Every Teen for Themselves

Illustration/collage by Vivian

Illustration/collage by Vivian

Dear Diary,

I felt like writing ‘Dear Diary’ to be dramatic. 

So today: It’s raining, and all I have done so far is go to breakfast with my dad, watch the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou by Wes Anderson, and read the Rookie Yearbook Three. It’s a good day. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about high school lately. About ‘the high school experience’. Here are my thoughts so far:

First of all, I’ve seen way too many movies. 

I’ve had this idea of what high school is supposed to be like for a long time. You know, get-drunk-sneak-out-break-the-law-high-school. That was the only way I saw it. I didn’t really think any other way was cool or fun. I though it was like a John Hughes movie: it’s popular or geek, no in between. So you know I tried the cool way. Or I wanted to. It just never really worked out— it was against my nature or something. I didn’t feel fun.  

So I watched everyone else do it. Although I wished I didn’t care, wished I could let loose, and wished I wasn’t so boring, I liked being with my people and seeing them have fun. But still— I felt like I was doing high school wrong

It’s taken me a really long time to realize that I’m not doing it wrong at all— I’m doing it different. And it’s cool because my friends aren’t doing it wrong either; they’re doing it their own way. 

Everyone has to figure things out. And that doesn’t always mean the same thing. It’s different for everyone. And it’s also 100% ok. It’s just being a teenager— there isn’t one way to do it. Everyone just… does it. It’s relative. And I’m finally ok with that. 

And I have this really distant and comforting hope that I’m not the only one. So I feel a little less lonely now. 

Everyone has it different. Everyone has they’re own way. Everyone knows it differently. 

Here’s what I know:

I like to smile and dance around. 

I like to hug and cry with my friends.

I like to laugh until I get an ab workout.

I like to watch the same movies over and over (and cry just as hard every time).

I like to see the sunset with my people.

I like to take pictures on my disposable camera.

I like to worship and sing really loudly.

I like to take walks (even though I’m lazy and do it once every five months).

I like to go get ice cream.

I like to be a teenager, my way. 

I just want to continue to figure it all out, however that may be. And I want to let everyone else figure it out too, however that may be. We’re just teenagers. And we just want to grow. And it’s ok if you’re growing in a strange direction. Strange is not wrong, it’s just… different. And I promise, different— no matter how lonely, no matter how scary— is good.