Monday, September 13, 2010

Hitting the Plateau in 10th Grade

I think fondly of 10th grade.

I have some of my most memorable conversations, my favorite girlfriends, and best friends placed in 10th grade.

The world still hadn't crushed me. I had the freedom of a car with the lack of responsibility of a child. I spent my time doing what I wanted, hanging out with people I wanted to. I recently looked through my lyric/poem notebooks and roughly 1/3 of what I have is filled at this time. How can I grab onto that time of life again?

The next year things got much more complicated. More credit card debt started racking up, student loans entered the picture, more important tests, more work. All of those illuminated images of people from that time start to blur as they too move on, get married, have children, buy into the world set up hundreds of years before we were conceived with their 9 to 5 cubical job.

Its a world set up to trap the next generation. No matter how much the generation tries to fight it, saying they'll never be like their parents, you can bet they too leave college and are efficiently beat down and too tired to keep fighting. Case in point, how many greasers, hippies, or punks do you see running around now a days. I mean real ones, not just people that live that way as a fashion statement. Sometimes I think we should just scrap the world and start over.

The other thing I think plateaus in 10th grade is how we deal with romantic rejection.

Before 10th grade, you always could fall back to the trustworthy "Coodies" rule. If you were dumped, didn't matter, because they had coodies of some sort. (In North County, it was probably not coodies, but Hepatitis)

10th grade, you've developed as far as you will. Your hormones are raging, and in the deepest pit of your soul grows this pain of rejection, even if you haven't felt it. It goes both ways, even if you're the one doing the rejecting.

It never really gets easier.

The dumped questions what they did wrong. They become their biggest critic as every mirror in the house is placed behind a microscope. Every time you see your former significant other with a person of the opposite sex, red hot nitro-burning rage fills your face. This is the point in your life where you will say the things you regret most. Common sense has no place in this dead, ashen filled world of loneliness.

The dumper lives with guilt. Feeling horrible about what they did. For a while, its a charity case. You want to be extra nice and have every intention of being friends, but as soon as they find someone new, all those feelings that got you together in the first place come rushing back. All you can think about is how much they've betrayed you by moving on. You start questioning if they started dating this person while you were still together, and until you get that glorious moment of clarity, (that always seems to come late at night, when you're alone, driving around)you are hurt, sad, and alone.

We never grow out of this. I still largely see it in my adult counterparts. We always hurt. We're meant to hurt if only to make those small times of pleasure that much better.