Your Teenage Dream?

January 22, 2017

When I think about where I want to go over the next year I can’t help but think about this cliche typical teen experience. There’s this romanticised version of what you’re supposed to do during your youth that we see splattered on every media platform possible. These ideas about finding yourself, loosing yourself, alcohol, sex, relationships and every other possible thing you can think of. It makes me wonder how on earth you survive your teen years or how I’ve even got this far because I sure as hell don't know what I'm doing.

When you think about the experiences and key moments that make up your teen experience you think about high school and starting university. You think about first kisses, first loves and every other first listed during the coming of age movie where the awkward girl meets her dream boy. There’s so much pressure to tick off the list of first and the media and society we live in doesn't really help this. Your teen years are meant to be about a lot of things depending where you look. The bottom line is, you're frantically grasping for something stable in a completely unstable time in your life.

So the reason I'm thinking about teenagers is I actually still am one. I've got less than a month to soak up the idea that I'm no longer a teenager. I'm going to be in my twenties. So if the teen years are for being lost in making bad choices what the hell are you supposed to do in your twenties? For me personally when I think about my teen years I think about the long list of things that I was supposed to do. For many people I know this idea of the teen experience doesn't effect them but since mine is coming to a close I can't really stop thinking about it. 

Sometimes I just sit at parties and observe what’s going on around me and it’s like is that what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I supposed to be making an absolute idiot of myself, getting wasted and making bad choices? I’m stuck with this constant feeling of missing out. Like because of some of the choices I made during my teen years, have I missed out on these fundamental experiences that will define the rest of my life? The more I think about this the more I realise I’m probably being far too overdramatic and overthinking something that is going to happen naturally but dang I can’t help it. I don’t know what I want and maybe if I had tried harder to fit into this mould of the typical teen, then I would know where I’m going with my life. I know everyone struggles with ideas about the self but sometimes I feel like I'm affected more than the people around me. I struggle with comparing myself and my teen experience to so many people in my life and sometimes it gets to the point where I think I fucked up. I think that if I had a done certain things or experienced similar things to some of my closest friends maybe I would fill better about where I am right now. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so lost in myself. 

I've always been plagued with this idea but this morning it hit me harder than normal. It was a lazy start to what should have been a pretty productive Sunday and I’m watching That 70s Show. I’m watching this version of the teen experience. A possible reality of what I could or should have been doing and you know what feel like I’m missing out. I’m not Donna or Eric or even Jackie. I didn’t fall in love with the boy next door and hang out with my friends in his basement. Heck, I didn’t even go to a co-ed high school and you know what sucks, I don’t have any way of making my life like the characters and public figures that I idolize. I didn't get a detentions, I don't have a Vista Cruiser or magic pair of jeans. I don't have a wand or an angsty boy to sing to me on an oval. I didn't even do anything that made the whole school talk about me. Before I get too lost in this idea of the teen experience need to remember that I don’t have control over the choices I’ve made and sometimes I know hide from this. I hide from my friends and my family and every person I meet. I hide that I haven’t been somewhere or done something that we’re conditioned to believe you’re supposed to do. You might say I compare my life too much to the lives that I observe. I know this post is just turning into a mad rambling about these crazy thoughts that are running wild in my head but I can't stop them right now. I don't have the ability to back myself and know that I made the right choices over the years. There’s definitely been ups and downs and I guess that does mean that I’ve ticked a certain box in the fundamental teen experienced. 
When I read over this post I keep saying the words “supposed to” but I can’t describe it any other way. I can’t describe the way I feel right now but I just know that something isn’t quite right. I feel unhappy in many parts of my life and I’m at this point where I know I need change and get a fresh start etc. but I don’t exactly know how. I don’t know whether this means I need to distance myself from certain people or places that aren’t good from me but I know that I need to work on myself. I need to really think about what I want, my own personal goals and desires and where I really want to go with my life. I have so many fears and normally writing helps me express these fears but right now it’s kind of making me more confused and scared. 

I know I’m hiding and I’ve decided I’m not going to do that anymore. 

So just for future reference; my name is Lauren Parkin, I’m 19 years old and I'm ready for some answers.

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