Forever Young, Forever Summer, Forever Friends. The thrills and the fear of being youthful. One million firsts. Forever Dancing, Forever Karaoke, Forever Fun. Forever Young. Forever and young. Forever while young.
Forever Young isn’t the Peter Pan mystical idea of literally staying young forever and never growing up. Forever Young is a way to live life— where no matter how old you get, you can still play stupid games and do stupid things with your friends. It’s being in love for no reason and telling that person to their face (and running away like a middle schooler afterwards, of course). Forever Young is getting ice cream at your favorite place and carving your name into the tables. It’s holding hands and running around—going on an adventure. The unwarranted expectation that a summer night could lead anywhere. This immensity does not end with simply feeling infinite, but that emotions and moments will indeed be felt for an infinity. As if our laughs will echo and continue for future generations to know how much we lived. As if names carved into trees and across the room glances suddenly belong to us and mark our place- signaling that we were here and we felt something. The thought that every moment can last for an eternity, or even if it doesn’t, it will stay with us for that long.
Forever Young is your first love, over and over and over again.
It’s sometimes really difficult for us to let go and forget about all of our responsibilities and commitments. It gets hard to have fun when you’re bound down by schoolwork or thinking about colleges. But when is a better time to run around and be stupid and Forever Young than SUMMER? June, the heat, the freedom, the fun. The first night of summer when all of your friends jumped in the freezing cold pool. The times you all actually swam instead of bobbing up and down to keep your hair dry (brutally honest, we know). June is the time to be free and stupid and have fun. To make plans weeks in advance then throw them away to have another drive-around-fun kind of night. June is the time for running around town doing stupid stuff, and maybe, just maybe, breaking some rules.
And if these moments fail? That is a part of youth. There’s hesitance in letting go, signing yearbooks on the last day of school- like The Breakfast Club moment of will we be jerks to each other on Monday. Will we see each other this summer? Will you grow up without me- me without you? Will we ever need each other after May ends and June arrives? It’s fitting that summer begins in Late Spring, as if summer is the type of thing someone grows into, blooms into. There’s trepidation in this romanticized term. How could I have a summer as glorious as Elio? As life changing as Halley and Moonee? As heroic as Suzy and Sam? As essential as Carmen, Tibby, Lena or Bridget?
Forever Young is Lorde’s ‘Ribs’, and simply enough, ‘Forever Young’ by Youth Group. It’s the freedom and fun of Dazed and Confused, and the adventure in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. It’s the relaxation and letting go of Dirty Dancing, and the joy in the songs of Mamma Mia. It’s Harold and Maude, as they dance around and free themselves from what everyone thinks is right for them. (If anyone represents Forever Young, it’s Maude). It’s driving late night dancing to Fleetwood Mac and Tame Impala. The forever-y part of the Alphaville song, “Dreams” by Passion Pit, or any John Green book. It’s putting your fist in the air while you listen to ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ by Simple Minds, pretending you’re a part of The Breakfast Club. It’s that tunnel scene in The Perks of Being a Wallflower playing David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’. And in that moment, we were infinite. Forever Young is Infinite.
Forever Young is scary, fun, joyful, thrilling, sad, and amazing all at once. It’s important that it’s not one thing. It’s everything. Forever is everything and nothing and everything. When you’re young, everything feels like forever. Every up and every down is heightened and glamorized, and we love it that way. Because there is no joy without sadness, and definitely no fun without some fear. Forever Young is about experiencing all of it, all at once. That is what youth is. Youth is experiencing everything so intensely that you kind of just need to go crazy. So you do. To be young is a formality, the standard. To be Forever Young is to truly feel everything in the fear of someday not feeling anything. And we’re holding onto Forever Young for as long as we live.
What does Forever Young mean to you? Submit your Forever Young writing, art, photography, etc. We’d love for you to incorporate the theme into your submissions, but don’t feel limited by it! Submit what you feel.