I was a pretentious teenager. Objectively, I’m not that far removed from my teenage years, but it all feels like a lifetime ago. Maybe every decade is like that, maybe once I reach 30 I’ll look back at my 20’s and think I was acting like an idiot.
However, the pretension of my teenage years is undeniable. I never thought I was perfect, or that I knew absolutely everything, but I did think I had better taste than my peers. So when everyone else was busy reading Harry Potter I was forcing my way through the “classics.” Sometimes the language was too much for me, like with Paradise Lost and The Odyssey. If you’re wondering what kind of idiot teenager thinks she can get through Paradise Lost on her own, Congratulations! You have now found her. There are scholars who have dedicated their whole careers to studying John Milton’s epic and I thought I’d breeze through it in a week.