The other day I was looking through old photo albums from when my parents were in their 20s up until I was born. It was the 80s/90s and there were pictures of old, vintage cars. Everyone was wearing denim jackets and they were smiling. They went fishing, visited the beach, went to festivals and gigs. My Dad was in several bands. They looked free and although they weren’t rich they were happy and content.
I also was recently introduced to 'My Mad Fat Diary' - a British drama series revolving around a 16 stone, 16 year old girl in the mid 90s. Some of her friends drove cars which, to a modern-day teenager like myself they looked ridiculously outdated; but they must have been cheap as chips to run. Rae (the protagonist in MMFD) seemingly had such a free life. Even though she didn’t drive she would always go out with her friends to the pub and to parties. They all lived within walking distance of each other. Rae didn’t spend her time in her room glued to her phone or her laptop, or sat at a desk with her head in a book stressing over her coursework or exam revision. She was out having fun and being a teenager.
And that’s the thing, I feel like I’ve really missed out. I’m the same age as Rae yet I spend all my time cooped up indoors on my phone, laptop and xbox or with my head in my schoolwork and not outside with friends having fun. I have no siblings and my friends live no where near me and they very rarely come round. Where I live we’d have nowhere to go, anyway. Of course, smoking and drinking wasn’t good for Rae’s health but really, neither is laying in bed all day with the blinds drawn browsing Tumblr. I’ve been doing this for years and I feel like I’ve wasted away what could have been the best few years of my life by doing absolutely nothing. It’s like I’m waiting around for something, maybe the day that I leave school or the day I pass my driving test or the day I get a job where I’m finally tasting independence. But by then I will be in my final teenage years and on the cusp of adulthood, forced into employment and paying taxes.
I just wish I were a teenager in the 90s. But if I were to take away the things in my life which I rely so heavily on (my phone, laptop, the Internet) I’d have little ways of communicating with my friends. It’s sad, really.