In private, my generation will still admit this. There’s a feeling that we’re fakes, still playing at dress-up, just full time. But we keep playing the game, staying in character, and pretending that the way we act is really how we are.
And then things happen to you.
In my case, it’s classes, people, and questioned memories. I can’t – and won’t – go into the details, but that’s not the point: We’re not a whole lot better, smarter, or wiser than we were as teenagers. We have more scars – emotional, physical, or both. We have more memories, more baggage, and more sets of experience. But we’re still the same teenagers underneath, and just as fucked up as we were then.
Maybe those before us really did have their shit together. I doubt it, though. Instead, I’m betting they just kept playing their roles – and are playing them now. And part of that role is pretending like they’re the grownups, and that they’re not as fucked up as the rest of us. And that role doesn’t help us at all.
We’re tired of playing these roles. Maybe that’s part of the reason Wil Wheaton’s done so well with us now – he’s been fighting playing one role for twenty years. I dunno.
I remember all the crap from my teenage years; as an outcast in a relatively small town it wasn’t always easy. But I also remember the fun times. I remember the times where uncertainty wasn’t fear, but adventure. I remember when we allowed ourselves to feel.
I remember when we didn’t have to play “grown up”.
Maybe it’s time for a new game.
Anyone got some dice? I’ll order pizza.