Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thoughts at the Mall

Being in my mid-twenties, sometimes I get hit with the "Wow, I’m an adult" feeling. The feeling that I am no longer carefree and naïve. Little things, such as, having to apply eye cream at night, or realizing my metabolism has slowed down. To bigger things, such as having responsibilities to myself, my family and my friends. If I make a mistake, it's up to me to fix it.

Sometimes, I want to go back to those times where I didn't have to be as responsible, those teenager years. I usually smarten up pretty quickly, and instead of yearning for my youth, I am grateful for some of the wisdom I have acquired over the years.

Take last Friday, for instance. I spent a good 3 hours in the mall while waiting to meet up for dinner with a friend. In those god-for-saken 3 hours, I got tired of roaming the stores (shopping is more fun with people), and sat down to read my finance book, "She Laughed all the way to the Bank."

Surrounding me were a bunch of teenagers. Girls with tight clothes with TNA labels, giggling and flirting with the boys. Guys with baggy pants, only about 5 sizes too big for them held up by belts to their knees, trying to be all "cool". All texting on their Blackberries and rifling through their Lululemon bags. They took pictures of themselves, sitting in each other laps, with their digital cameras and complained about homework and working.

You know, back when I was in middle school and high school, these were probably the cool kids. Popular kids. The kids with friends who hung out in crowds by the entrance to cafeteria. Whereas me and my friends hung out in the library. Doing our homework.

I still don't have a Blackberry, though I do have a super cute Nokia (which I got for $0). I still haven't bought an article of clothing from TNA. Or Lululemon. (Though I have been tempted to on a couple occasions. Then reality slaps me - a tank top for $54?! Puh-lease!!) And, yet, I'm probably the one with the income to do so (compared to teenagers who probably earn minimum wage).

But the difference (well, one of them) between those girls (who represent what I wanted to be back when I was a teenager) and present me, is that, I realized my mom was right when she said that your friends won't care about what you wear. In high school and middle school, when all the cool kids had their brand name clothes, and cool accessories - it's part of what made them fit in. And, now, I don't need that. At all. I prefer to spend my money elsewhere. On things that make me feel good, not on proving myself to someone else.

Then, I feel so glad that that part of my life is in the past. That I am now wiser, and realize how silly I used to be when I had those moments to want to fit in with crowds of people who weren't even interested in me. And, I am very thankful for the wisdom my parents tried to pass on to me about making friends. You only need a couple good ones. And those good ones, could care less about how you look.

Now, applying eye cream doesn't seem so bad :)

TNA. Completely overrated.


Andy said...

I go to a French Lycée. And as ANY other French Lycée of the world, it's pretty much an elite school.

ANd lululemon bags and TNA apparel is nothing compared to my classmates. I have classmates who own Porsches, Cartier watches, million dollar houses, designer (Versace, Chanel and such) glasses and clothes, etc.

It's hard to live in that world (for someone like me who is there thanks to her parents hard-earned money), but you gotta face it.

At the end, your life's success is not measured by what your parents gave you, but for what you got for yourself!!

Greears said...

Being a grown up person is so much better than being a teen. I remember a high school teacher telling me once, "These are the best years of your life" and I seriously thought I should just slit my wrists and get it over with then.

This, that you two are describing, is one of the reasons I was so drawn to Alaska. What a filthy place with no mall! Most of the roads are dirt and so even if you have a porche it's going to be filthy and go into the ditch a lot so why bother. Weather is a great equalizer. And as far as fancy clothes are concerned, can anyone feel good in fabric that was pieced together by people who are pracitcally enslaved in third world conditions? I can't.

I watch my teens now and I feel so badly for them. Of all the years in their lives, these are the ones that I wish I could fast forward.

Question; How is LaBlanc?

Des said...

Andy - Wow! That sounds crazy! The rich certainly seem like they live in another world, at times.

Good for you for being able to rise above the superficial and go for your education :) I know your parents must be so proud, sweetie!

Greears - I agree! One of my high school teachers told me that, too, and I was like... "Oh. Shit. Shoot me now." LOL Actually, the easy part of being a teenager came (finally) when I just stopped caring about what everyone else thought. God knows how hard that is to do.

How could the constant feeling of wanting to belong be "the greatest time of your life"?? Maybe he was referring to the carefree lifestyle of students back in his days :)

Oh, yes, LeBlanc :) Now that I'm not in that awkward questioning stage, I don't feel the need to write about it as much. But things are going very well, thank you so much for asking :)