Simon and Garfunkel said it best, “Slow down, you move too fast.”
This morning as I was returning from my weekly grocery shop, I was listening to the 80’s radio station. I was genuinely shocked when I realized how long it had been since some of my favorite songs had graced mainstream radio rather than being relegated to “specialty” or even (gasp) “oldies” stations.
Did you know it’s been nearly 28 years since Rick Astley released his mega-hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”; nearly 32 years since Def Leppard released “Photograph”; and 34 years since Duran Duran released “Girls on Film??” I was almost filled with a sense of panic when I reflected upon how quickly those years had flown. I remember vividly when these songs were first released! If those years went by so fast, imagine how quickly the next 30 will pass.
As I sat at the red light pondering where the heck my youth went, I began thinking of all those teenagers I see who are in such a hurry to grow up. In my previous job at a local community college, we had many high schoolers who attended courses in our building. I remember looking at some of these young ladies and men thinking, “They look so ‘mature’ for their age.” Many of the girls in particular looked as if they had stepped out of a fashion magazine and appeared much older than their years. It was evident many of them were emulating the latest looks of today’s starlets or those ever-present Kardashian/Jenner twits (can someone please explain why they are famous?). Those who weren’t adorned in the latest celebrity fashion trends seemed to be pregnant and very giggly and excited about impending teenage motherhood. All I could think is why don’t they enjoy their youth? Why this need to look and act older than they are especially when they are probably not emotionally equipped to truly handle “adulthood” just yet?
I don’t understand this obsession with growing up so fast. I don’t recall having that desire nor do I recall it being very prevalent amongst my friends. Sure, we tried our best to dress like our favorite musicians of the time but, with the exception of a few, we all pretty much looked and acted like teenagers. Also, did I mention it was the 80’s? It was definitely not fashion’s best decade – no matter how hard we tried, we didn’t even come close to looking like today’s high school fashionistas.
I try to remind my step-children often to enjoy their youth while they can. I know the world is different now, but still, I wish I could tell all of these “grown-up” teenagers to slow down…adulthood and its accompanying responsibilities will be here soon enough. It won’t be long until they realize there’s more to being an “adult” than just dressing the part. Before they know it, they may find themselves listening to their favorite “classic” radio station stunned to realize it’s been 30 years since (a by then 60 year-old) Katy Perry released “Roar” and, like me, they may find themselves wondering where their youthful years went. Although from what I’ve witnessed, some of them won’t have much of a youth to reflect upon.