Don’t underestimate the value of pain: the sting of urine on your butt cheeks or that choking feeling when milk runs down the wrong tube. Drink it. It’s valid. Any experience, even irritation at unknown folk fondling your feet or breathing into your face, is valid.
When you have none, experience is worth more than your weight in gold. Some you’ll have to go out and get, some you’ll receive free of charge, and some – alas – will be inflicted on you. In all events, be patient, it comes slowly (at least it will seem that way until you realize it has all come too fast). A spit bubble is experience; laughter is experience; but so is chickenpox or gonorrhea.
(Later in life when a security agent performs on you an internal cavity search for no justifiable reason, that too will be experience. But I digress…)
Anyway, congratulations, you are now no longer a complete sitting duck. You have started on your way to actually know something; you have started to experience knowledge, and with that first taste, your appetite will become insatiable. Thankfully, nature has so rigged things that it is also around this time that your eyes will clear up from the amphibian fog that has been with you for over nine months.
Open sesame. Behold the wonders of the world: cumulus clouds, primary colors, the Big Dipper, and so on and so forth.
You will be peering through these peepholes a damn awful lot, only closing them to sleep or shut-out insects and incoming particles. You will be amazed a thousand-fold before you become blasé. You will not comprehend what you have just tapped into. You will feel exalted, if not all-out Godly.
These will be your wonder years. Enjoy them because they are relatively short. Before you know it will commence six years of state-mandated training in reading, writing, arithmetic (for purposes of testing) and social exclusion, compliance and class-warfare ( purposes of… I don’t know).
Anyway, you will suffer major indignities before the age of ten. You will contract coodies and other imaginary diseases, and you will be put without your consent (or even knowledge) into any one of a number of categories, ranging from GEEK, DORK, JERK, JOCK, NERD, PERV and so on. There will be no disabusing anyone of this as there will be no proof for or against it. You will be tried and convicted by a jury of your own peers in a court that makes up laws as it goes along.
Just get through this is all I have to say.
In Phase 3 (Erections and the Enticements of Lust, so termed in the literature) you will be up late many nights doing fuck all with a gang of “dickwads” you will call your "friends". All of you – yourself included – will be under fierce hormonal attack, and often in varying stages of inebriation. Believe it or not, but you will learn a lot from these fools. Not directly – you will learn nothing from them directly – but from the experience as a whole. This is when your voice will start to break, your body will throw shit at you and your mind will become obsessed with one and one thing only. If at some stage you find yourself crying for help from the bottom of shallow ditch called teenage love, forgive me if I don’t come to the rescue. That too is part of your “experience”*.(… to be continued)
* “Experience” may take on an altogether difference meaning at this stage if you decide that your skin, eyes, nose, tongue and ears are inadequate tools of perception and that they need to be "enhanced". Go down this road at your own peril.