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I believe teenagers are invincible. We are as the rain: an unstoppable deluge, a flood; every drip is accidental, yet undeniably correct.
On days when the wispy clouds are half-heartedly resisting the sun’s burn, all teenagers hear the call: a reminder that there are places other than the back of a classroom, the Internet, and the fridge. It reminds us to be free.
On one of those days, my friends and I buy five bottles of orange soda and walk to the beach. Upon arrival, we chase after a few bewildered ducks and have a contest to see who can open the shaken-up bottles of pop without getting foamed.
“Let’s go for a swim,” one of my friends says.
And because we are teenagers, we race each other, barefoot, to the dock. I climb down the steps to the water and tentatively survey the depths. Turning around to joke to everyone, I say, “Who’s going to jump in fir—”
Then two unidentified pairs of hands have pushed my shoulders and I, off balance, feel my stomach dive with me as I, seemingly in slow motion, indignantly gasping, laughing out of surprise and thrill and losing my frenzied battle against gravity, clumsily claim the first dip into the lake that day.
Dangerous, isn’t it? I could be hurt; there is no lifeguard; the lake might not be as clean as it looks. But I am a teenager, and so are my friends, so the whole event is ultimately pure, bursting with understanding that we don’t care because we choose not to.
I push my hair out of my eyes as I break the surface, coughing up lakewater and giggles. As the telltale splashes alert me that my friends have followed my unintentional plunge, I sigh in exhilaration.
This is why we are infallible—not because we are wise, or completely capable or fully developed, but because we linger on the blindly hopeful outskirts of childhood, flirting with the increasingly insistent tug of responsibility. On this threshold, the “grown-up” threat of injury is nothing compared to our youthful resilience.
We never dive down and fail to resurface. We always ask for a rematch if we lose. We are self-assured, self-healing, and self-centered not because we don’t know any better, but because we understand the impermanence of immutability. Until I am an adult, I have so much time left to fix everything; for now, nothing is irreparable. We are headstrong just because we have time and hope to spare: we have blessing of free time, the maturity to recognize it, and the thoughtlessness to exercise it.
Someday we will be old. But as teenagers, we cannot die. While we whisper, “Memento mori”—remember that you will die—we swagger with the confidence of immortals.
I believe that for now, we have eternity at our fingertips, and we can do whatever we want.
We are forever flawless, infinitely resurrected, boundless.
Why does anyone ever grow up?