Funny Ha Ha

In the (amazing) film Boyhood, there is a line that the father says to his teenage son, still reeling from the breakup with his high school girlfriend. He says: “We’re all just winging it. The good news is you’re feeling stuff, you know? And you’ve got to hold on to that. You get older, and you don’t feel as much, your skin gets tough." This line, among the many that I appreciated from the film, seemed to typify much of my experience growing up. When I look back at my childhood, so much of it is the sense that everything emotion I was experiencing was cranked up to eleven. The teachers I viewed as fascists, the opinions on art and culture that I felt EVERYONE needed to have, the heart break I thought would define me for the rest of my life. Looking back now I see how silly all of it was. Part of me misses the beauty of the raw emotion, unfiltered by perspective and wisdom. Part of me misses the depth of feelings and their catastrophic effect on my world, and yet, it's such a relief to not feel like a slave to them. Growing up and navigating life is like learning to drive a car in a Formula One racer that goes from zero to 60 in three seconds. Eventually you have to figure out how to slow it down. This doesn't mean we should all start driving mini-vans instead, but life can't feel like we're always one pump of the pedal away from losing control and crashing into a wall. I want to feel things, but I don't want them to dictate my life, which is something I guess you can only really notice in retrospect. When you can look back and laugh at how much we let the constantly fluctuating emotions pull us into ever deepening distress. It's good to look back and laugh I think. It's also good to know that some day, maybe some day soon- you'll look back at today and laugh even harder.