The other day I picked up from the library an old book called Seen and Heard: Teenagers Talk About Their Lives. It's a collection of black-and-white photographs and interviews with various teenagers about their lives and what they hope parents would understand about them. The kids profiled include some farm boys, a couple of Phish-heads, a goth who loves Ayn Rand, Schuyler Fisk (yep, Sissy Spacek's daughter), a gay teenager, a girl recovering from an eating disorder, and Shura Baryshnikov (yep, the daughter of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jessica Lange) among others. I wonder what the kids in the book think now, looking back on their teenage thoughts. What have they learned since the book was released? How are they different?
Sometimes I wonder how much I have changed, or even if I have. I mean I have changed a lot physically: I've gained a lot of weight, I grew a Van Dyke, and I live in a different town. But sometimes I find myself going back to my old way of thinking. Sometimes I'm still that angry kid stuck in the corner who is lashing out at all the phonies of the world. Have I really grown up since those days?
Zach Braff once said that you go through physically puberty in your teens, and mental puberty in your twenties. So even though I have changed a lot--both mentally and physically--my mind hasn't fully caught up with my age yet. But I am learning.
By the way, out of curiosity (I swear!) I Googled a couple of the kids to see where they might be now. Shura is a raw foods teacher, and Peach Friedman--one of the Phish-heads--is the author of Diary of an Exercise Addict.
4 weeks ago