Teenage Waves

by The Dreamer


Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m secretly Hannah Montana.

Nope. It’s not because I have gone mentally unstable and started licking hammers, but because I feel as if I lead a double life. One, that’s in my head. And then there’s another me – the one that’s interacting with the external environment. The one in my head is bitchy, noisy, scary and fun. She is also ambitious, dreamy, obsessive, quiet, serious. And then the one that’s socializing, she’s friendly, cautious, funny.

Sometimes, you get tired of living either one, and you switch off one, and switch on the other.

There’s something about teenagerdom. The emotions come in pulses, rapid and rhythmic. Probably it’s because of the fact that it’s currently the exam period when I’m feeling on the brink of exhaustion and ready to collapse, yet at the same time, strangely serene and at peace. (Maybe because I know there’s no more point in trying because most of my papers are screwed up.)

However, this is not worrying to me. I embrace all these emotions wholeheartedly. Yes, sometimes you do feel annoyed at yourself for lashing out for no reason, or for willingly letting go and sinking. Yet, most of the time, I’m glad and thankful for these emotions, because I know that I am indeed experiencing life to the fullest.

I do complain that my life is mundane, however, I do not deny that the small things in my life are worth celebrating for. Such as the sunset and sunrise that I make a point to watch whenever I can.

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I love the sky. It is as volatile and versatile as the feelings of a teenager. Sometimes you find yourself relating to the sky so much. There is a grey cloak of darkness draped all over the horizon (because of exams) yet there is still a blur of light (because of the television show you’re gonna catch at night) etc.

I have no shame in saying that every single sunrise/sunset is enough to make me cry. Perhaps because I find this element of nature the most close to my heart, to the extent I feel it on a spiritual level.

What my point is, teenagers are exposed to many different emotions all at once. However, thankfully we are in this stage where in the words of Winston Churchill, “success is not final, failure is not fatal”. It is a time to experiment. If we add anxiety with happiness, what can we conjure?

Sometimes, I find myself brewing a potion of jealousy and self-consciousness together too much. Jealousy is a part and parcel of every woman’s life. I grew up watching shows that revealed the ugliest of women – catfights, gossiping and heel-throwing, and I enjoyed it all the same. It is impossible not to get jealous of another. However, most of the time, this hatred and injustice tends to spill over and leaves your inside in an acidic, ugly mess.

Buddha once said, “Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Indeed, jealousy often leads to anger. Why is it that she gets the good grades? Or that I work so hard and she so effortlessly gets the recognition?

Yet I very self-consciously correct myself at the same time. I tell myself the mantra: What we are seeing is one-dimensional. It is the side that others reveal to us, and it is not who the person really is. In this world full of social media, it is easy for someone to crop out the sadness in their lives, to blur out the mistakes and edit out the ugly side. We just never see it, because everyone are Photoshop Masters.

My point is, yes. We all experience negative feelings, but our lives are also filled with feelings that leave you feeling awed and overwhelmed.

My teacher once sent us a short analogy that left me enlightened: Life is like a glass of water. Stir lemonade in it, and it becomes sour. Stir honey, and it becomes sweet.

I don’t try to suppress these feelings. I ride through them like waves. Sometimes all you need to do is get through the ordeal and you’ll feel refreshed and cleared up. (I’m using too many metaphors and losing my train of thought here).

All I’m trying to say is, for now, at this very moment, I’m happy to be a teenager. A stage where it’s okay and even normal to err, a stage where it is okay to fantasize and romanticize about our future or whether the guy three blocks away is checking you out, a stage where you can be all drama and people will roll their eyes and go, “teenagers”.

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This is my favourite quote, because it is poetic and beautiful and true. Teenagerdom is about searching for yourself, and the fact that I am not only made out of skin and muscles sometimes astounds me. I am also stardust and my mother and father and an ecosystem too( for my cells at least).

I’m not very sure if you’ll ever know the precise moment when adulthood hits you like a brick and forces you in pencil skirts and bind-folders. And to be honest, I’m not ready for it. When the waves come, don’t back away, because you’ll never know if this may be your last chance to ride them.