Baba O’Riley

There is this 25 random facts thing circulating on Facebook right now, and one of the things a friend wrote really resonated with me.  She said she almost quit using the social networking site because it reminded her of her high school angst and it made her feel uneasy.

I’ve been sort of dealing with the same thing.

I never quite fit in with any one group in high school.  I was smart, but I also was naughty (and started young), so I didn’t fit in very well with the preppy smart kids.  But I also had something that every once in a while would make me think that I was headed down a bad road, and this caused me to try to get some distance from my more drug addled friends.  I was a hippie with a punk boyfriend, or maybe I was just a future geek all along.  In any event, this unstable identity caused me no end of confusion in my teen years.

And it’s not much better now.

But another old friend commented on my friend’s 25 things, saying she felt the same way.  And this someone is a person I always thought “fit in” just perfectly.  She was popular, pretty, outgoing, and uproariously funny.  Yet she felt the same way I did.

Sometimes, when we are overcome with memories, it is hard to separate ourselves from the children we once were.  It is all to easy, even after twenty years, to stir up the pain of rejection and the embarassment of being an awkward teen among teens, trying to establish who we are when we really don’t even know what that means.

I think of it as a sort of psychological natural selection.  Eat or be eaten.

But with everything I am struggling with right now, I am seeing myself and all the people I grew up with much more clearly.  I can find that place in me that recognizes the people I didn’t like for who they were.  People just like me who were interrupted at some point, and it changed their trajectories.

I sometimes wish I could tell all those people who thought I was messing up my life that I couldn’t help it.  I learned some faulty coping mechanisms, and I used them well.

But I shouldn’t care what they think.  I should believe I have value no matter what anyone believes about me.  I should look at myself with the same compassion I have found for all those misguided children, so many years ago.

And some day, I will.

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2 Responses to “Baba O’Riley”

  1. All i can say is “ditto”, emphatically “ditto”.

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