The Importance of Youthful Rebellion

For a guy like me, the structure of school was a welcome one. The process is simple, do the work, get a grade; usually if you can string together a few nice words or show some work, you can get an A.

It was an alluring idea and while the other kids were busy noticing girls, I was focused on the work. It was the work that I thought would lead me to success, despite not really knowing what I wanted to do all the way through high school.

I was wrong.

It's really those who cultivated interpersonal relationships with their peers and garnered life experience that seem to be well-adjusted adults. I was stunted as a human being, especially in our promiscuous modern world.

I was 22 when I first smoked pot.
I was 23 when I kissed a girl for the first time. [On a date, I asked her if I may]

There's nothing inherently wrong with these ages for these milestones but it seems abnormal in this day and age. But pot, kissing girls; that wasn't in the 'rules' for school. In fact, they were against the rules; so I obeyed and others lived their lives.

I was trying to do just what society wanted me to do. There was no peer pressure for me, there was no girl dying for my affection; I was in a self-made bubble and there wasn't really anyone trying to pop it. Society can only provide rules and constraints on what you can and can't do, it won't give you a path to walk but that's what I expected at the time.

So my bubble popped later, when I was angry and feeling alone. I felt like school was a lie and you weren't guaranteed anything just by working hard and getting good grades; maybe there was a time when that was true but it wasn't anymore.

But relief didn't come with the pop, just more fear; I went from the archaic construct of school to none at all. Alone in the world with very little social tools on my belt; just thinking tools. In my head tools.

It hurts me as an actor. I'm in my head because that's where I spent all my time growing up; years living in my head. It's hard to stop that pattern especially in someone who's learned to rely on himself.

You need that rebellion in your young life; it's so important to see past the structure of school and live! Your growth as a human relies far more on your relationships with people than what you learn sitting at a desk. The desk is what many people think of their inane day jobs now; it's just a means to an end, it's not the whole world.

Don't make school your whole world.