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Young Love? Fake Love.
You know, I really hate it when people say that teenagers can’t fall in love.
It’s absolutely ridiculous for a (questionably) able-minded adult to scoff at teenage love. I mean, really? Is there some point in life when suddenly you forget what it once was to be young? “*POOF*, you’re an adult! Congratulations, you miraculously have a newer, more mature and all-knowing view on life! Now go and tell all those little youngsters what life is REALLY about, and how they have no idea what’s going on!”
Uhm, no. For some strange reason, I don’t think that’s what happens.
See, I think it happens like this: as teenagers – and yes, I include myself in this group whole-heartedly – we believe that we know everything. Once we’ve experienced something once, suddenly we know anything and everything that could possibly relate to this subject, and anything that could remotely relate to those subjects. We think we know things that we’ve seen in movies, read in books, heard about on Facebook. Yes, we are a very pompous group – and yes, we do deserved to be smacked upside the head every once and a while. We ARE young; we are going to make mistakes. (Doesn’t everyone?) But just because we don’t know absolutely everything about people and how things work doesn’t mean we can’t learn. It doesn’t mean we can’t understand. It doesn’t mean we can’t have true, real knowledge, experience, and emotions about things.
This is where I think most adults get lost. “What? Teenagers knowing what they are talking about? Preposterous!” (I really like that word, preposterous. It has a sort of British feeling, doesn’t it?) But – and bear with me, older sentient beings – we are human beings. There isn’t a certain age that you reach that suddenly allows you to truly feel and experience and understand. There isn’t a magic word. There isn’t some secret ritual. Call me crazy, but last time I checked it’s called GROWING UP. We are in the stage where we aren’t kids anymore, but we aren’t adults. We’re too young to understand, but too old to not. Too naïve to learn, too wild to attempt to teach. It’s ridiculous the restraints put on us as teenagers; do you adults remember your “rebellious” stage when you were young? When everything your parents said was bull, and everyone was out to get you because you were so uncomfortable in your own skin? That’s where we are now. That’s where you all are making it so much more difficult for us to live, where we are stunted in our growth because faith in us is a rare gift to find.
Anyway – focus, back to my original point. Love. This goes right along with the rest of what I’ve said exactly – there is no age where falling in love is appropriate, or right, or even sane. Falling in love isn’t a rational thing; when it’s real, it’s completely psychotic. (Did you know in the first stages of love – that stage when you can’t stop thinking about them, the honeymoon stage – that a scan of your brain would look eerily similar to that of a clinically insane person? Food for thought.) When you truly love a person, it changes you forever. For good or bad, that’s really up to you – but they’ll change you, alright. No stopping that, no matter how old you are. And yet – though the effects of love are the same, no matter your age – older people seem to think that teenagers can’t fall in love. Period. “You’re too young! You have no idea what love is!”
So…when exactly are we supposed to figure it out? Is there a magic birthday that we hit that suddenly gives us insight to what love is?
I don’t THINK so. (Guess I can’t be positive on that one, can I?)
The way I see it, love isn’t something that can be taught. You can explain and describe to your heart’s content; you’re not going to be able to explain it any better than I could. Until you’ve experienced it yourself, there is no damn way you’re going to be able to understand. It’s like trying to explain to a blind person what the color green is – it’s not possible. It’s just not. And yet, despite this conundrum, I’m sure there are plenty of teenagers who could better describe what love truly is than adults. Just because you are over eighteen years of age does not mean you get a free pass to understanding life’s secrets. Hell, I’m pretty sure ninety year olds don’t understand everything. How could they? How can anyone expect to understand everything about human nature, let alone something as tricky and fickle as love? How are you supposed to understand why you can feel so strongly attracted to one person, but next to nothing for another? How you supposed to even begin to grasp a concept that has had people baffled for thousands of years? I certainly don’t. I don’t believe teenagers, adults, or anyone else ever will. (Actually, I believe that kids have the best understanding of what love truly should be. Even though their views will change as other, nastier emotions – such as jealousy, hatred, and lust – come into play, they understand more completely than anyone else because those feelings haven’t touched them yet. They’re innocent, unlike every other damn person on the planet.)
So, why shouldn’t a teenager be able to be mature and understand what it is to love and be loved? Why should a young person be able to experience the horrors without question, but not the joys? Kids have watched friends be murdered, parents be beaten; they’ve felt the sting of cruel words, of distorted body images, the bite of metal on skin; they’ve lived through hungry nights, shouldered the responsibility of a parent, taken care of themselves for years. Why is it that it’s completely acceptable for a teenager to understand what it is to feel it as someone dies, for her to understand what it is to have nothing, but completely unacceptable for her to understand what it is to love? There are many – probably the majority of the adult population – that don’t understand, yet claim they do. How many divorces are filed each year? How many were the result of adultery? How many adulterers remain incognito, and how many because their partner is doing likewise? How many truly marry for love, and how many marry because it’s convenient?
In my opinion, adults – you have no right to tell us what we can and cannot feel. You have no right to try and govern our lives – our emotions – when you have no damn clue what you’re feeling yourselves. You can’t tell us what something is and what something isn’t; that’s for us to figure out and interpret for ourselves.
Now, a lot of people - *adults, excuse me – will think this whole spiel was a waste of time. It didn’t change your outlook, didn’t affect you at all – I’m just another love struck teenager. (For your information, I am currently not love struck as I am writing this. Not even heart broken. Though I have been in both places, one a fair time longer than the other. Can you guess which? I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a “I’m” and ends with a “still scared to commit to a guy in case he tramples all over me like the last one”.) And I’ll admit, there are flaws to my argument; teenagers are more prone to faking love than adults. (However, faking love does happen quite a bit in the adult race as well. Quite a bit more than most would like to admit.) But, flawed or not, I unreservedly believe in love at any age – and I think you would do well to do the same.
But then again, I’m just a teenager. What do I know, right?