A lot of folks may look at their early teenage years with fleeting moments of fondness.
Friends, birthday parties, fun and games. Not to mention a healthy variety of mischievous activities to help keep life interesting between the endless classroom lectures and local social drama.
I don’t remember 99.9% of it… which is no doubt a good thing since my life was pretty much in a counterclockwise hormone ridden tailspin by the time I hit the big 1 3.
But I do vaguely recall one unfortunate thing I never could avoid.
Long distances to get anywhere that would remotely qualify as fun.
In the asphalt asphyxiated roads of northern New Jersey, nearly all fun activities for a pre-licensed teen required a long drive through potholed roads with a mom chauffeur (usually) and a never ending chorus of stop signs and red lights.
The two movie theaters took about 20 minutes. A nearby roller rink loaded with, even then, vintage arcade games like Pole Position and Mr. Do took another 25 minutes. A walkable town? That was 10 minutes away. But at least over there I could get a slice of pizza and a video on VHS.
The weather was cold, cloudy and windy most of the time. While the freedom was limited to parental whims, a 10 speed bike, and Converse All-Stars.
Sometimes I would listen to a Walkman and just jog around the neighborhood… for fun. The thought of it now depresses me. In part, because life is now infinitely more interesting. But also because I now realize that a lack of mobility, at any age, can be as crippling to a person’s psyche as any other challenge.
So this brings me to two distinct thoughts for you to consider. Was there a time in your younger days when you didn’t have your own wheels, but needed them? Related to this, what the heck did you do for fun back in the day? Other than watch TV?