It’s weird now that I realize there’s an awful lot of songs referred to being 17. It seems like all the songwriters out there are obsessed with seventeen-year-old, or the idea of being 17. I cannot understand the beauty that lies in being a seventeen-year-old or the underlying reasons to romanticize it. Live your life. Enjoy your youth. Love someone. Explore the world. The kids my age on the media are all portrayed to live a life like this. And then here I am, lying in my bed, listening to some music and having a weekly existential crisis.
To me, being 17 is weird. It’s weird now that in less than a year I will have to say farewell with my childhood and enter the boring world of adults. It’s weird that the world of cartoons, of unattainable dreams and naive hopes will soon disappear. And then I will eventually find myself alone in the world of pressure, of deadline, of jealousy and hypocrisy.
Few weeks ago, i was having a weekly check-up at my dentist when a nurse ask me “What university would you like to apply to”. “What kind of major?”. She told me to speak up because I was too quite behind the mask. I almost yelled “I DON’T KNOW” and risk humiliating myself in a room filled with curious eyes. These types of question still startle me. But what is the point of knowing about the goals and plans of a stranger in the first place?
I assert my youth. But simultaneously I situate myself in relation to time. Time is my companion and, at the same time, my worst enemy. Yet I long for tomorrow, whereas everything in me ought to reject it. What frightens me is time, and everything that comes along with it. And yet time is inevitable. Tomorrow will come. It will be the same as today, and yesterday, and the day before yesterday… Same small corner, same state of soul, same daily gestures. I can feel it. I can feel a part of youth shattering into pieces, falling into fathomless darkness. I can hear the lamenting sound of a quivering youth, being buried inside four concrete walls.
“Live your life. Enjoy your youth. Love someone. Explore the world.”. These sentences repeat like some cliche mantras. And yes it is indeed summer. The season of sunshine, of the beaches, of ice cream, of summer dress, of midnight memories, and outdoors. But then what can I do? Venturing outdoors in the middle of a pandemic, pursuing a paradox only to realize that it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers? I don’t need the adventure, the holiday, the beaches, the luxurious resorts to know that it is indeed summer. These scents of grass and stars at night and the summer breeze in certain evenings when the heart relaxes teach me much more.
My seventeenth summer is filled with hope, ambition, and uncertainty. But maybe one day when I look back, I’ll realize how much I’ve grown. I will realize that instead of the adventures, the midnight memories doing reckless things, it is indeed this uncertainty that made my memories. The uncertainties – the stones of my colorless desert, the color of my seventeenth year.
In less than a year I’ll officially become a grumpy, boring adult. But at least I’ll be an adult with memories.