We start out as small and innocent beings.
We are simply alive, like all other living things.
We exist, we experience, we absorb.
Not a lot is within our control, but we adapt continuously and live from moment to moment, day to day.
Along the way, we pick up things, formulate concepts and notions about how we think things work, based on what we are exposed to.
Events, people and situations compound and connect within our ever-expanding sense of the world and our once small and free vessels begin to take shape in reflection of our environment, circumstances and upbringing.
We react to things, more and more, not in the moment, not without thought, but within a framework, a template that we have created - a sense of self - which continues to grow.
We realise, eventually, that we are not like butterflies or lizards, or birds, or even dogs. We are not just here for the sake of being.
We are conscious, evolving entities and we can make decisions and choices and these will have consequences and repercussions, good and bad, that will influence our situation and our futures.
We realise that we are part of a massive, ongoing narrative, a reality via consensus that has been going for a long time and that will never end.
Our daily lives are consuming with their own ever-increasing social and physical demands and in our teen years we feel confused, challenged, constricted. Everything is somehow heightened. Highs are higher and lows are unprecedented.
Childhood has ended so quickly and now we must come to terms with our own changing bodies, consciousness and realities. But we are not fully equipped. We often implode. We want to explode.
Our contemporaries are a godsend. At least they can relate. We watch and learn from each other. It's all just making it up as you go along. Some of us are smothered by our parents and families. Some of us are overwhelmed by the demands of school and society in general. We grapple with our own fast growing bodies, with coming to terms with and acceptance of our our own selves. We are vital, we live in turmoil, we seek answers and reassurances. They are not always forthcoming. Somehow we struggle on, take each day as it comes, adapt, continue to climb.
There are moments, times, of great joy. They may be simple, quiet, they may be wild and liberating. We don't care. We'll take what we can get. We are caged animals. Still within the care and confines of our parent's construct. They have built homes and castles as best they can. We don't realise it then, but they, too, are just making it up as they go along. They are doing what they can with what they have got. But at some stage, despite their best efforts to mould and guide us, we feel that we are being confined, held prisoners. We do not want to think and do as they do.
We have our own ideas, our own needs and predilictions. Our own identities. We don't want to be told what to do, we don't appreciate being spoken down to. We don't want direction, we don't need a script of someone's concoction. We are ready to adlib our own dramas. We painfully tear ourselves away. They may be holding on to us too tightly or maybe they have had enough of our unruly, precocious ways. Either way, the time comes for seperation, release, detatchment. We are ready, at least in concept, to go out on our own and make our own way through the wilderness.
By now, we have developed coping skills, we have come to understand at least the fundamental workings of the world, at least our own small world. Some days we feel more than ready to take on everything, other days we realise our limitations and comparative insignificance.
But we are young, our blood pumps strongly, we have battles ahead and we are ready. We are hungry. We are not yet jaded. We have hope, dreams and desires aplenty. We are no longer children. We are not yet adults. But we're going to get there, as quickly and boldly as possible. We seek and suck in experiences with an unquenchable ferocity. Through real life adventures, romance, experimentation, drugs, travel, companionship, study... we compound and nurture our existing frameworks. We don't stop to think at this stage. We are firing all pistons and we are fully immersed.