Posted by ilbebe on June 14, 2012
It seems to me now that the primary underlying struggle in the transition from childhood to adolesence is the sheer horror of yr first mature perception of the world around you. Some of us are lucky enough to be living lives of fine sand at that point, but I think it’s safe to say that most people’s reality at the dawn of adolescence doesn’t entirely measure up with their childhood dreams.
My hypothesis is this: When we are very young, nothing makes too much sense. We learn to rely to certain things that are more-or-less predictable; our parents’ presence, hunger and satiation, the daily path of darkness to light to darkness. Then we age a bit.
It does not matter what culture on Earth you are from, or how extensive your ‘formal’ education is. At a certain age in childhood, you start to understand a little bit about how the world works, on a strictly practical and experiential level. Based on this, and perhaps with a the aid of some subconscious underpinnings that know the dread that awaits, you form the ability to dream of things you have never seen. These things are of all nature, and some are bad, some evil, even, but mostly there are good- they are about a world better than the one you are in. A Fantastic world. This, with any luck, is a period of maximal joy. At the dawn of conscious imagination, we are all cartographers. We map out our dreams to the smallest detail, because we have no idea that it not always productive to dream.
This bliss ends. Half as fast or twice as slowly, we become aware that our lives do not sync with our dreams. This house is OK, but it sure ain’t no palace. I do like playing in the creek, but this Central Valley dirt town isn’t Paris. I don’t have as many friends as I thought I would by now. I’m hungry. I’m not hungry any more.
Seemingly overnight, a worldview of possibility and grace mutates into “I’ve had enough”. Ennui is the place where the ghost of you thinking you could be the President mopes. This ghost rolls around in the basement of yr brain and moans once a day, right when you were just about to fall asleep…
The linear confusion of having yr world turned inside out by yourself, for reasons you don’t understand, leads you to feel alien in yr own body, and the first apearence of the staggering notion of feeling alone on a crowded planet. Nostalgia creeps in at some point. Yr visiting yr youngest sibling’s elementary school, and you walk in thinking “Pfff, this place.” But now yr looking at a dinosaur poster, and thinking When I was my brother’s age, and I went here, I loved that poster. It made me happy. I wanted to be a dinosaur. Now that sounds stupid. I know that’s stupid.
But I’m not happy.
Some people go their entire lives without ever thinking about being a dinsoaur ever again. There’s a lot of people who think about it every now and again, and a good amount of people who think about it on a fairly regular basis- often enough to be sane, and cool, and content. Then there are the people who forget about being a dinosaur for a while, then remember, and really go for it.
I’m a triceratops. I am not kidding.
12:11AM, 6/14/12, Mom’s house. Cut the lawn today, cleaned the garage. Now it’s Flag Day. How do you celebrate that? How do you celebrate that?