched ridiculously far. Yet money was not important nor did it impact my life’s happiness – it cost nothing to hang out at a friends place or in a park and you hardly took a purse out with you. In the event that I forget my purse today, it would cause a wave of panic that would make me believe my life had stopped!

9. Time:

As a teen, there appeared to be an abundance of it! I was never in a rush to get anywhere, yet still made it to all the places I needed to be – all on foot! Today, even with a car time seems to slip quickly away. Rational understanding knows that I had the same number of hours in the day when I was 17 as when I was 27 – doesn’t feel that way in reality though…

8. Goals:

I had many and I did not appear unfocused or foolish in spreading my seed of thought in so many different life ones. Even the silliest ones (ie. Becoming a trapeze artist a joining a circus) were thought to be creative and I was viewed as putting great thought into life. As adults, goals are almost equivalent to a wishlist you are saving for retirement, once you’re done with your current life. So much of life as an adult is about setting mature and focused goals or bucket lists even…all focused on what to do before you die – a little to morbid for me…

7. Responsibility:

It didn’t take much to appear responsible as a teen. If you got home by curfew, the parent /teacher reports were favourable, your room was kept tidy, you had manners, you helped out when asked and had some life direction, you were considered responsible. As adults, it seems people appear more preoccupied with irresponsibility with a much greater list of responsibility. One perceived irresponsibility out weights 20 responsible things we do. If we leave our job without another, if we are 28 and come home drunk after 2am and spend the whole next day sleeping in; if we take a spontaneous holiday without planning three months in advance. Although in the spirit of honesty, we are secretly envious of those who disregard responsibility and act as their heart desires. I miss not having the weight of responsibility resting upon my shoulders…

6. Friendships:

Our friends required little addition thought – they were an integral part of each day. They were there at school, they were there after school, they were there on weekends. If they were busy on a weekend, we would catch up at school and it didn’t really matter. They knew everything about your world from the person you were crushing on to the class you despised to the things you were into and everything in between – because they were literally beside you as you lived it. You never ran out of things to talk about and hanging out wasn’t scheduled. As adults we ‘catch up’ over planned dinners because life doesn’t allow for the freedom being a teen does.

5. House parties:

There is nothing like a basic house party to make you feel 16 again. Think decorated garages, pizza and chips, music from anything that plays it and lemon ruskis! I spent a great deal of my teens having deep and meaningful conversations, slightly tipsy in the dark in front yards of friends houses.

4. Teen conversations:

As a teen, the world was a very new place. The topics of conversations ranged extensively and it felt like I was learning new things at rapid speeds although concede the information was not always credible nor reliable. We could spend hours talking about anything and everything and nothing was stupid to discuss. We spoke about love, hope, future aspirations, who we were going to be and where we were going to be. We learned how to interact appropriately with friends and equally learned the embarrassment of talking to someone you liked and almost always came away feeling stupid. I miss feeling like there was so much to talk about with the open and naive eyes…

3. Sport:

For clarification, I don’t mean watching – I don’t mean ‘doing‘ – I mean playing! As kids, we rounded up all of the neighbours in the court and played anything and everything. There was footy kicking and downball and foursquare and cricket and basketball and chasey and stuck in the mud. We played until dinner when we were beckoned home, only to run back out to play until we couldn’t see the ball in the dark anymore. There was fun and laughter, there were tantrums and brawls but the next day we came together to do it all again.

2. Stress:

As a teen, stress was so very different, so much so I don’t think I even used the word as a kid. My stress consisted of freaking out if I lost the library book or having a test in class that I had no idea about. Things like being at a party with the boy you liked and not knowing what to wear were important and fundamental moments of stress. As an adult, the stresses are very different. I miss being ‘stressed’ over silly and unimportant life matters…

1. Being Carefree:

This word in itself carries light and happy connotations. It be carefree sounds as though you are floating on clouds or bouncing through life. As teens, we didn’t seem to feel the weight of the world upon us. I miss waking up and knowing the only real mandatory part of my day was going to be getting to school – the rest was in my hands as there wasn’t anything that was reliant upon me. All of life’s chores in our house was absorbed by my parents and I helped. As an adult, carefree feels like a dream because in reality, if I don’t cook – I don’t eat; I don’t wash the clothes – I run out of undies; if I don’t work – I can’t pay my bills and if I don’t set my alarm… well the list is endless.

 

Whilst there is a list of things I miss about the simple times, there are a number of things I don’t miss:
– I don’t miss relying on others for a lift because I didn’t have a drivers licence;
– I don’t miss stressing over exams that were allegedly going to determine my life fate;
– I don’t miss spending hours learning and understanding things to pass these tests and feeling ridiculously stupid when I don’t get it! While I concede I have used many things I thought were useless – I still have not applied my knowledge of long division!
– I don’t miss the rumors and gossip and bitching associated with friend picking and crushes;
– I don’t miss puberty – I don’t miss going through it or the public announcements in class when others realise you are you.

As with all phases of life, I am happy and comfortable to lock away my teen years into the memory bank of time…to appreciate the life lessons that granted me the foundation of life and set me on my path for my twenties. Whilst I didn’t expect to be where I am today, I am appreciative of every moment that got me here.

-FP

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