Stages in life are something most adults have forgotten to acknowledge. We are so wrapped up in our own busy lives that we overlook what defined who we are today.
I miss the golden years, those years between the ages of 4 and 9. At the time I didn’t realize I was living them; I imagined they were still to come. This was a time of no expectations; no understanding of life, when ignorance was truly bliss. This was back in the days when everything was enormous; even your mom’s sedan was a struggle to conquer. We used to discover money under our pillows and behaved all year to ensure Santa would break in and eat the cookies, the years when girls had cooties and there was always an excuse for everything that you did wrong. You didn’t know any better.
A lot has changed since childhood. Today when I pull up to a stoplight and see one of those young hot shots in the car next to mine, I immediately judge. He’s wearing a backwards hat, tweaked to the side, smoking a cig, driving a car that probably isn’t roadworthy, yet he still revs and races like he’s in a hot rod. But the thing that stands out the most (besides his “youthful” driving) is the music, the bass especially. Even more noticeable than the music are the profanities that scream from his windows. It’s an embarrassment for the “songwriter” who penned the lyrics, as well as the kid “bumpin” his beats. How many times can you rearrange Drugs, Money, and B****** and expect it to sound different?
It is humiliating to admit, but this used to be me. The problem is, when I see this teenage behavior, I don’t think back to when I used to conduct myself in this fashion, no. I think of how it looks through my newly-discovered lens: Ridiculous.
Now when I see these adolescents, I still think back to the day I was sitting next to Mommy, looked over, and there were those cool kids. I don’t know what made them so cool; it was just a group of “big boys” driving around in an old, green Ford Ranger that was starting to rust, the guys in the bed of the truck laughed and lit cigarettes the moment they pulled onto Main. Times haven’t changed all that much. The difference is, now they aren’t cool and the punk rock they played actually had a thought process behind it, even though I couldn’t understand a word.
Before we know it, we’re adults. Foolish antics no longer have a reason, and cooties take on a whole new reality. No one realizes after your 13th birthday, there are only four more that count: 16th, 18th, 21st. That’s it. Once you hit 21, birthdays only count as a number. Instead of getting to watch cartoons and play in the sand all day, we now quietly go to work, school, and pay bills. Then you hit 55. Not only do you receive the IRA cash out you (hopefully) have been saving for, but you also receive an AARP card to help you save the rest of it after your first big purchase, the new sports car you envied ever since “youthful driving” days. You now engage in elder activities, like yelling at those little whippersnappers to get off your lawn, while you sip expensive scotch and smoke cigars. Being old and wise, you look forward to driving 10 mph under the speed limit, laughing at young guns putting off, while you unobtrusively listen to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra.
So you tell me: What stages of youthful irrationality have you overlooked throughout your life?
Ryan Yaseen is a Durango boy by birth, currently a sophomore studying communication at FLC. Outside of school, his preoccupation’s involve world travel, mountain biking and adventure sports.