Teenage Wasteland

December 23, 2012
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Winter is a beautiful season, the ice gleaming on the trees, the clean white snow sparkling on the ground, and I personally always find peace in listening to the howling wind and the descent of the elements.

Sadly, the beauty of winter is always overshadowed by the dark days and long nights. Like those dark days, our moods seem to darken in this winter season. Depression and sadness bloom as the flowers breathe their last breath.

I think it may have to do with the old animal instinct of starvation we faced back when we were less human and more animal. Then again, I think a lot of our old instincts are still present in us today.

Whatever may be the cause of this darkening mood at this time of year, don’t ever think about ending your life. This isn’t a solution; it should even be a thought. Don’t ever give up on yourself.

I find myself asking the why questions sometimes; Why do I write? Why do I bother to be myself? Why should I bother to get up in the mornings?

I guess the thought of quitting it all has never crossed my mind for a second because I couldn’t do that to the people I love. I know some people think about it, though. It leads me to another why question; Why do people think this way?

I think most of the time it is because of what people say (yes I’m going into a rant about bullying slightly). I want you to know that it is okay to be you. The hardest thing I find to do is to be myself. I get made fun of behind my back by friends, by people that don’t know me, and I hear it all the time. Yes, it bothers me, I’m only human. They call me insane sometimes, and that is the one thing I can’t ever let go. I’m not insane (am I?); but that one word can break me down and question everything I worked to build my character.

We all have those words. We all get called one thing that makes us question who we are. Gay, Slut, Evil, Ugly…

Questioning the fact of who we are can lead us to feel we’ve accomplished nothing incredible. We start to break down those little joys into meaningless pieces of nothingness, because we aren’t sure who enjoyed those times.

At this time in our life, at adolescence, we can’t reason with the idea of incompleteness in character and the feeling of failure. We just don’t have the experience to deal with it, and in fact we are still developing our character. Don’t be afraid of that fact, still developing our character. Don’t be afraid to change. Don’t be afraid to be who you want to be, because this is the time to discover who you want to be.

One of my idols, Pete Townshend (the guitarist and songwriter for the band The Who) wrote a very meaningful passage in his autobiography.

“I dedicate this book to the artist in all of us.

This is as much a note to myself as one to you. Play to the gods. In show business the ‘gods’ are the seats right at the back of the theatre, the tough ones, where people got in cheaply and can’t see or hear properly, and chat between themselves and eat lots of popcorn.

For the artist ‘the gods’ is the universe, the big, abstract picture, the unknown, the open sky and sea. Focusing on the infinite universe might seem rather grandiose, or utterly aimless. In fact it’s as small or as large as we want it to be. Some of us believe there is nothing out there. Some of us believe we are surrounded by attentive angels. Whatever.

Play to the gods, or – if you prefer – to a small basket full of stuffed toys, or sing into the mouth of a hot-water bottle, or turn the knobs on a chest of drawers and pretend to be 20,000 leagues under the sea.

It’s all the same thing. If in doubt, just play”

~Who I am

Pete Townshend


He’s telling us it is okay to be who we are, if we are shy and quiet, if we are loud and open, if we believe in science or religion. It’s okay to be you. No matter what anyone says, don’t give up on yourself. For the one person who says something mean, there will be a thousand in your life who say something positive. Most importantly, make sure you love you. Only you can make sure you’re happy with yourself, only you can tell you who you want to be, and only you should be able to change you. If you love you, then you will find people that love you for you.

And if in doubt, just play, after all, this is only a teenage wasteland…

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