No, I did not go to anyone’s prom. It’s been a long time since I was in high school, you know.
However, last week I did take myself to the movie Prom, on the justification that it was a teenager movie and I write stories for teenagers. I ought to keep myself familiar with how they dress and talk and act around each other if my books are going to contain any amount of realism. And…sometimes I like a simple young toothy love story. And the guy who plays Jesse is kinda cute *cough*…
Anyway, it was pretty much what I expected. Nothing deep or riveting or complicated. But it did affirm why the young adult genre appeals to me as a whole, and also reminded me that it’s been a while since I was a teenager.
I like the immediacy. People tend to mock teenaged angst, how everything that’s happening is so dreadfully important and a big deal all the time. How ups are like mountaintops and downs are like the end of the world. It’s true that young people lack a certain amount of perspective that comes with age and living life. But you know…sometimes I think adults could use more of that immediacy and significance. Young people care, immensely and deeply, and that kind of passion can do amazing things in the world, if channeled. We, as adults, need to remember how it feels to care, and to love, and to ache…to not let those things slip away with the years.
I like the sort of on-the-cusp, anything-is-possible vibe that seems to permeate stories that involve teenagers. It’s both exciting and scary to be making momentous decisions that will affect the rest of one’s life, and it makes those characters stand out in a way that wise, mature, rational adult characters sometimes don’t.
But watching that movie, I noticed something. Many of the problems between characters could have been easily and quickly solved, if the characters would only talk about what was bothering them. It amazed me how many times I was sitting there in the theater thinking, “Just say it! Why can’t you just speak up??” I found myself sometimes getting frustrated with how easily they would sometimes just give up and go along with the crowd, or follow orders, or do nothing.
But see, I’m an adult. Been there, done that, you know? I’ve learned from experience that getting things out in the open is usually worth any possible repercussions. I’ve learned to express myself, and I’ve learned that voicing my needs and feelings is far better in the long run than hiding them. I’ve had a few years to hone what I’d say, and how I’d say it, and I’m no longer so insecure about what people will think of me if I speak up. It takes some deliberate effort on my part to put myself in a teenaged mindset. Thinking like that not an automatic thing for me.
In other words, I don’t remember what it’s like to be a teenager quite as well as I think I do. And I’d do well to keep that in mind.
In other news, I’ve started another blog. I was very adamant that this blog was going to be for writing, and only for writing, and that I wasn’t going to get into religion or politics here unless it directly related to my writing. But more and more I’ve found myself needing a place to vent on certain issues…because otherwise they just bother me and bother me and I don’t get anything done for like a week. If you really want to know where I stand on such topics, you can head over here and poke around. There’s not much there yet, but it’ll probably get added to pretty fast. I will warn you, sometimes I may not be very nice and I’ll probably be doing a lot of picking on fundamentalist Christianity in particular. Not because I have a problem with the Christian faith…actually, I like it very much, which is why I’d like to see its blind spots and idiocies and dark sides exposed and dealt with. But, if that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable, then you should probably leave exilemusings alone. 😉