You’re born. You grow up. You go to kindergarten. Then school. Then high school. Then, depending on whether you take gap years (and how many), you eventually go to university. And to be politically correct, as one must be in this fascinating day and age, I don’t mean that everyone follows this pattern. I’m talking specifically about people in my socio-cultural-economic demographic category.
You listen to people supposedly teaching you roughly your entire life from 5 to 25. You think to yourself, maybe they know what the fuck they’re talking about, maybe not… And then, suddenly, you’re thrown into this dark ocean and you’re expected to know how to swim. Just like that. But, now that I’ve gone through education and come out the other end (if that is an agreeable image to use), I can say this: 20 years of education may teach you everything there is to know about swimming, but they don’t teach you how to swim. You gotta learn that all by yourself. Put in practice everything that you’ve been taught, and then teach yourself how to make your path through life. That’s right, buster! DIY time!
While you’re in school, you’re pretty much shielded within a bubble. And you only need to worry about the things inside that bubble, which is a very safe feeling. A schedule is provided, along with a list of academic objectives which you must achieve, and then you spend year after year meeting those objectives. All the other concerns are mainly pimple-related, and whether the girl sitting two desks in front of you liked that poem you wrote for her last week. But, after you graduate, there is no schedule anymore. No list of things to achieve is given to you. You have to come up with everything on your own. It’s a pretty numbing feeling that, no matter how much you anticipate and prepare for, always takes you by surprise.
Left and right, you see angry, stressed out people running around frantically to their next destination. Everyone worrying what everybody thinks of them, and thinking that everyone’s against them. Everyone having a bill they need to pay, children they need to feed, trying to remember happier times when they had dreams they thought they could achieve. Before life whips you into place and into some kind of robotic, dehumanizing routine. Apply. Rinse. Repeat.
Apologies for the bleakness of this post. I am still a romantic at heart, although my cynical alter-ego is seriously developing more and more as I get older. Sometimes I wish I could have stayed 16 years old forever. At that age, I had pretty much all the mental maturity I do now, but without so much of the cynicism that’s built up in the intervening years. So maybe my next objective (now that I am the fresh recipient of a Bachelor of Arts degree) is to get back in touch with my teenage self and to reawaken that feeling of reaching for the stars and dreaming wide awake.
And, in the meantime, find a fucking band to make music with. And then save the world, one song at a time! Does that sound like something you’d like to do when you grow up? 🙂