Sunday, November 2, 2014

Being a Teen??

A couple weeks ago, after reading "Ask Me If I Care" I was struck by the all-too-familiar feeling of teenage existentialism. Seeing bits of Rhea's teenage life played out as they were made me think of how, one day, I might look back at my life right now. Will I have some great adventure or dilemma to tell of? I feel that no amount of books or movies can prepare us for what really comes with being a teenager. Afterall, this is your life! It’s completely and uniquely yours, which is so scary but great at the same time.

The chapter itself is really interesting, especially in how it changes point of view so abruptly. So much that Rhea is feeling can also be found in the reader, something that made me like reading the chapter so much. Everything coming from Rhea’s perspective is so real and unfiltered.

While enjoying her point of view a lot, it still made me question myself. Though it’s only a book, it made me the ask the question: am I doing enough as a teen? Why aren’t I part of a band or meeting strange and fascinating men like Lou or partying to the extent they do? Yet when it all slows down, and Rhea is sitting on Lou’s balcony looking at San Francisco at night, I see myself in her again.

Books and movies can’t clearly represent what it is to be a teenager, but they can provide us with a break or let us live out experiences we might never have gotten otherwise. Adolescence is a wonderful and confusing and exciting time, and I just have to accept that there is no ‘right’ way to live it.


  1. I think your analysis of the teenage years is spot-on. There really is no correct way to experience adolescence, as everyone's personal motives and perspectives differ on so many levels (especially at this age). However, I do think that teenagers should use their time in a way that allows them to experience important aspects of life that will prepare them for adulthood.

  2. I really enjoyed your analysis because when I read that chapter I did not feel connected to it, but after reading your analysis I can see some connections between my life and Rhea's. I think your analysis is very impressive and cool to read.

  3. I agree, I can draw a great deal of partial parallels between my own existentialism and rhea's. However, there was an even stronger connection I felt to the book, with the tipping point coming at Rob's death. They are all suffering. Every single one of the characters is constantly questioning, trying, failing, succeeding, and suffering. Even those whose thoughts you don't hear, who are only ever background, are struggling in their own personal ways. I can feel it. So my great connection with the book came not from the teenage troubles and self-doubt, but from the struggles of all people, just like in our world. Even those who create suffering only do it in a vain attempt to lessen their own, my example being Lou. So my strongest connection to the book comes from the empathy I feel toward every single being that has every lived. This has gone entirely off the topic of your post, but eh, I'll publish it anyway.