(Hey! I’m back. And I did, in fact, start a business, though I did not finish school or learn Latin. Nor am I married, or in college. Those are still processes for now. :-) I wanted to get a little less formal with this site- use it for more of a public journal kind of thing, and less of a billboard kind of thing. If that’s cool with you, I think I’ll get right down to it. And if you don’t mind, please pretend we’re all robots, because that’s really not that much of a stretch.)
Excuse me, sir. Excuse me? Excuse- ex- hello? Excuse me!
*yes, well, hello there young man, etc.*
Good afternoon. I’m was walking dowtown to a port to recharge, and I was in here last week, and so I thought I’d just stop by again for a quick chat. Nothing is terribly wrong, no. No crossed wires or cracked glass or anything. It’s just that, well… your teenager update hasn’t been working for me.
*what do you mean by that, our System is world class, yada yada*
No, no, I don’t think you understand. It isn’t a glitch of any sort- not a problem with your System- it just… isn’t working for me. How do I say this… I’ve realized that I don’t need it.
Now HOLD ON! Hoho, stop right there, because I’ve already heard the pitch a thousand times. No, two thousand. “It’s an invaluable step in the process to Maturity.” And twice that: “Teenhood will reformat your entire interface. You’ll never be the same!”
But (and I’m sorry if this sounds revolutionary, or worse, “uninformed”) what if we skipped the Modern Teenager update entirely?
*that’s absurd, what are you thinking, you are being childish, this is natural for a model of your age, step over here and let us take a look at your hard drive-*
NO! Hold on a moment and hear me out! I’m truly sorry for shouting, and I know that seems “angsty,” or whatever you call it, but sometimes that’s what it takes before you upgrades are willing to listen. Are you listening now? Are you, honestly?
1) The purpose of the update, in whichever way you set it before me, continues to stupefy me. It is a transition… from boy to man? From girl to woman? A transition? Why? We have young, and we have old. We have strong, and we have weak. Why can we not have only a child and an adult? I will tell you why, sir, and I’d appreciate a mind wide open:
We are positively racked with indecision. I’m sorry- you are. I’ve stepped out of that. (Or, “am stepping.” Grace here.) We all come off the line, you know as well as I, unsure. Cold. Wanting. Not always Having. And we all stay that way, to some degree, for all of our time until Warranty. But there is a malfunction that is paralysis for fear of choosing poorly, and thus not having what we need, and that is indecision: A step from uncertain to irresolute; that step being fearful, unstable, and ultimately fatal.
The point, you propose, is that our system cannot handle the terrible (and it is terrible) shift between youth and adulthood and thus requires a third stage, a step between. I counter, however, that that very step negates a necessary leap between the two, resulting in the straining of the former and the debilitation of the latter.
2) Secondly, the definition is faulty, being extraordinarily vague, and when (however infrequently) specific, in my eyes, utterly useless in the process of development. “It is expected that a teenager will…” Will what, exactly? You and your Society are dangerously unclear. We will be boisterous. We will be moody. We will be untrustworthy. We will be loud. We will stomp the streets, and love viciously, and breathe selfish breaths.
We will not. I will not. This I will say with a slight increase of volume that denotes EMPHASIS rather than NOISE: “I will make unintentional and childish mistakes, and I will be a growing child. I will learn from those mistakes, and I will be a better child. And eventually, with much practice, great determination, and the guidance and blessings of my father, I will know enough to make better mistakes, and I will be a man.” Love is sacrifice. Breathing, miraculous. The road, holy.
There is no pool between the shallow and the deep end. Just a rope.
3) The installation, or I guess, implementation, is, frankly, haphazard, heavy-handed, and counterintuitive. The school teaches it lazily, the church preaches it accidentally, and the market shouts it with vigor. (That many more toys to be bought off their shelves.)
*But you are not old enough to understand-*
And there, although you cannot see it, is your growing and consuming blasphemy. That you are. “Foolishness,” I’ll say quietly, and listen as well, for I sometimes stoop so low myself. It is creeping text in the heart-code: “I am old enough to understand, I am enough to understand, I AM ENOUGH.” And you see? Now we point ourselves in the face of our one incontravertible and inbuilt truth and wag our heads, snickering like naughty children.
You have read the text. The Truth, words in white on blue. If we are anything at all, we are insufficient. That is not our flaw. That is our design.