The Significance of Adolescence

never easy

By: Elijah Obasanya

Sometimes I think going through life can be analogous to getting steamrolled by a truck. It sounds rather harsh, but it is definitely the truth. Not to say that life is a daily struggle, but it sure does seem like it for a lot of folks in this world. I’ve gone through a lot in my life, and I think that it is rather important to understand that the smallest of factors, can have the most dramatic effect on someone. From my perspective, there was a multitude of factors that have affected my life, however I would like to focus on one time in particular: adolescence.
Adolescence for me was like oxygen in a vacuum, fire in outer space, or almost like a fresh foods grocery store in a predominantly black community. It was nonexistent, a fantasy, an illusion that kept true adolescence consistently eluded from me. I’ve always thought that I had an acceptable or normal adolescence. It is hilarious to think about this because it has become crystal clear that it was so nonexistent to the extent that I was completely unaware of what adolescence even meant. Up until very recently, adolescence meant simply living and going through the motions of teenage years. Hilarious right? I was so lost on what true adolescence meant, that I was unable to even determine the quality of my adolescence.
There are a variety of reasons as to why I consider my adolescence nonexistent, however I would rather talk about how it has led to the person that I am today, and the person I’m steadily growing into being. It all started with a self-assessment. I am unaware of when it happened exactly, but it is something that has definitely been occurring more and more recently. I began to think about who I am, the person I want to be, and where exactly I want to go in life. Not in the vein of occupation or life goals, but more so on the type of person I am, the values that I want to hold dear, and the people I consider to be vital in my life. If I were to answer these questions today, one would only need to look up at the stars in the night sky to get a sense of what the answers would be. Beautiful, but a scattershot. Seemingly disordered, and completely unorganized.
It was at this moment that I began to realize that I’ve only truly begun to live through my adolescence, my real adolescence. My teenage years was such an ordeal that I realized I couldn’t possibly fit an adolescence in the chaos that was life at the time. A rose tinted perspective would be one that is joyful of the fact that adolescence has at least begun. Many people go through life without contemplating who they are, what their top values should be, what they would stand for, and what they would die for.
Though my answers to these questions would look like the night sky, a jumbled series of stars with seemingly no direction and order, underneath the mess is gravity. An underlying force that has kept the stars in the same motions and positions spanning from thousands of years in the past, and will continue for thousands of years into the future. To fully complete my adolescence, all I need is to sift through the confusion and uncertainty of who I am. I say this because ultimately I know that the answers to these questions have been there all along. Just waiting for me to find it.

One thought on “The Significance of Adolescence

  1. Elijah: I’m proud of you for your ability to authentically live your own timeline, even if it doesn’t fit whatever seems to be more “normal.” Developmental timelines or markers can help us make sense of things at the big picture level, but can also be problematic if they do not allow for an appreciation of the uniqueness of each individual’s life and story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *