But each generation has its own crosses to bear. Not being an adolescent anymore, I can only surmise what those are for people growing up now: a technology-driven world where advances function as dual-edged swords; an ever-increasing pressure to grow up fast.
Whatever the causes of adolescent angst, and there are many more I haven't listed here, I offer up two solutions:
1. Books. I really do believe books can save a person's life. They distract you from pain. They help you figure out solutions. They show you others who have it worse. They provide blueprints for how you can make things far better. They open up worlds you might not have otherwise imagined.
2. One Good Friend. My mother used to say that all a person really needs is one good friend. And I think she's right. Sure, it's nice to have lots of friends - hey, on MySpace I have over 4000 friends! - but you really just need one. One good friend who loves you unconditionally. One good friend for whom you can return the favor of unconditional love. Sometimes, in your darkest hours, that one good friend may turn out to be yourself.
Me, I'm going through a blue patch here. So after signing off, I'm going to take my own advice, since that survival strategy doesn't work just for adolescents but also for old ladies like me: I'm going to phone a friend and then I'm going to curl up with Liza Conrad's EIGHTH GRADE BITES.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHAT ARE YOUR STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVING EITHER ADOLESCENCE OR WHEREVER YOU ARE IN LIFE RIGHT NOW?
Be well. Don't forget to write.