Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Deification of Youth



People joke about it sometimes, but I'm starting to think the young really do feel their life ends at 30. Just.... ends. By the age of 30, they want to have studied, reached the pinnacle of their career (if you planned to work at all), married and with at least a few kids. So....what the hell did you leave to achieve for the rest of your life (I know there is more to life than that but you get my drift)? You want to spend the rest of the decades ahead as you are? You want to throw away your freedom which you only just got at 18 and only really knew what to do with in your mid-20s? And for what, decisions, dishes and diapers...?

Why is everyone in such a rush?! When I see the young throw away their youth, I regret it for them. They are likely to do the same a decade or two later (most of which is spent in utter denial). Yes, the young are inexperienced and stupid. All the more reason they shouldn't hurry to wear daddy's suit and mommy's apron (I'm sorry for the stereotypes, just go with it). Being young and stupid means they are not prepared to embark on all life has to offer before they hit 30. In very few exceptions some people are mature enough yet realistic enough to go through - at best - some of that but still manage to enjoy being young (that being academics, career, marriage and/or children). So I suppose to some extent it can be done, but there must be limits. Also this is the exception, not the rule.

We enter this world straight into a life of structure dictated more or less by our bowel movements. We are too preoccupied as we grow. We are exposed to more and more stimulants, our brain constantly engaged and engrossed as it absorbs and tries to comprehend all that goes on around us. So we continue living a structured life that has been set out for us as to not disturb our journey of discovery. Lunch times, nap times, bath times, bed times; we just play along because we are just too immersed. We continue to grow and the routine starts to get a little tedious, but we are too young and naive to know how to change that since we are so used to playing along. It continues until we hit 18. High school is over, our senses our enticed by the mere promise of what is to come. Assuming we continue on to higher education, our routine life is not so routine anymore. Our daily schedule is now a bit more arbitrary. Our bodies may suffer from the lack of structure but we masochistically like it that way after being tied down for so long. One irresponsible decision after the next, and we continue to make and re-make those bad decisions. If you're lucky, you won't have anyone breathing down your neck in an effort to keep you from such bad decisions. If you're unlucky, you won't have anyone to prevent you from the really, really bad decisions. But this is all a continuation of that journey of discovery at a different level, which requires a little deconstruction of the structured life that was built for us. Our 20s should not be spent living the same way our parents do. I find that worrying. Even if after college a little bit of routine sneaks back into your life, you don't want to find that it's a similar routine to your parents' generation.

Even in physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics says (more or less) that the norm for a given system is for order to decrease. The general tendency of the universe is to go from order towards lack of order. Seeing that we are a part of the very physical world in which this law applies, then it is safe to say it applies to us as well. We go from structure to lack of structure. However the common misconception here is that order can only decrease, when actually the increase in disorder can result in producing order in another part of the system without violating the Second Law. Meaning when we 'de-structure' a part of our lives, we can do so in order to structure another part of our lives. I guess sometimes it's necessary to mess up one aspect of our lives in order to get another part sorted.

As a baby you are not taught to walk or told how to do it but you learn; you observe, you build your strength, you give it a couple of failed attempts until you take your first step all on your own. Then you repeat the process till you can manage to get to the second, third, tenth step and so one. To me, that's how it is for life in general. You can't be told how to live it, you learn as you go along. Making mistakes isn't a possibility, it's a certainty. But it's not as scary as we make it out to be. Life goes on regardless of whatever monumental fuck up you got yourself into. More often than not, you eventually can look back at it and actually laugh. We have one life to live, why deprive ourselves of the joy of actually living?! Why put ourselves on such high a pedestal, or allow ourselves to be placed there, and attempt to live a pristine life? Aside from the fact that it is far too mundane an existence, it is impossible.

I want to celebrate my youth, enjoy the mistakes, bathe in the stupidity, let it consume me.