Before We Move On, Let's Learn to Laugh at Ourselves | Teen Ink

Before We Move On, Let's Learn to Laugh at Ourselves

July 18, 2013
By onesmallinfinity GOLD, Dayton, Ohio
onesmallinfinity GOLD, Dayton, Ohio
11 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?" - John Green

When I see you, I have a sudden, startlingly poignant revelation. It's so incredibly obvious, been right in front of me the whole time, and yet I have constantly overlooked it, searched for pathways around it, even closed my eyes when I come face to face with it. Anything to delay the inevitable. But finally, it hits home. And there's nothing I can do but take a deep breath and accept the absolute truth of it.

We have grown up.

When I glance through old photos of us now, I no longer recognize the faces I see captured by the camera's flash. They have changed. Grown. Stretched. Matured. And though the features are the same, the smiles may be similar, and I know that the little girls I see in the photograph are, in fact, younger versions of us, that's just what they remain in my mind. Versions of us. Outdated and used up, they are from another time, another world even, when I saw the people and places around me through the same pair of eyes but with such a different perspective.

They told us we would change. This should be no surprise. They predicted our behavior. Hundreds of thousands of young people have gone before us and many will follow behind who will experience many of the same things that we do. They tell us we are not exceptions. I've been told it is normal to truly see adulthood for the first time looming on your horizon and shiver, been told it is okay to not know where you are or where you are going for certain. They shove their complacency under our nose and try to make us feel less alone by undermining our individuality, by trying to make the strange, terrible, exciting, horrific, wonderful, thrilling, tragic experiences we call A Life seem more commonplace. They give us certainty and stability, but I'm worried that the price may be my creativity.
All around me I see my friends beginning to cut the ties that have up till now been deemed a mere necessity. My friends are moving out, seeking independence, choosing colleges, finding jobs, and planning for a life they haven't even begun to live yet. And that's fine. Wonderful even. It means the system is working, that our parents have done their work well and that we have done our job to the best of our ability, that "growing up" will someday soon become another box we can check off of our to do lists. And don't get me wrong, I'm all for independence. But as I look around I realize, this is it. Sooner that I can imagine, this way of life that I love so much will become a distant memory of my "golden years" in highschool, and I begin to realize that I don't want this to be a box to check off on a check list. I want to leave highschool with something more than I began it with. I want to choose a path that will show the person I have become in the last four years, and I want to prove that all the work I've put towards my now-not-so-distant future will be worth something.

But even before all of that, I feel like there's something else I have to do. Something I think every single person should take time to do when they're beginning to make the transition between old and new, between past and future. So before we move on, let's take a minute to laugh at ourselves.

Seriously. We're all so stressed out. Worrying about life plans and college and whether or not the path we've chosen is even a good idea. We're worried about financial aid and summer internships and senior pictures and throwing a graduation party and all the rest of the tiny details we get so caught up in trying to avoid the fact that we're on the brink of the big shift in our lives, the part of our lives when the decisions we've made up until this point become a mere practice run for the big decisions we'll have to make in the immediate future. So before we start taking ourselves too seriously, stop what you're doing, drop everything, and just have a good laugh.

Laugh at the memories of the good times, singing in your friend's car after they got their license, the concert you had front row seats to, the speech you completely improved and then got an A on. And laugh when you remember the not-so-great times too, the times when you thought that it really was the end of the world this time. Remember the mistakes you made as a freshman. Remember the time you accidentally called your crush hot to his face and blushed bright red and felt like you were going to DIE of embarrassment (this may or may not be something I actually did). Remember all the times you tripped over your own feet, or said a word wrong or forgot your homework or blanked on somebody's name or took a wrong turn or found out how really, really bad your hand-eye coordination is when it comes to bowling. Take a second and just laugh at yourself. And most of all remember how through every little crisis or victory or failure or success, no matter what it felt like at the time, you were always alright at the end of the day. You made it. You did it. And you can laugh about it now. And if it wasn't the end of the world back then, it might not be the end of the world now, even if the stuff you're facing seems bigger.

So remember this when they try to tell you that it's alright. That what you feel is "normal". Tell them they're wrong. It's not normal. Life is about as abnormal as you can get. Tell them no one has ever felt the way you feel tonight, and that no one will ever bring what you bring to the world ever again in the history of the planet. They can keep their stability. Cause we've got inspiration, faith, hope, and the ability to laugh at ourselves. And no matter what happens in the future, no matter what path we choose, I think that's really all we need.


The author's comments:
Initially a blog post I wrote, thought it stood on it's own enough to be a whole separate article. Enjoy. :)

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This article has 2 comments.

on Aug. 18 2013 at 3:04 pm
Jacelyn PLATINUM, Ft. Irwin, California
23 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else.

Totally amazing. Wonderfully written

on Aug. 18 2013 at 12:18 pm
ChristineK GOLD, SLC, Utah
17 articles 3 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
“So the future seemed
To mingle with the past. For a short space
I saw revealed to the doubt the threads that bind
This little speck of time we call “To-day”
To the great cycle of unending life
That has been and that shall be evermore.”

This was so good. Nice work (: