At the end of the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” the lead ends with this quote (which will not ruin the movie for you if you haven’t seen it): “And there are people who forget what it’s like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We’ll all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening, I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.”
Of course, nowadays, I am “just someone’s parent” and not the teen with the world in front of him. But what is powerful is to remember the magic of those moments which, all too often, weren’t appreciated back then. But then, has the magic ever really stopped?
The real question is whether we can see right now with the same open eyed enthusiasm as we did back then. Sometimes, I see some of my old friends post articles or comments on the web and I wonder what their high school selves would think of themselves today. Of course, they might think I’m not the same guy as back then either.
I just hope I never lose the capability to dream dreams as I did back then. I don’t want to be the parent blandly looking on to the teens who have that sense of wonder.
The infinite still surrounds us and we can encounter it. Our lives are pretty wondrous things. The people around us are like no other (and won’t happen again exactly in this way). We are gifted with a point in time (be it high school, parenthood, or beyond). Let us all retain our sense of the possible.
Until next time,