What ‘Forever’ Means to a Teenager

Teens

“Forever is when you have the height and width of a miniature person with the density of an alpha-person. Forever is when you’re a human cartoon with every vein and skin cell as exaggerated as Minnie Mouse’s gloves. Forever is when you experience all kinds of things for the first time, as do your hormones, which will never again be this crazed, never again experience things as either so bleak or so Technicolor. Forever is when your brain is still developing, so everything sticks, like a lot. Forever is when you have tunnel vision because you (I) have not yet understood that you (I) are (am) not the center of the world, so you (I) grant yourself (myself) permission to see things as though you (I) are (am). I don’t recommend it as a lifestyle, but there’s something to be said for having this much time to just think about you, what you like, what you believe in, how you feel. When I asked Sofia Coppola why she continually writes movies about teenagers, she said, ‘It’s a time when you’re just focused on thinking about things, you’re not distracted by your career, family […] I always like characters that are in the midst of a transition and trying to find their place in the world and their identity. That is the most heightened when you’re a teenager, but I definitely like it at the different stages of life.’”

- At Rookie, Tavi Gevinson describes what it’s like to be between the ages of 13 and 17. Read more stories from Rookie.

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Photo: Petra

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Mike Dang
Mike is the managing editor at Longreads, and the editor of The Billfold. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, Pacific Standard, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications.