BUT there are a few things that I did in my teenage years that I wouldn’t mind revisiting. Not the bad hair, boy and clothing decisions, but the things that made up most of my spare time.
Here are just a few things I think we should bring back into adult life …
It seems awkward and ridiculous in retrospect. The intense kissing and flirting with the edges of something more. The gasped “We shouldn’t” and the groaned “but I want to”. Like most teenage experiences, it was all heightened. But there was something hot about it. I still think kissing with restraint is a steamy thing to do. I just don’t do it very often.
All the music
Music was life. I even had a sticker declaring it in the present tense. I explored new genres, wailed over songs and found courage in others. There was a soul-deep connection with music. When I was old enough to attend live gigs I did so as often as I could. Nowadays my musical knowledge is limited to what’s played on the radio and the songs my kids like. I love music, I particularly love live music, and I would love for it be a huge part of my life again.
Talking for hours with friends
We’d say goodbye at the school gate only to call each other the moment our bags touched home ground. It seemed important to immediately dissect the goings on in our friendship circle, offer naive advice on boys and complain about our assignment load. These days my phone “conversations” with friends are limited to quick-fire texts and liking each other’s Facebook statuses. I cannot remember the last time I sat down with a friend on the phone and talked for ages about not much. Even though I’m not a fan of phone calls in general, I do miss that connection.
Every weekend there was something on. A dance party, a dinner, a games night – all hosted in our understanding parent’s homes. We got together because we wanted to and our venues and budgets were limited. No-one cared how clean or otherwise the bathrooms were. There was no judgement on a kitchen in need of renovation. There was no expectation of sparkling benches and a gourmet spread. I don’t host people at our house very often. The pressure seems to great. I’d love to return to the carefree and prolific days of hosting as a teenager. I should just invite people over for the hell of it.
Ah, the self indulgent poetry of adolescence. I wrote reams of the stuff. I read a fair amount as well — fancying myself as some kind of modern day Browning. Poetry doesn’t feature highly on my priority list any more. I don’t write it and I don’t read it. Maybe I should. There was catharsis in those words, written or read. Assembling my thoughts in such a precise order was helpful when I tried to work through difficult emotions. I have sought solace as an adult in poetry and found it. But only in the face of very dark circumstances. Perhaps there is room for poetry in the light as well.
Study defined my adolescence and early adulthood. At the time it felt like work. In retrospect, I understand what a great privilege it was. To spend the majority of time immersed in learning. I’m not keen to head back to university, but I do miss structured learning. My adult life could do with a few classes. A while back I did a silver-smithing course. Not because I felt like changing career direction but because it was fascinating. I think our lives are fuller when we are learning new and interesting things.
The biggest difference between now and then is the division of my time. As a young adult, I had sole ownership. Now, there are so many claims from so many different sources. If I could reclaim anything from teenage years, it would be time to spend on myself. Maybe I should I just adopt the attitude of a teenager and take it.