Wilton Warrior Nicholas Dehn: Zen-ior year
I don’t care what you on-the-go, coupon-cutting, cable-news-watching, college-admissions-obsessed, anxiety-mongering New Englanders think; there’s something to be said for serious, raw emotional catharsis.
I mean it! Of course, not being a professional yoga practitioner or a noted expert on Eastern methods of meditation or a soccer mom with a knack for exercising on free Wednesday mornings, I don’t know the exact terminology when it comes to the therapeutic release of tension, both physical and meta-.
I’m reluctant to sum it up as “stress relief” because that implies that I know something about relieving stress, and I can already tell that this is shaping up to be my most hectic year in high school thus far; what fun!
And yet something about senior year, amidst the frenzy of “finding myself” (have I lost myself?!) before being more or less catapulted into the fabled Real World, motivates me to merely concentrate on “the now,” even in this period of mental and social development when the future is paramount in most students’ minds.
In one way, I’m “amped up” and “totally super psyched out” to philosophically and psychologically evaluate my life thus far and to discover where life is taking me; but mostly, I’m immersing myself in the present, cherishing each ephemeral moment. My life has taken on the likeness of an Impressionist painting; I keep catching myself fixated on fleeting fragments of time.
As much as I enjoy whittling away at the marble of my existence, carving it into a refined sculpture of meaning and dignity, I also need to step back sporadically and put this work process into a greater perspective. I’m stopping to smell the roses, if you will, and strategically avoiding their thorns.
Listen to me. I sound like Harding from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, trying to explain the machinations of my psyche to the nuts around me (“I’m talking about everybody. I’m talking about form! I’m talking about CONTENT!”).
Not that my fellow colleagues are a bunch of nuts. But my overblown introspections that accompany the stresses of this year accumulate into the very air — or dense, ego-fueled miasma — of self-importance that seems to accrue about the optimistic, hope-filled heads of each 12th grader gracing the halls of Wilton High School.
This air is justifiable. Our young lives have amounted to these mere monumental months!
I digress because I don’t wish to begin penning some idealistic manifesto or a rhetorical call to arms that’s equal parts hyperbolic and tacky. Sometimes I feel like I could do so, had I the time, had I the drive, had I not the password to the family Netflix account.
The epic perceptions of my current state should really remain lodged in my head, and not necessarily transliterated into the world of paperbound permanence.
Suffice it to say that I’ve been trying hard to ward off any potential existential crises through effortless, trauma-preventing procedures. For instance, I was at a rehearsal for the fall play, Peter Pan (opening Nov.