My Brother (a drug and alcohol worker) works with young people and tweeted the following earlier today, it made me think:
Worker: but YOU got arrested, how well is your stand working?
Not that I have ever taken illegal drugs (well ok, the odd joint at university, but I was 23 and I didn’t like it)
I’m talking about the attitude. As a teen I knew it all. I had all the answers. I knew myself (or thought I did) and those around me better than anyone else. I was bloody amazing…perfect even.
Those old people (30 year olds!) could try to tell me how they saw the world, but they were boring and dull and had no idea about my world, they had given up, were cynical …they watched the “NEWS” for entertainment for crying out loud!
I had my life planned out. I knew exactly where I was going.
As a youth worker in a previous life I too heard kids say more or less the same crap about …everything. In their world, the world of the teenager, they are amazing, right and the only ones who know how it feels to be a teenager. Just like I did.
I’m not sure exactly where it changed for me. Although I know my attitude did not change until I was into my mid-20’s.
I stopped fighting the world and discovered that, actually, life is a bit shit. It’s hard out there and most of the time you’re in it alone.
I learnt a lot about myself whilst training to be a counsellor. I learnt that a lot of the pain in my life was caused by me. Taking on that responsibility is Raw and Painful, as it penetrated the belief system that I as a teen had built up around me and the realisation that some of that pain could have been prevented…that I could have changed events in my life.
When I accepted that and took responsibility for my behaviour, I stopped fighting against myself.
Maybe loosing my “attitude” was a gradual process, but along with it I have lost my fight, my passion.
The young person my brother mentioned, who was making a stand. Yes it was not a particularly good stand, it was a unhealthy self abusive stand on many levels and lacked some major self-awareness, but you can still hear that innocent “Me against the world” passion in the words he used.
I don’t miss the naivety of my youth which, believe me, led to some really stupid behaviours that only hurt and embarrassed myself. But I do miss the fight and the passion behind those behaviours. I miss the flighty girl I used to be and I miss the freedom to be her. In a future post I may write a letter to my teenage self, if only she would have read it!
If I knew then, what I know now
I would be and do exactly the same again!