Smells like teen spirit

They say you love things more intensely in your teenage years than at any point of your life. The amygdala, which controls emotions, develops. That, in tandem with raging hormones and the underdeveloped centers control logic and reason result in an emotional Molotov cocktail.

The world looks down on this teenage infatuation, “it’s just a phase”, “she’ll grow out of it” are phrases continually used to diminish adolescent emotion. We give awards to actors, for whom powerful displays of emotion are part of the job description, but when we are confronted with it in real life, we become embarrassed and uncomfortable. This vulnerability is condemned, and over time, these feelings fade. I know brain development and chemistry has an important role in this, but I think, if we wanted to, we could hold on to a little to those parts of us.

The parts of us that had the courage to ask out your crush when you were 14, the parts of us that have reams of poetry on childhood bookshelves about people we can hardly remember, the parts of us that cried when our favorite character died because they were real in our hearts, goddamnit (that last one was mainly me, but if you didn’t cry when Fred died you are a heartless monster).

The thoughts and feelings I had in my teen years may have been temporary, but the things and people I loved have irrevocably shaped me.

As the “teenage” phase of my life wraps up, I suppose I should be glad to be entering into a more developmentally stable part of my life. But part of me want to hold on to that girl that loved so deeply and singlemindedly. I think it’s the bravest I may ever be.

 

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