Vulnerability and Youth | Teen Ink

Vulnerability and Youth

January 12, 2022
By Jordyne2003 BRONZE, Fulshear, Texas
Jordyne2003 BRONZE, Fulshear, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.” - Mary Shelley

Vulnerability is something that many seem to deny as they get older, sometimes it’s fear of attack, other time’s it’s fear of judgment from others. But one constant that lingers is we all have it, whether we hide it or not, no matter how much we try, it will always remain. The idea that many seem to have about youth is its radiance, something that no matter how much we try to capture artificially we can’t. But what if youth in its simplest form, isn’t what’s captivating, but rather the confidence we have to be vulnerable at a young age? 

When we are young, we don’t have to fear judgment from peers for having hobbies that differentiate us. We don’t have any fears in regards to how to dress, or how to act. We are given the privilege of being children which also comes with the privilege of feeling little to no shame. Children can have hobbies and can have a broad imagination without being told to stop being so naive, they can just be.

Even during emotional outbursts, children are given different treatment and given full allowance to express their feelings no matter the regard. After all, they are innocent and naive children so most roll their eyes with affection. And children aren’t aware that they are given this ability. But as they grow, they begin to notice classmates and others in their life judging people with the same vulnerability they were given passage to in their youth. Eventually, they grow to judge others for this vulnerability, while denying and hiding their own. 

Why teenagers grow up so quickly is an attempt to deny or hide their vulnerability, it’s a way of trying to integrate with the world around them. For some, they view their vulnerability as what separates them from others. While many view their vulnerability as a source of contention and flaw, something that needs erasure. In personal experience, I watched those around me grow away from their vulnerability and turn themselves towards temporary things and feelings to try and erase it. 

Something else I’ve noticed is the inclination many people seem to have towards the concept of youth. It’s something that many people wish they could go back to, or they wish they could appear the way they did in their youth. I wonder why then so many seem to deny their vulnerability, but readily wish to go back to their youth. Is it the feeling of not being aware of your vulnerability they long for? Or is it the feeling of being able to express it they wish they could achieve? 

At times, I wish I could go back and capture moments or feelings from my youth. One’s of whimsey and imagination. But, I realize the conclusion that I have passage to achieve those things today, as well as make them a reality. Recently, I went to Disneyland, and while a very reasonable feat, it was one I could have only dreamed of at 10. And now, 8 years later I can say proudly that I fulfilled a childhood fantasy of mine. 

It’s easy for myself and many others to get caught up in our current state of being. A place where we feel like we are only given clearance to reach for things we need now, but those feelings, dreams, and hobbies we had as children are in our reach. The vulnerability we had, is something we can express now with a sense of maturity. Our imagination didn’t end at 13, only that we could never make our imaginations a reality did. In truth, we are the same vulnerable and radiant kids we were, now we just have the weight of expectations. 

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