“When we talk about teenagers…none of us are talking to the teenagers that exist now, but talking back to the teenager we ourselves once were—all stupid mistakes and lack of fear, and bodies that hadn’t yet begun to slump into a lasting nothing. Any teenager who exists now is incidental to the potent mix of nostalgia and shame with which we speak to our younger selves. May we all remember what it was like to be so young. May we remember it factually, and not remember anything that is false, or incorrect. May we all be human—beautiful, stupid, temporal, endless. And as the sun sets, I place my hand upon my heart, feel that it is still beating, and remind myself: Past performance is not a predictor of future results. Stay tuned now for whatever happens next in your life.”
My question to you, readers, is what do you make of this? Most (if not all) of you are still technically teenagers. Do you feel that the adults in your lives see not so much you as they are seeing their former selves? Conversely, you might reflect on how you perceive, your own younger self. Do you look back on your middle school selves (as I do) in embarrassed horror?
You know the word count I expect. You know when it’s due.