Developing

On one of my travels around the blogosphere I just so happened to stumble across this blog by someone who is in a similar situation to me, but it looks like he’s gone through a lot of trauma. I found it a fascinating read, and I shall continue to read it. I’m glad to see it’s not just me who’s having difficulty dealing with leaving teenagehood. In fact, it got me thinking… back to the stuff I started this blog with – i.e. the transition into adulthood. I do believe it’s one of the most overlooked times of life… the time when you finally do begin to realise what your place is in the world – i.e. not much – because you have much more of a grip on reality.

When you first become a teenager, you get your mind filled with all the usual “you can do anything!” from your family and school. To an extent it’s true, but there will still have been a significant number of doors that have been closed even at this point in life, largely due to simple upbringing and the status, or not, of your family.

Of course, while you’re a teenager you suffer all those raging hormones. One minute you’re feeling great, the next not quite so. But overall, your grip on reality is not quite there. As a result of constant pressure by families to succeed, as well as the hell that peer pressure can be, you can underestimate what you can achieve, and at the same time, overestimate the world. It’s nice to be youthful and idealistic… the world is your oyster.

The thoughts rush through your head… I can actually be something! I want to be able to change the world. And it all seems so easy! Your family push you further… often hoping that you will fill in on their own failed ambitions.

It’s only when the realities of life start hitting you – i.e. the capitalist society and the endless pursuit of wealth – you realise, in fact, that things are not quite as they seem. This begins to kick in around the age of 17, and it carries on into mid 20s. I believe I am in the midst of it now.

You begin to find your place in the world. Your true place. Egos have been deflated, and the pressure applied by parents disappears as you sail off over the horizon to a new life. You may still have a lot you would like to achieve – you should never stop dreaming, after all – but you are tempered by reality. Tempered by the fact that your real chance of being exceptional in an area of study, or maybe more, are probably gone. You begin to realise you’re stuck with what you’ve got and you really have to make the most of it.

And it’s at this point that you realise in fact that you’re just another Mr or Mrs Average. The same old, same old, being reproduced endlessly and destined for a life of mediocrity. Gotta find a job and become a slave to the wage. Deal with shit from bosses forever. Maybe have a family so you can have kids to live out your dream that you didn’t quite achieve in the end?

Uh-oh. Aren’t we back where we started?

This is the cycle of life. We overestimate our value, even once we have realised how tedious life really is, because even then we fail to understand just how impossible true, unique and world-changing attainment is. A miniscule percentage of people actually have an impact in this world. A real impact. Not the old dears who kick up a fuss over the placement of some wind turbines. That’s still just the monotony of life.

Yet no one will ever really drop these thoughts that they may some day have an impact. It’s possibly good that way, as eventually some people have to emerge to change the world – for the better, or even for the worse. But in the meantime, 99.999999% of the rest of us have to live in a deluded world of our own self-importance.

We are not really free people. We are following the age old programme of life. Get born. Reproduce. Die. There is nothing more to it than that.

These thoughts don’t really go through the heads of early to mid teenagers. It’s not the best thing to be telling younger kids after all – that life is not a particularly good thing for the vast majority of people. It’s us late teens, and then the early 20-somethings, who bear all of this in mind. Some of them still don’t understand it, and probably never will. Others – the vast majority – will begin to realise it, openly deny it, but internally accept that little niggling feeling at the back of their minds: that the long slow decline of life has begun.

Consequently, I and all of my peers are still developing as people. We will continue to do so, just in the same way everyone else does. But we are at a more crucial stage than most. This is the time in life when things are, the overwhelming majority of the time, finally set in stone.

We make mistakes. I make mistakes. We’re just trying to find our place. The older generation above us may have already found theirs.

But we are still looking. We will find it, but we must find it ourselves.

So please, give us some space and time. We will eventually become the Mr and Mrs Average that the world craves.

Then we can all be Average together.

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