Hands that reach out to carry me when my small legs begin to ache.
Feet big enough for me to stand upon, a young child clinching your shirt as you walk around the house.
Ears that tolerate the constant whining of a little girl who wants all of her daddy’s attention.
Shoulders that I sit upon for hours on end, providing me with the best view at the fireworks show.
Lips that whisper me a comforting prayer, surrounding me with angels before I fall asleep.
Eyes covered by thick glasses, reading me the pages of my favorite book.
He has taught me how to love.
Hands that clap the loudest, assuring me you are in the crowd after I make the basket.
Feet squished together in the limited space the passenger seat offers as I drive for the first time.
Ears that most meticulously peer edit my school papers for any mistakes I surely missed.
Shoulders that carry my bags out to the car that is parked in the driveway waiting for me.
Lips that speak just the right words in the moments they are needed, and lips that draw silent when no words are necessary at all.
Eyes that are uncannily able to search through a sea of darkness and fixate on my adolescent face staring back at you.
He has taught me how to support.
Hands that twist the knob, opening the door to welcome me back home.
Feet that walk beside my own as we speak of the future.
Ears that listen in a way that make it seem as if no one else in the world ever has.
Shoulders that guarantee a spot for me to rest my head upon when everything seems to be going wrong.
Lips that lovingly kiss my forehead as I say “Goodbye, Dad” once again.
Eyes that truly see.
He has taught me how to live.
As the new season starts, I am filled with mixed emotions. There is the excitement and desire to be wild and young, seize every opportunity to try something new, get out of my comfort zone, explore new things.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, there is my eagerness to mature, be responsible and take care of everything that needs to be done so I can be where I want to be in a year.
I feel totally content with being single, I like having my freedom and there is no one person that I like so much I would be willing to settle down for them. In all honesty, I just would never make a good girlfriend and I can acknowledge that. I am busy, relatively selfish, and in some cases lack empathy.
However, I wish I had another’s company. Not just another guy to kiss and go watch a movie with on a night my friends can’t do anything. I feel like I am that “friend” for a lot of people. The last resort person you call up because no one else wants to go do anything, but on the days it is convenient for me, or when I could use a friend, I get no response. I am not putting myself in those positions anymore. I will continue to be friendly to those in my life, but as of lately I realized I am not happy with my current state. I am lacking something, and in my attempt to fill the void I have been acting out in other impulsive ways- something that is not of my character.
I would like someone who I could have genuine conversations with, someone to lie down and listen to music with, when in his presence I didn’t have to worry about my appearance or filtering my thoughts. Doesn’t that sound nice? I do not think it is an unreasonable request. Thoughts like these make me think that maybe I am a different type of person, perhaps my brain isn’t wired the same as other adolescents. I can’t stand the conventions and small talk, I want to get to know someone, deep down to their core. Their dreams, passions, morals, fears, pet peeves. All of it. Am I the only one who is enthralled by the idea of understanding someone better than you understand yourself? Certainly I cannot be…
Writing this post has made me realize that although I am constantly surrounded by people, I am rather lonely.
I was applying for the Governor’s Youth Commission and one of the questions asked:
”What do you think is the most critical issue facing the youth in Arizona today and what kinds of activities would you suggest to help address this issue?”
After thinking for some quite some time and developing my answer, I opened the question to my Facebook friends (taking out the “Arizona” part, since not all of them live where I do) because I was curious to hear others opinions. I did not expect a large amount of responders because FB is sort of dead nowadays, but I was surprised by the responses I did get. Out of the seven responders, four were adults. Whose answers were all strikingly similar:
“Lack of discipline and respect.”
“Sense of entitlement and this pertains to a very high percentage of people under the age of 30.”
“…lack of proper preparedness for the real world.”
and one “Amen!” to the other adults’ responses.
I was hoping to hear back from more teens my age… so this FB post caused me to change my answer a little more. Check it out:
1. I believe the most critical issue facing the youth in Arizona today is lack of motivation. Physically and mentally the young people are becoming increasingly lazy. With constant advances in technologies that make life “easier” such as computers, smartphones, and tablets I feel as though adolescents are doing less when we have so much more. Instant access to information virtually everywhere, transportation that will take us anywhere and free education are all advantages that should inspire kids to make a difference, to do more, to get involved. However, my generation seems to be apathetic and lacking direction. I am not saying the teens are all to blame. There is a heavily believed stigma with being a teenager that goes something like “I have no real world experience, I am too young to have any opinions or ideas that are actually worthwhile, I am self absorbed and lack respect and discipline.” What we need is a pep talk, someone to tell us that we are more than uncoordinated, confused beings with raging hormones and an underdeveloped frontal lobe. Speaking as a teenager, I will rise to the occasion when a person places their belief in me and it isn’t just me, no one likes letting others down. If adults and communities would begin to reach out to the youth with faith and encouragement, asking for their involvement and ideas, they would get it. I suggest holding public events where the young people can come together and “discover their potential”. We could host a series of lectures from adults that have made an impact on their communities, offer a variety of organizations that kids can join to volunteer and serve the community, put together a website where adolescents can network and brainstorm with each other how to make a difference, and workshops that focus on motivating kids to be themselves and stop worrying so much about peer pressure. All of the components of this program would encourage community involvement, education on global issues, increase physical activity, aid in discovering potential, emphasize teamwork, and most importantly teach the youth that their efforts and ideas can make a difference. In the long run, we could create a more collaborative and productive generation, stimulate a higher percentage of young voters, and witnesses a boost in innovation. One of my favorite quotes by Sun Tzu sums up the goal, “Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?”