Thursday, September 8, 2011

Young, Wild, and Free

              Everyday when I look at myself in the mirror, I say "I don't feel any older than I did yesterday, I don't look any older than I did yesterday, I must be pretty much the same age".  This has been going on for the past decade or so.  Since age seven, I've been, at least in my opinion, the same guy.  Granted, my voice has gotten noticeably deeper, and I have certainly gotten bigger as the years have gone by, but to me, all things considered, I'm pretty much the same old Max that I've always been .  Or at least I try to be…

               It's actually quite difficult to do, though.  I have found that as we get older, trends are picked up, different activities become popular, and some of our most favorite things to do in this world become labeled with those dreaded words that condemn every person, place, and thing to an eternity of shame. These words, such as uncool, immature, childish, and dumb are the equivalent to the death penalty for all things that we thought of as fun when we were kids, and they're thrown around as carelessly as the word "diversity" is at Park nowadays.

               Now it's obvious that no one wants to be labeled as any one of these things, so we all drop whatever we're doing, and pick up the nearest glass of Kool-Aid and down it.  We have no qualms as we forget what fun we had going stream walking and looking for frogs, or playing dumb games with our friends. They meant nothing to us, because we are mature adults, and we're cool. 

Fuck that shit…

                It's my senior year, and god damn it all.  When I look in that mirror now, I realize that hell yeah I've gotten older.  Amidst the college essays, and visits, and classes, and parties, I've realized that the frivolous part of me is being forced to take a backseat, and frankly, that isn't sitting right.  You may think I'm being naïve, maybe even think I'm being "immature", but I have made it my goal to never relinquish that part of me that wants to play Pokémon into the wee hours of the morning, or wants to follow the walls around the entire high school with my best friend so that, in the off chance we go blind, we can sure as hell find our way around.  I need to have that little bit of kid that still exists in me to stay where it is.

                Why keep it around? That's a good question.  Maybe it's because it helps to relieve the everyday stresses of being in high school.  Maybe it's because it'll help me understand my own kids better when they eventually decide to exist.  Maybe it's even because I have some suppressed desire to be a new-age hipster that doesn't conform to things like "ages" ("Psh, yeah, whatever.  Age is so mainstream…").  And maybe, just maybe, it's because I don't think that there needs to be this constant push to grow up.  Love being a kid while you can, it's not going to be an option forever…

                 So the next time you see me in the halls playing Magic: The Gathering, or surprise trust-falling on various students and faculty members, come and hang out with me for a while.  Get rid of the books, throw out your worries, and for a short, blissful moment, just be a kid.

Post By: Max Berner

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