Thursday, September 18

Cornflake Girl

So this week we’re posing about “surviving adolescence” and the truth is I’m not sure I’m qualified to write about it on a personal level. (Though hopefully I am on a fictional level, since, well, that’s pretty much what I do!) But the thing is, I never really feel like a grown-up, (despite home mortgage, husband, and all outward appearances).

I’ve never had one of those Oprah-type, light-bulb moments, where I thought—Aha! THIS is what it’s like to be an adult!

My first drink? Um, I’m afraid that happened long before I turned 21 . . .

My first presidential vote? A moment of exhilaration when I closed the voting booth curtain—immediately followed by the return of the not-so grownup me.

But then, maybe my being stuck in a permanent state of non-maturity (my preferred term to immaturity), really does qualify me to write on this topic since, truth be told, I pretty much rely on the same things to get by today, as I did back then.

So here, in short, is my survival list—in no particular order of importance:

Books. Immersing myself in another world is and always has been the cheapest, quickest, and bestest way to escape whatever’s bugging me!

Music. Like Books, what I’m listening to can either reflect my mood or change my mood. And while I still listen to a lot of the same music I listened to back in the day, I no longer want to marry David Bowie. He and Iman seem very happy together and I’d hate to interfere with that.

Friends. A few like-minded friends are the best defense in a tough world. I’ve got my e-mail friends, my phone call friends, my see-in-person friends, and the one thing they all have in common, (besides the fact that they ROCK), is that they can make me laugh—which releases endorphins—which makes me (even more) optimistic—which makes everything better!

The belief in better things to come. Yup, sappy as it sounds, I believe in silver linings, that that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, that the sun is always shining behind the clouds. I believe in all those sappy sayings you find on posters with pictures of eagles soaring or kittens hanging from tree branches--without, er, actually owning one of those posters!

Travel. My number one antidote to everything--when I’m stuck, bored, frustrated or all three—is to go somewhere. Whether it’s around the world, around the block, around the Internet, or inside a new book. Seeing something else and/or learning something new always adds new perspective.  

A good zit cream that works. What can I say? Some things never change

What about you? What helps/helped you get by?


Sara Z. said...

I don't know if any of us who write teen fiction have really grown up. I definitely don't feel like a grownup, though I think I survived and do a good job pretending.

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Sara-
Yup, I knew I wasn't alone! Though I'm not always sure I fake it so well . . .

Wendy Toliver said...

Great post, Alyson! I have to say, having little kids is another way I get away with being non-mature. Anytime I feel like ordering fries instead of veggies, running thru the sprinklers or jumping on the tramp (all of which I did today), I can always grab one of my boys to join me.

As for zit cream, I'm amazing how much more effective they are nowadays. Pre-teens and teens have it a lot better than I did on this count.

Amanda Ashby said...

The thing that helps me get by now that I didn't have back then is my kids. They stop me from dwelling on things and living too much in my head and each night when I look at them sleeping no problem feels too overwhelming. But apart from that I fall back on my favs of books, television and chocolate (somethings never change!!)

Melissa Walker said...

Yeah, no growing up here either. Maybe when/if I have kids?

Alyson Noel said...

Wendy- I miss running through the sprinklers! That used to be my favorite summertime activity!

Amanda- That is too sweet! What is it about kids sleeping that makes one turn to mush??

Melissa- Looks like we're in good company!

Gerb said...

Ha, Melissa! I have kids and I'm still not grown up. : )

Alyson, I completely agree with every one of your coping mechanisms! Couldn't have said it better myself. (Now have to rethink what I am going to post about on this subject...)

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Gerb- Oh, I can't wait to read your words o' wisdom!!