There is no other time in our lives more special than our youth. It is when we are at our most pure and in some cases our most beautiful. We haven’t been exposed to many of the joys and ills that life has to offer as we are still experiencing the early part of the journey and forming who we want to be or who we want the world to think we are.
Let’s take Lindsay Lohan as a prime example.
1998: 12 Years Old
Lindsay was America’s Sweetheart with her breakout role in the remake of Disney’s The Parent Trap. With a spunky attitude, cheerful acting skills and a precocious youthful spirit it seemed as if Lindsay was well on her way to becoming the next It Girl.
She was still a kid and the world was full of possibilities. Fast forward a few years.
2004: 18 Years Old
I’ve said it before and I will say it forever. Lindsay was gorgeous. After The Parent Trap’s success she went on to do more movies for Disney, and her star continued to rise. But it wasn’t until after 2004’s Mean Girls hit theaters that people really started to pay attention. Ironically, just like Cady Heron, her popularity went to her head. However, unlike Cady, she began on a downward spiral through drugs and despair.
People always say that cocaine is the party drug. Well, how would you like to party with
2013: 27 Years Old
Oh Lindsay. Ten years after Mean Girls and the drugs have destroyed you. I know that she’s trying to get herself together in rehab and I wish the best for her but when I think of how she went from the Queen of Disney to the Queen of Nothing in such a short amount of time it makes me wonder:
A)Did she know how good she had it and assumed that things would always be the same?
B)Was she was so naive she lived each day in the fast lane with no thought or concern for tomorrow?
Honestly, you don’t have to go as far as a troubled Hollywood actress for examples of how youth and beauty become corrupted over time.
There’s a girl that I grew up with who was stunning during her heyday. All the boys loved her and she was very popular with other girls but her attitude was the worse. These days, when you look at her, you can tell that time hasn’t been kind to her face or her body. Yet, mentally, she still lives in that era when she was the prettiest girl whenever she walked into the room. Now she’s just a shadow of the memories which live inside of her head.
I know a brotha who was so handsome and charming when we were younger that to look at him now you’d wonder if he is even the same person from old photographs. Years of stress and underachieving his potential have left him looking like a sad imitation of what he once was.
There are millions of examples of the Hot Chick who turned into a crackhead, or the jock who became a loser just as there are stories in reverse of the ugly girl maturing into a beautiful woman.
The problem with youth is that it’s innocent and unknowing. Where do you think the phrase ‘If I had to do it all again…’ comes from?
It’s the wisdom of hindsight that we all acquire as we get older. Especially those of us who experienced life from the not-so-cool side as we were growing up.
When you’re young you assume that life is what it is. If you’re pretty, you’ll always be pretty. If you’re popular, you’ll always be popular. If you’re an outcast, you’ll always be an outcast.
The assumption is beautiful in its certainty because it is a self-proclaimed prediction that none of us can really hold on to.
It’s what we hope for.
It’s what we fear.
But no one can guarantee that they will remain popular, beautiful, ugly, desirable, ostracized, intelligent, suave, awkward, fashionable or anything else when you’re young because you’re young. You still don’t know who you are yet. You’re still finding that out. And time tells the greatest story of who we become by the experiences and circumstances that make us who we are.
In Lindsay’s case she’s still young enough to turn it around. But she’s also old enough to know better.