Ageing: Reasons to be glad you’re not a teenager

Glad to be out of my Teens by Tom NashAs you grow older, certain people in your peer group will begin to reminisce about your school days. If you are really unlucky, you will know someone whose life is so depressing that during these periods of nostalgia, they will utter one of the two most soul-destroying phrases ever to leave a person’s lips: ‘Those were the best days of my life’ or ‘I wish I could go back.’ Things have got to be bad if you long for the days of curfews, pocket money and head-lice.

To celebrate entering my 27th year this week, here’s a reminder of why being ‘grown’ is far superior:

Not giving a shit about what others think
When you’re a teenager, you are so deluded that the opinions of other teenagers ACTUALLY mean something to you. If everyone says a certain brand’s latest ugly, over-priced trainers are the mutt’s nuts, then those were the trainers you were begging your mum to buy you in Footlocker the next week. The sensible, reasonably priced Hi-Tecs she proposed got shot down every time. As you get older, you realise that there are better things to spend your money on than £200 trainers and those Hi-Tecs do look awfully comfy…

Of course there are times that you should still give a shit. For example, if ALL of your mates think your other half is batshit and sucking the life out of you, maybe they have a point.

A willingness to learn
The older you get, the more you realise you don’t actually know all that much. A sense of regret builds inside you, reminding you over and over again that you wasted your schooldays being too concerned with looking cool in front of girls. Books transform from instruments of torture and misery into goldmines of pub quiz answers and other interesting things… Unless you’re one of those morons who considers themselves ‘too old to learn’ and takes pride in their ignorance, of course, in which case, I hope you enjoy treading water.

A sense of perspective
You ever listened to a bunch of teenagers at the back of a bus? I mean really listened, not just been aware of the cacophony behind you? Chances are they’re talking about something REALLY unimportant, usually some bullshit about being ‘disrespected’ by someone while showing that respect is the last thing that they deserve. The way they go about it though, you’d think they were a task force handed the responsibility of solving the problems between Israel and Palestine.

Luckily, as most of us age, we realise that we’re not that special, no matter what our mums tell us. It slowly dawns on us that everyone has their own shit to deal with and our shit is no more special that the next person’s. Of course, this isn’t universal. There will always be a few people you know who remain completely wrapped up in their own dull existence well into their adulthood. You will grow to pity them.

No ridiculous slang
I can’t remember how it worked when I was younger, maybe we got more ‘cool’ points the more slang we could drop in to a single sentence, or maybe it was a symptom of our lack of perspective and we thought that what we were talking about was so controversial that it had to shared in code. Whatever the reason for it, one thing was certain; we sounded like fucking idiots. What a difference employment makes, eh?

Not that there’s anything wrong with slang; the odd word slipped in at the right time can spice up any sentence, but you try being taken serious as a grown up after you tell your middle-aged colleagues the girls at the club you went to the other night were ‘bare (sp?) peng’.

More to come, but until then, have a browse through the archive. Got plenty for ya to read.