I remember the first semester of seventh grade being kinda weird and mostly tinged with sadness because I felt like everyone around me was trying to be act like they were grown and they were suddenly obsessed with boys and boobs and kissing. It was strange; it went from me being brave and bold in wanting friendships with guys to me being an utter fool. Everyone wanted to be a teenager, and put too much emphasis on things like dates and handholding and texting each other gossip.
I work at the public library and see all sorts of things. The other day, we were mobbed by a group of sixth grade private school kids who were there for an educational trip. Then, the people I can only assume to be ‘the cool ones’ sat in the Teen section and tried to sound older. I figured they were the cool ones because they were all giving out the ‘You can’t sit with us vibe!’. Also, as an
ex-felon ex cool kid, I know only cool kids would try to sit in the Teens area. I held back laughter, because they were in that awkward stage of blossoming tensions where they realize they had feelings for each other, but didn’t want to seem uncool. One girl gave scathing words in a soft smile, while she read a book, while the boy she spoke to stayed next to her, feeling confused. The charming boy leader threatened to beat a boy who took his spot and, as usual, the chairs were on sides: boys on one, girls on the other. They went through the motions of what they thought teenagers spoke about- and it was painful. Eventually, there was awkward silence because my wisdom must have gotten through to them. Actually, they must have felt awkward because I kept on snorting at their unfortunate shenanigans.
Flashback to my seventh grade year: I was trying to regain the confidence I lost, so I gave everyone space and people-watched instead. There was a guy who I befriended on the basis of helping him overcome his confidence issues about a certain girl. Dumb things happened, but his girlfriend disliked me for befriending him. I didn’t know they were together- they were too chicken to say it. At this times, when everyone begins to feel the rampages of hormones, they crave the romance and the bubbly feeling of having a crush but they do not want to really do much more than label. They don’t want to kiss; they feel scandalous holding hands. It’s like they begin to puzzle out how feelings work, and they all crave another sort of ‘no-strings-attached’.
It didn’t get much better for a bit. As always, there was a huge sexual revolution, that left me surprised. I didn’t expect it once again. So, a girl moved in, with all this pizzazz, all this fire, and these really great breasts, and she just shook everything up. So, in a matter of less than a month, the class went from prudish uptight kiddos, to people who were constantly sucking face and making promises that I didn’t want to see fulfilled. It was this insane surge of hormones and lewd behavior. Once upon a time, I really enjoyed considering myself more mature than my classmates. One day, I just woke up and realized-WHAM!- that everyone suddenly saw me as a prude. That everyone suddenly wanted to grow up and be old and I was the only one content at moving at my own pace.
So, I ached for those kids. I really did. They were trying to throw out their childhood and they laughed at the kiddos who wanted to let it grow naturally. I wanted to grab them by scruff and shake them up all, remind them that there is more to the world.
Then, I realized that I must have inhaled paint or something because I was only five years older than them.