10 February 2014

Nostalgia and the Roaring Twenties

I'm sure I've written posts about this before, but I am, without a doubt, one of the most nostalgic people I know. Or maybe I just think I am because I don't know what other people think. But I really think I am.


Lately I, like the rest of America, have gotten on the Netflix Train, no stops in sight. (Cue the song Long Black Train by Josh Turner.) I've been watching Dawson's Creek. I never watched it when it was on television, probably because it is slightly before my time. The Netflix description says that it's about teenagers, drama, and sex. There are discussions about sex, and some of the characters have sex (it is, after all, a show about six teenagers), but compared to the stuff that is on television today, it is totally G rated. Sex is something that they take very seriously and are never vulgar either in speech or deed about it on the show. I respect that.

Watching the show has made me miss my own teenage years. Emotions were running wild and I remember feeling like no one understood me. I, like Joey, one of the main characters on Dawson's Creek, was not having sex, even though a lot of my friends were. I remember feeling the pressure of both my own hormones and whichever boy I was dating at the time to do it, but I had also read that marriages where people wait to have sex statistically show a less than 4% chance of ending in divorce. Coming from a single-parent household (and being the stubborn girl that I am,) I knew that if I ever were to marry, it'd be once, and it'd be for good. And, (by the grace of God) even as a teenager, I was willing to do whatever it would take to make that happen.

I particularly think back to the summer after we all turned sixteen. I had a group of about 7 girl friends and we had so much fun together. We spent so many nights doing crazy things, talking shit about each other, obsessing over the crush of the week, and just being kids. There was no responsibility and really not a whole lot to worry about in general. We would go to the lake or hang out by someone's pool almost every day. There was always some sort of drama going on, almost always involving a boy or a few, haha. I guess it was fun because the drama, although whichever heartbroken girl got burned by it would have disagreed at the time, was always fleeting and never something that we couldn't get past.

It's weird for me to think back on those days with such fondness. Because of my nostalgic personality, even at the time I knew I wanted to be sixteen forever. The weirdest part about it is that I can't believe I loved my life so much before I really knew Jesus. But man, I loved my life back then.

When I was a missionary, I couldn't understand how people could even be happy without knowing Jesus. The world is a fun place though. I guess it's like an amusement park, it's super fun while you're there, but it isn't full-time reality. Even the world which we know isn't that real compared to eternity with the Good, True, and Beautiful. Unfortunately for me, I am just sanguine enough to be content with the things of the world... or at least I was back then.

There's a really weird thing that our generation is going through right now. At no point in the history of humanity has it been common for people to marry after age 25. I wrote about marrying young in my last post, and still, I'm wondering how this shift is going to affect the future. It's like our generation is pioneering this period of limbo. In the age of the "man child" and  with most twenty-somethings owning colossal amounts of student debt, we have to think about these consequences. It may be becoming the new normal, but no other generation has ever had to deal with this.

When I was in high school, one of the reasons I was so nostalgic (especially towards graduation,) was because I loved life so much that I couldn't imagine it ever getting any better. I went to college and found out pretty quickly that it could, in fact, get better. As I graduated from college and joined staff with FOCUS, again I thought it could never get any better than college. Wrong again! FOCUS at Auburn was amazing and knowing Jesus and sharing the Gospel is one of the most important things that I will ever do. When I left Auburn, again, I was so sad because I didn't think it could ever be better.

Now, as I sit here almost two years later, I still wonder if it ever will get any better than that time in my life. I'm sure, when I marry and have children, that I will be the happiest I've ever been. But for now, I'm in limbo, waiting for God to prove me wrong again. The human race isn't used to facing the real world alone. In generations past, people were married by the time they got to the point where they were saving for retirement and choosing cutlery. No wonder everyone feels so overwhelmed! God said it is not good for him to be alone!

Scoreboard, right now:
Real World, 1, Brittany, 0.

A lot of people have opinions on regrets, etc., and I don't think this has a whole lot to do with that. But if someone asked me if I could go back to those summer nights, to tell you the truth, I'd probably say yes.

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.

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