Let’s face it. For many of us, adolescence was a bummer. We had pimples, were socially awkward, and rarely interested in school. But looking back, other parts weren’t so bad. Those years shaped and taught us in ways we could never have foreseen. Once in a while, I’ll see glimpses of that teenager, not only in myself, but in my friends. For instance…
We still like to talk about boys – Recently a fellow blogger posted a vital question for the ages. And judging by the weighing in of every woman from grandmothers to twenty-somethings, this pondering hit a nerve.
Who was the ultimate James Bond – Sean Connery? Daniel Craig? Pierce Brosnan? Or another?
I’ve heard grown women debate wedding etiquette with less vigor. Some argued Sean Connery was the only one worth considering. Others said they loved Daniel Craig’s sultry bedroom eyes. Still others liked the debonair swagger of Pierce Brosnan.
Reading this, it occurred to me, females never change. We’re still those adolescent girls sitting in the cafeteria, eyeing the cute guys at the next table.
(BTW, my choice for Bond will always be Sean Connery. Could there be another sexier, roguish, delicious, slightly dangerous, ready to… ahem. Excuse me. Going on…)
We still like to have sleepovers – Only this time we don’t listen to the radio or play Truth or Dare. Instead we go away for a weekend (or longer) and talk and debate, laugh, and sometimes cry. Rather than discussing who’s going to the prom or that weird science teacher, we talk about husbands, kids, illness, and divorce. We bolster each other up. We share confidences.
The same way spending time together as teenagers helped forge relationships, special time with grown friends does the same. We realize we’re all brave and insecure. Fifteen never leaves.
We still like to dream about the future – Okay, the future isn’t quite as vast as it was sophomore year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bucket list. And if anything, that list is growing. Is it me or is there too much world and too little time?
I used to sit in high school study hall, doodling in my notebook, wondering where I’d go to college, who I’d marry, where I’d live. The strange thing is that same sense of destiny is still here.
Life always has more questions than answers. What’s the next chapter? How much of this planet will I get to see? What’s my purpose? The days ahead hold as much promise as ever. When young, I thought my life would be resolved by middle life. How wrong I was.
We still like to dance – Some of the best, most uninhibited dancers I know are women in their sixties. When no one’s home, I still gyrate around the house to Madonna or Bruno Mars. (Sorry if this is TMI). I’ve always loved to shimmy.
Okay, my body’s different, but the love of physical expression stays the same. When young, I thought grown-ups looked funny trying to do the Hitchhiker and the Pony. But now I get it. There’s something freeing, even primal, in moving our bodies to music. That never goes away.
We still like to rebel – In teenage years, rebelling was easy. There were always parents, school, and older people who “just didn’t get it.” What I didn’t expect was to still have that sense of questioning decades later.
The other day I saw actress Susan Sarandon wearing a low-cut blouse with her hot 30-something lover. And yes, it helps to be a movie star to live that kind of “no holds barred” existence, but I have to give Susan credit. She breaks the rules. She rebels against what a 60-something woman is supposed to be and look like.
Something still stirs at that kind of bravery, the way an anti-war song inspired me during the Vietnam era. We don’t always have to accept what we’re told. It’s up to us to find our own answers in this world.
In the end, that teenager never left.
Why not give ourselves permission to reclaim some of the things lost over the years? Adolescence was hard at times, but beautiful at others. We were on the brink of something. We were discovering who we were.
And the best part now? We’re still on the brink of something. That never ends. We’re still discovering. We still love guys and dancing and friends and dreaming about the future. We still need to question authority.
Only this time, thank God, there are no pimples.
What have you retained from your teenage years? Comments are always welcome and thank you for reading and sharing.