As you come into adulthood you start to see things a little differently.
For in your early school days, there’s you the kids, and then there’s everyone else. And everyone else is just what they do, there’s not a person behind them. What I mean by this is that teachers are teachers, your mum and dad are your mum and dad. You don’t realise that teachers are different people outside of the school, that they don’t exist solely for the purpose of educating you, that in some cases they might not even want to be a teacher and are pissed off with the way their life has turned out. You don’t properly realise that your parents had a whole life before you, a life that at some point you just became a part of, you don’t at this point realise that they weren’t just created solely for the purpose of making you.
Of course some people find these realisations quicker than others. However it’s one thing to know something, and another to understand it. You can know that your parents had a whole life before you, but you only understand it more and more with each year of your own life, and perhaps you’ll never really get it until you have kids yourself. You can realise that some of your teachers are just confused adults trying to find their way in life, but you don’t understand until you grow up and become one yourself (a confused adult that is).
You live on one side of the fence when you’re a kid, then you grow up and live on the other. You watch the other side for 15 or so years, and then you’re asked to climb over, and you uncover more with every day there, and with every step. What I enjoy now is when you get to see a side of things that once you were never allowed to, or when you see something in a way that only time has enabled you to do so.
When once policemen and security guards were all only their jobs, one day they instead become to you just people who have to do jobs. A policeman standing around on a London street looking serious may not be a serious man trying to enforce the law, but just a bored man trying to look serious. A moment that fits with this genre of thought that I particularly remember was recently when I went to Gatwick Airport (to come here to Italy) and I watched the security there. It had been a long time since I was last in an airport, and it was funny this time as I watched the two young security officers patting down those who made the walkthrough machine start beeping. These two security officers weren’t agents devoted to the safety of a nation, they were just people with jobs, and I wondered what they must be thinking as they had to keep another straight face as they patted down another 70 year old granny from yorkshire, another clear threat to the nation. When I was a kid, they did it because they were security, now I see that they do it because they have to, and at times they probably feel just as ridiculous as the granny that they are physically interrogating.
And I’m not saying that here I see anything that others don’t, it’s just I enjoy those moments where you notice you’re seeing something differently to a time before. I’m living with a 32 year old History teacher called Alberto at the moment, and I couldn’t help but find it pretty funny when he showed me a picture of Pipa middleton’s ass, then gripped my arm and jokingly ranted to me about how badly he ‘needed’ to fuck her. I immagined one of my old history teachers saying something like that to his friend just before coming into a lesson, and then arriving in the lesson and telling all the class to be quiet and ranting about how immature they all are. Perhaps what I’m laughing at there is just the idea of hypocrisy, but it’s also laughing about being on the teacher’s side of things now, he reminded me of my old teachers, he was briefly a representation of the lives they lived outside school.
Again, I’m not saying I’m seeing anything from some wisened perspective or observing things that you couldn’t, I’m just talking about watching your perspectives change.
About noticing that you’re seeing something from the other side of the fence.