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Bubbles This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

It's funny how we teenagers see our worlds. Each and every one of us lives in a bubble. We worry about our grades, our friends, our family drama. No one could ever be at a more important juncture, we're convinced, and it's ­crucial to us that we get it right, because if we don't, we'll not just fall from grace, we'll plunge deep into the Mariana Trench, and be crushed by the water pressure down there. Wait, what's the equation for water pressure? Uh oh. I'm slipping! Save me! This is how the plunge begins!

Yes, we are funny beings, all right.

Just look at our friends. We seek out the people who are most like us, like heat-seeking missiles intent on traveling in packs. And those other people? They're not important. They're weird. They're dumb. He can't be in our grade, I've never seen him in my life. Fifty percent of teens do what? That statistic can't be right, nobody I know would ever dare.

We're blind to so much.

Bubbles always seemed so innocuous when we were small. But then, they were just the product of a bubble wand, some soap, and a puff of air. We didn't have to worry about living inside one. It turns out there's not a whole lot of breathing room in there. It turns out that they're bound to pop after a while. Who knew, back then?

Not I.

What will it matter, twenty years from now? Who will care what our chemistry grade was? Who will care how many hours he put into his college applications? Who will care how her boyfriend chose to dump her? Who will care what the graduation song was? And who will care who we hung out with, when everyone we once knew is scattered to the winds, gone, perhaps forever, from our lives?

Pop.

Perspective is tough to gain inside a bubble. But perhaps it's better to pop ours, rather than wait for time or fitful winds to do it for us. It seems as if we're floating toward the heavens when, in fact, we're just getting farther from the ground. On the ground the future is clear. Bubbles warp and distort it so much it becomes fantasy. Isolation and willful ignorance may make life more pleasant in the here and now, but they blind us to the road ahead.

If only we could see the brilliance of the future from inside.

The prospect of graduating, leaving home, and starting our lives seems far from bright for many of us in our bubbles. It reeks of difficulty. It's new. It's imposing. It's threatening. But it's unavoidable. It's looming. We have two choices. We can either pop our own bubble of perspective, face our futures, and challenge ourselves to make them the best they can be, or we can stay comfortable inside our colorful globes and let the ­future ambush us as we watch helplessly while the best parts sneak by. So, do we stay inside our bubbles? The time to choose is now.

And I know what my choice must be.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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