I heard this description of someone today. The perennial teenager, sometimes called the man-child. It’s a definite identity that someone can take on these days. I have my guess as to how this particular identity came to be, but I don’t have to understand how it came to be in order to know what it looks like.
1. Lasting or active through the year or through many years.
a. Lasting an indefinitely long time; enduring: perennial happiness.
b. Appearing again and again; recurrent. See Synonyms at continual.
A person between the ages of 13 and 19; an adolescent.
We aren’t talking about the plants here. We’re talking about that man-child that’s stuck in adolescence. Do you know this person? They never grow up. They might look older, but they’re not. This is an identity that is becoming more and more normal.
What do you think about it?
One thought on “Perennial Teenager”
I see this all the time in my generation Lem. It’s the 30yr old that still wants to act 19.I see many of my friends still acting like we are in college. In my experience it is largely based in fear. Fear of stepping up to the plate and becoming the person that God has created you to be. Fear of failure. Fear of “adult-ness.” Fear of becoming what they so desperately fought against in High School. I also think that it is largely a product of our culture which says that teenagers aren’t expected to do much or be much and suddenly a switch must be flipped and we become “an adult.” Instead, our culture has glorified the teen years and those that “remain young” and we are not being told about the value of becoming an adult.
I know you said in your post we don’t need to know where it came from to identify it, but I would be interested in what your thoughts are on how we can go about challenging people to grow beyond it. I am assuming of course that we should, but perhaps there are those that would disagree. I see it as a challenge to face and therefore getting to the “root,” asking the “why” would help us to engage those that are in this place and help them move beyond. I think that being a perennial teenager severely limits a persons effectiveness and ultimately their purpose in life.