During a phase in my teenage years, I believed that my age was the perfect age to be, for I stood at the precipice of adulthood and the end of adolescence. It was the perfect place to be because it was a vantage point in time, and a look behind confirmed immaturity and a look beyond revealed responsibility. I imagined giving good advice was a big part of being an adult then. Sometimes I thought that was all there was to being grown-up. And so I saw it with the interactions between my mother and younger sister. Advice was given and sometimes accepted. I would make mental notes that would help me years later in dealing with my own children when they became broody teenagers. How would I tell my kids to be home in time without offending their sensibilities? How would I advise them to study without seeming too forceful? There were answers for everything; answers I had up here (I'm tapping my head). These were mental notes to be kept up there safely, ready to be unleashed during those perilous teenage years when every day would be a powder keg, and every word a potential lit match.
Six years later old notes have been replaced by new ones, even when experience reveals that to make notes is futile, for every year the textbook is changed, and what's French now will soon be Greek. I've watched myself and others hold on to notions of how things should be, ignoring how things are. It's an idealism of sorts. (So are even the most orthodox among us idealists?) A stubborn idealism, because we end up fighting reality, for nothing remains the same. Not our notions of happiness, not our notions of a golden age, not our notions of the value of money. I guess that's the biggest note I'm making to myself mentally. Hopefully I won't forget.