Friday, July 23, 2004

So I've been thinking about my recent past in the vague terms of "growing up," looking at myself from not-that-long-ago (high school years) and just wondering about the general what-the-fuckness of it all. I'm not even particularly immature, but just looking at the people that surrounded me and the contradictions makes me wonder. It's hard to articulate.

Basically, I look at myself from not that long ago... let's say when I was in ninth grade... Four to five years ago. In many ways, I'm a different person. In many ways, I'm innately the same person. Which is an interesting contradiction, but not what I'm getting at. What I'm getting at is how, when viewed as a narrative, I don't quite know how I got from point A to point B.

The thing is that I viewed myself as having my shit together at that time. But I've viewed myself in such a fashion for a while... Probably since I was eight. This is pretty much how everyone operates, I figure. But, in high school, also thrown into the equation is this feeling of "it's all downhill from here." Not in terms of "these-are-the-greatest-years-of-my-life"... From that perspective, nowhere to go but up. But in terms of having a fear of the loss of ideals, that people associate with maturity.

When the film Waking Life came out, a lot of people seemingly dismissed it and the ideas put forth as being sophomoric. A lot of things are dismissed as sophomoric... i.e. dick jokes. Waking Life was being trashed for having an idealism about it's ideas and being in love with philosophical discussion in a way that people felt like they had outgrown when they left their dorms. Which kind of proves my point as mentioned above. I mention Waking Life also because these are ideas that are kind of touched upon in one scene. But yeah, sophomoricism, I guess, encompasses both philosophical discussion and being a fan of dick jokes. (What's sad is the low level of discussion I've encountered even at my hippie college... It rarely goes on as is, if this is the high point, no one on Earth has any reason to exist.) Usually it's because being a sophomore (I was always unclear as to whether or not this referred to college or high school) is often synonymous with getting high. (Which I guess could account for the low quality of the discussion, but the implication seems to be that if people didn't get high, they wouldn't think about anything larger than themselves ever.) Anyway, as anyone reading this knows, I am a fan of both the philosophical discussion and the dick jokes. These things seem pretty goddamn innate. (Seriously, if it's not my sense of humor and the thinking of deep thoughts, what the fuck are the defining elements of my personaity? Bad social skills? Fuck, I thought that was something I was getting over...) I don't think I'll outgrow them, and at this point in my life, I don't want to. But the idea of personal growth looms on the horizon like grim death.

There is of course the possibility that my life isn't going to make sense as a narrative until I am very old, which I don't want to consider because it goes against my belief that I am on top of my shit right now, at age nineteen, and as self-aware as I ever will be. (It is the self-aware writer part of me that laments the use of parentheses in this and the previous paragraph.)

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