Yearnings of Youth #AtoZChallenge

Dear Son

You’ve entered the rollercoaster ride of youth from your bratty boyhood. I still cannot come to terms with the fact that you’re no more a child. Wonder when those naughty years of pranks and laughter passed by so swiftly without the slightest indication of how short-lived it all would seem someday.

As you enter this precious phase I am reminded of my own glorious years of youth. This age that you’re in, brings to you a lot of hopes and yearnings. It might seem as though suddenly a new world has opened up to you. You want to reach out to it and explore all that your life so far had restricted you from. You want to experience everything and decide for yourself whether it is good for you or not.

It is indeed beautiful to discover one fine day that you’ve grown into a smart young guy. You have a circle of friends with who are fun to hang out with. There’s so much to do with them. There are plenty things to keep yourself updated lest you miss out on what’s trending. You’re now sorted on what you want to do with your future. Well, almost. But then there are so many things that still confuse you when it comes to settling down on your choice of vocation. Well, you tell yourself that there’s still time. You could figure out it along the way. And then, suddenly there are girls who want a chunk of your attention or likewise you start feeling attracted to someone. There’s some amount of healthy flirting. You’re surprised that it actually happened. The very girls you had scorned earlier as vain and frivolous are now your best friends. You find it weird yet interesting. You smile to yourself half the time when you think of it.  They’re not that bad after all. Or, it could be, ‘Hell, was I blind all these years that I did not notice how beautiful they really are?!’ Time to go out on a date? You want to spruce up your looks and wardrobe, have a funky beard, maybe. Spray some manly cologne too. It’s time to apply for a driving license and get yourself a car. After all, you have arrived. And you’d rather do it in style.

These are beautiful years and the memories of these years will be cherished by you life long. Never again in your future domestic life filled with responsibilities will you feel as free as you do now. In the heady excitement of it all, we yearn to do so many things at one time that sometimes we tend to go off track. If you analyze carefully, certain choices that you’re making are an unconscious reflection of what your friends choose or expect you to choose. As long as you’re in good company this seems harmless.

But in future, god forbid, if you happen to mingle with someone who has the wrong habits or ideologies, it would be detrimental to blindly go by the choices they make and adapt them. Once you have a vague knowledge of how different their values are from you, step back everytime you decide to do something that is on the same lines as what that person does. Evaluate carefully if this is good for you. Even if you feel that there is no harm in going ahead with it, simply ask yourself if you could do without it. For example, in the days to come, you might have to share a room with someone who smokes. While you always kept yourself away from such habits, when you’re in close proximity with people who have such habits you might be tempted to give it a try sometime. You might have resisted giving into it, but someday your curiosity might take you over and urge you to try it just once. A single drag, maybe. And you feel that the whole act of billowing smoke rings out of your mouth makes you look a tad cool. But be warned that it is generally these first-time trials that lead to a lifetime of wrong habits that one is not able to give up easily. The supposedly cool and happening habit turns into a life-threatening addiction in a matter of days.

The same goes for spending habits too. You may notice some friends around you who are extravagant. They’re wearing the priciest of brands, drive the swankiest cars and splurge crazily on clubbing regularly. Probably that is the lifestyle that they have been brought up in. We’ve tried our best to give you all that you ever yearned for in your childhood. ‘Everything that was within our means.’ The same rules should apply now. No matter what kind of lifestyle people have around you, it is not a mandate that you blindly follow their footsteps. A few indulgences here and there are understandable but make sure that you’re not unconsciously doing things to fit in. You are free to make changes in your limits once you are financially independent. But until that time, you know your boundaries.

Off late you’ve noticed that a lot of your friends have started dating. I am glad that you have not forced yourself to think that you would require falling in with them just to keep up with that particular trend. This is the kind of attitude I’d like you to continue with. Stand true to what you are. Go with the flow but make conscious choices. And, you’ll realize that there is a right time for everything. Analyze each yearning of yours before you decide to give into it. This is the time to enjoy your youth in the best possible way but with a surety that it does not haunt you in your later years. Hope you enjoy these prime days of your youth to the hilt and make it last for infinity.

Love
Ma

My theme for this year’s ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge,’ is a set of 26 open ‘Letters to my Son’ from me that I will be writing throughout April. Read more about my theme here.