We were just girls. Girls who thought we knew better than all the adults who came before us. We made decisions based on our limited experience and we thought we were invincible. Except we were not invincible and the slightest hint of trouble made our shaky foundation crumble beneath our feet. It was all the end of the world. Our life as we knew it was over. We were certain we would never survive the calamity currently victimizing us. Funny, I only remember a few of those tragedies now.
I always knew music was the path of revolution. Everclear sang about absent fathers. Alanis spoke of boyfriends who had betrayed us. Jewel spoke of the heartache we most identified with. The Violent Femmes reminded us of our permanent record. Live, Candlebox, and Nirvana. So many talented voices managed to explain our angst so much better than we ever would.
Now my music is playing in restaurants at four in the afternoon. No one bats an eye when Alanis talks about blow jobs in the theater. Ben Folds talking about abortion is just not shocking anymore.
When did my revolution and rebellion cease to be shocking?
Perhaps the real answer is our rebellion was not so unique. Our parents and grandparents had their voices too. Maybe it is just normal adolescent development to assume the world is inherently against you and no one will ever know as much or understand as much as you.
We were brilliant. We thought we had the answers to all of humanity’s problems. We drank coffee and smoked cigarettes while pontificating the solutions for the problems of the world. If only someone would listen to us. We were never going to be like the generation before us. We were special.
Now I am approaching middle age. I know more now than ever how little I know about the world. Sometimes I wish I could rebel just a little again. I wish I knew half as much with the certainty I possessed as a teenager. I wish I had anthems the same way I did as a kid.