“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
That was a quote by the Albert Ellis, a famous American psychologist who earned notoriety in 1955, for developing Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. But I refuse just to accept such a cope out of an answer to such an interesting question. Because I believe there is a definitive conclusion to such a conundrum – well I hope there is. But it certainly is not just a question you can contemplate and come to a conclusion on your weekly Sunday stroll through the park, because It’s one of those questions where you could quiet possible walk up to any random person on the streets and ask them that very questions and it’s a guarantee that most of the time you would receive a completely different answer 10/10 times – and certainly divides the generations, as each would say the other has it better shouldn’t complain. But which side is really the greener? Sure each has its ups but at the very same time they certainly have their downs.
Firstly I have from firsthand experience, to what the opinion the – I must tread carefully now, let’s go with mature. Well they constantly looking down from their half rimmed glasses, and with a tut of their teeth and a shake of their heads, they always seem to think that, my generation in particular – teenagers seem to sit around doing nothing, and thus because of this they are wasting the best years of their life, and I certainly hear this from my mother who adamantly refuses to allow me to sit at home and do nothing – well when it’s me it’s doing nothing but when the shoe is on the other foot, it’s called relaxing. And when she tries to get me out of the house, she uses the same old tired excuse “your young, you should be out enjoying life, you will never get it this easy again. To be honest after a why, I did start to think she was right, because when you’re young you don’t have the pressures that our parents have to deal with on a daily bases. For examples we don’t have to worry about bills, we eat, sleep, use water and electricity without a second thought, as if it was always there, and it’s our god given rights as a human being, to have such privileges. Leaving us forgetting the hard work out parents have to go though – 9 to 5, 5 days a week’s worth of hard work. And we still have the never to ask for pocket money and complain when we don’t get the latest gadgets and gizmos to keep up with trends. So leaving them with all the hard challenges in life, it leaves us to enjoy life and live every day to the fullest. But wait a second. If childhood is so great why is it, that if you talk to anyone my age, they always seem to be in a hurry to grow up,” I can’t wait to I’m older so I can move out”, or “I’m tired of being you, want to be older”. But that exactly the thing, we have a lot less serious issues to worry about, but it doesn’t mean we are carefree as adults like to say, with have problems, admittedly our problems are usually down to not knowing what to wear, or the opposite gender and the occasional spot, but none the less they are still problems and us they certainly seem a lot more significant then it would be through the eyes of an adult. Having no date for the prom, can sometimes feel like your would is caving in on you – and no before any parents say it, going by yourself is not a option!
As anyone who has been through adolescences, or currently going through it will tell you it’s a very awkward time in one’s life, you’re so pumped full with hormones your can’t tell up from down, and it doesn’t help, when your completely unsure of yourself and don’t ask society to help. Because they won’t! They will make it worse, you pick up an magazine and it will provides you with so many tends, tips on how to dress better and to look better – and particularly for girls, if you don’t fit the heavily photoshopped size 0 models your deemed unattractive and our destined for a solitary life involving lots and lots of cats. But don’t think boys get it easy, instead of magazines we are subjected to ever increasing pressure to look like the latest Simon Cowell manufactured pop band on TV – it is officially the time of One Direction, your typical soft talking, bubble pop heartthrobs that girls seem to swoons over anytime someone mentions their names. So if you don’t look like pre-pubescent boy bands or a Miley Cyrus look alike on the front of every magazine, your ostracized by your peers in that hell hole called high school, and whilst struggling to navigate through all the test and exams you still have to avoid being referred to as it, nerd or freak by jocks and cheerleaders, and if you dare – and to some extent openly wish to declare social suicide. If you dare to walk, talk or act differently from everyone else, the popular kids will not hesitate, like a pack of Hyena’s to pounce on you and ridicule and belittle you at any time they get.
So I don’t feel adolescences is the best years of your life, sure it seems you have all the time in the world, and that very same world is your oyster that calls for you to take it for both hands, but with so much choice and possibility, it can seem like a massive weight on your shoulders, and everywhere you turn people are telling you to do this with your life, to do that, you should be this. With so much expectation is hard to keep everyone happy, and most importantly hard to keep yourself happy, because as 16- 22 you still don’t know what “self” is. And as far as having all the time in the world, you can have all the time in the world, but its worthless because their never seem to be anything to do!
Okay so it’s certainly not adolescences, maybe it’s that time in our life that we always seem to look back in fond nostalgia – when life was simpler, and every day was a new adventure. Surely that’s the best years of your life? you don’t have bills, and worry about that pesky thing called growing up and all worries it has that it has to offer; spots, what clothes are in fashion or girls – because at around 10 and bellow girls are still ekky! – If only we could think that for the rest of our male’s lives, keeps us well away from them – certainty would save us a few heart breaks on the way.
But at that age, as much as it may seem that the world filled with just roses and butterflies (yes did think that at that age) and completely revolves around you, it’s really not that great when you think about. Because actually it doesn’t revolve around on you, on the contrary, your very insignificant part of it; you’re just a product of your environment. It’s a very impressionable age and if anything tragic happens at this point, it could have adverse affects on you for the rest of your life, whilst the threat of this if reduced the older you get, as you develop the tools to cope with such thing. To top it all you’re missing the biggest party in the world, because it’s past your bed time – sex, drugs and Rock and Roll. Surely no amount of cookies and milk can compare. Furthermore being that young means you miss out on more of the fruits that the tree of life has to off, so clearly childhood is not the answer.
By this point you’re probably screaming at your screens right now “what about Adulthood!”, and you maybe on to something right there, its last for a good 40 years, and it certainly the age that if you were going to do anything worthwhile with your life, it better be in this time frame, you have all the maturity and intelligent of adulthood, but without most of insecurity of adolescences and you have the health you don’t get with old age. And topping it off you get to experience the cherry on top of the cake – fun of falling in love, getting married and having children. But besides all this you’re still part of that dreaded thing called the rat race. Every morning you wake up at the exactly same time to join that monotonous cooperate machine. Which was not what you expected when you left college, you thought you could have done anything you wanted, you thought you could have changed the world – but wait didn’t you get the memo, adulthood is where dreams die, and the harshness of reality hit you hardest. And your still getting bombarded, left, right and center of how you should live your life and how you should have accomplished certain things by certain ages, have a career by 28, married by 32 and kids by 35, and if you haven’t don’t it in that order you’re a freak who dissevers to be shoot by a firing squad. But that’s what I can see, adulthood is big steaming pile of crap which just happens to be part of a corporate machine of perpetual motioned crap – and don’t get me started on the tax man, hiding behind every dark corner waiting for you to bend down, to take the money you need earned, and thus the food out of your children mouths to then feed the wallets of fat cat bankers. I’m certainly not looking forward to adulthood.
Maybe I should be looking forward to that stage in everyone’s lives, where the kids you spent most of your life looking after, sell you out to the granny catcher, to whisk you off to retirement home, hoping that it speeds up your appointment with the grim reaper, as they circle with their good for nothing little rugrats, like a packs of vultures. Waiting for you to die so they can get their grubby little hands on everything you own, and not to forget you’re constantly wetting yourself, and your arthritis is kicking in. old age looks like living hell that we should all be afraid of, but I dare to disagree, old age isn’t something to be afraid of – I wouldn’t say it’s the time of your life, but it does possess some merits. You don’t have to worry about the man anymore, because you’re officially out of the rat race, and you certainly don’t have to worry about what people think about of you. well seeing as most of the people you knew are dead, and whilst society thinks of you as utterly senile – well at least you can basically do anything you like, step on the bus naked and everyone will just laugh and say “oh that Linda”. Whilst little do we know that Linda goes dogging every other Sunday. Because that’s a perk of old age you never have to worry about contraception. But at last seeing as when your old the only thing you have to look forward to is seeing a an episode of golden balls on repeat for the 100th time on Dave, you haven’t seen before, there isn’t much to do in old age, so that’s not the answer.
At this point I really thought I would have came to a definitive conclusion, and would have liked for you reading this piece, to go away crossing the question of “what are the best years of your life” of you list, leaving questions such “what’s the meaning of life” or “Will Arsenal ever win a title”. But it was hard, because every age really does have it pros and cons, there really is no time in your life where you have no problems and the positive out way the negatives, because when you’re kid you are completely useless, then when you’re a teen you still finding yourself, then as a adulthood your finally find yourself, your so consumed by doing what society tell you have to do, that you forget to actually live life, then finally when you are old and have no expectations on your shoulders, you’re at your most self assured, wise as you’re ever going to be – but it’s too late, your too old to actually do anything it all. So I guess you can’t sit around waiting to reach a particularly life stage, or looking back on the ones you passed , because the best years of your life, are really the ones you are living to the fullest – a lazy cope out I have to agree, but hey I’m a teen. Blame it on the hormones.