Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"It Doesn't Matter"

"Adults are basically just children who've grown fat, watched their dreams die, and learned to shrink from confrontation."

-- From the Happy Place introduction to its ongoing "Most Enjoyable Cantankerous Notes Ever Posted in the Workplace" segment (which is hilarious, by the way)

I was telling someone on Facebook yesterday, I'm going to start my own version of the "It Gets Better" movement, except mine will be called "It Doesn't Matter."

First of all, it doesn't get better -- it gets worse. No matter who you are -- gay or straight, black or white, cool or goofy -- unless you're Bill Gates or something, life generally gets shittier as it goes along. Yeah, so you get picked on in high school -- you still don't have bills to pay, the wreckage of bad relationships to deal with, a shit-ton of regret for your therapist to help you through or a life that didn't in any way turn out the way you planned to mourn. Getting stuffed in a locker is a hell of a lot better than getting divorced, being unemployed, having your own ungrateful children or trying to pee through a prostate the size of a cantaloupe.

Still, the important thing to remember is that, again, it doesn't matter. Nothing in high school matters. Nothing that you think is so all-out important at the time matters one fucking bit. Unless you decide to shoot up your classroom or manage to be one of unfortunate ones who falls victim to the kid who does, you're gonna get out of high school pretty much unscathed, safe in the knowledge that nothing you did during the last few years of your life means much. The right girl didn't like you? So what. Got a "C" on that Calc exam? Who cares. The bitchy kids called you names on Facebook? Fuck 'em.

Sure, there are the occasional life-altering tragedies or decisions that are so ill-advised that they really do have lasting repercussions, but let's face it -- those are anomalies.

For the most part your teenage years don't matter one bit.


Anonymous said...

“It doesn’t matter” would be an infinitely valuable service if anyone would pay attention. I don’t remember a single thing that happened during high school that mattered five minutes after graduation. In fact, within a year, all those “winner’s” in high school had either dropped out of college, gotten pregnant, stuck in minimal wage jobs, and/or where in the grips of addiction. The same can be said of your college years. In both cases, the mantra should be: “get the best education you can, and get the f@ck out of there!”

slouchmonkey said...

"So it goes!" -- KV, Jr.

hilz said...

This is why I consider having an 8" mohawk was the greatest achievement of my high school career.

Stephen said...

I'm suddenly reminded of Bill Murray's speech to Camp North Star before the big olympics with Camp Mohawk in Meatballs....


Amy S. said...

I feel almost famous.

I remember traumatic moments in high school. Very few of them matter now...but the ones that do matter, I sort of wish I had a bunch of people telling me "it gets better"--because in some ways, assuming you make some effort to create an emotional maturity and make choices you are proud of, it does get better. Every trauma isn't a horrific life-shattering experience the way it is when you're a sack of hormones/teenager.

The rest of life, especially when it comes to other people? Sucks ass.

Anonymous said...

I hated high school (period.)

Now that I am out of high school (have been doe decades & yet...) in addition to hating all of the taunts/slurs/white out being poured into my hair, etc. I also hate that I did not take Home Ec., typing, or short hand.

Now I feel better. Thanks.

P.S. Not unlike you I have a great kid, now that I LOVE!

Jester said...

Nope. Gotta disagree here. And if I recall correctly, so do you.

Wasn't it you that ran into an old friend from your teenage years, who was able to accurately predict how the events later in your life would affect you even though she hadn't seen you in a decade or more? I seem to recall you writing a blog entry that said that very thing.

Wasn't it you that said in that same blog entry that major aspects of your personality are set in your teenage years?

If it wasn't you, they are. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wish I had realized this at the time. I didn't really fuck up much in high school because I thought it mattered. If I could go back.. man.. that'd be a kickass time.

Anonymous said...

I would think that getting a C mattered very much if your intention is to get into University.

cinderkeys said...

The one thing I regret about high school is that nobody told me it was just a big staging area. Yeah, your grades affect where you go to college, but there's more out there than grades. Or college. Go forth and make stupid mistakes while you have the chance.

That said, I wouldn't trade my adult life for my high school life. Not even at the lowest points of adult life. http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-life-actually-does-get-better

There's something to be said for not having to ask permission to go to the bathroom.