Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My So-Called Youth

I just ended a marathon re-watching of Parks and Recreation and not yet ready to turn off Netflix, I remembered that I had put My So-Called Life in my queue with fond reminiscence. I must have started watching it at a previous time because it started me on episode two. I watched this show when it first aired on TV, when it was so relevant to me because I was that age, I was a teenager and I related so much. I had angst, I thought Rayanne was so cool and wished I had an emotionally unstable yet street-smart friend like her. Sure, I had gay friends, but none of them were out yet. I had an unhinged slut of a friend who got pregnant at 17 and told her mother that if she smoked, she got to, too (I ended the friendship) and a very modest Catholic best friend, but we had good times.

But man, did this show speak to me. I wore all black and sulked. I didn't dye my hair but I used a hair crayon to put temporary blue streaks in my hair. I fought with my parents. I had a crush on the mysterious guy that leaned. Really. He had a great lean. And amazing green eyes. We all passed notes and gossiped and rumors with absolutely no grain of truth got spread. Unlike Angela and Rayanne, I spent no time in the ladies room. The facilities in my high school were less than stellar for hanging out in.

Watching the show now in my 30's, I can still enjoy it, but I don't relate as much. We grow up. In hindsight, I would have slapped some sense into Rayanne and probably encouraged her to see a therapist. Same with Rickie and his struggles with hate crimes and bullying. And Angela's catty little friend Sharon? I've always wanted to punch her in the face, so that feeling has never changed.

I think of people my age who are still stuck in the high school mentality and and I wonder why? It's so puerile. I know of someone whose behavior is perpetually that of someone who is seventeen and it's ridiculous and tiring. Part of life is growing up, learning who you are, and discovering yourself. I've really enjoyed the process of getting to know me. I recently showed John my senior picture from high school and he said "I wish I had known you back then." I said to him, "no you don't. I wasn't who I am back then." And it's true. Even in college, I was a different woman than I am today.

I was going to wrap this up with an inappropriately out of context quote from Red Dragon by Thomas Harris but I couldn't find a good quote. You have been spared.

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