This topic is very timely for me. This very morning I recorded a podcast for Simon & Schuster, answering questions about my just-released novel, SECRETS OF MY SUBURBAN LIFE. (SECRETS OF MY SUBURBAN LIFE is about a teen named Ren D’Arc whose novelist mother is crushed to death by a stack of Harry Potter books. In the aftermath of this unique tragedy, Ren’s father moves her from NYC to Danbury, CT, where Ren becomes involved in a sort-of mystery centering on an online predator – OK, obligatory self-plug over!)
One of the questions I was asked during the podcast was, “All the challenges Ren faces as a teen are common to many teens today – what do you think is most difficult about being a teen in today’s world?” Since I don’t want to be boring and simply quote verbatim what I already said there, I’ll try to incorporate the gist of it into something original here.
I think the most difficult thing about being a teen in today’s world is all the pressure to grow up too fast. But guess what? Those same pressures applied when I was a teen, ahem, X number of years ago. It may have started a little later than it does now – back then, you didn’t see eight-year-olds dressed like streetwalkers – but still. I went through puberty at age ten, have had the same 36Cs ever since. You can imagine how much fun that was at ten! Really, you try having cleavage at age ten. But by the time I was twelve, I was already wearing makeup, tweezing my Brooke Shields unibrow down to Kate Jackson perfection, wearing sky-high platforms to overcompensate for my 4’11 stature, and pretty much looking for trouble wherever I found it.
Often enough to complicate my life, I found it.
So what advice would I give to my adolescent self if I could turn back the clock and there was even the remotest chance she’d listen: “Please stop rushing everything so much! Trust me, you will be an adult for a very long time (if you’re lucky)! So pleasepleaseplease enjoy the day, the month, the year, the moment you are living, and stop hastening on to the next!”
Of course, I have enjoyed my life, still do, and I try to live my life with no regrets. But there are still a few things that, looking back on it now, I wish I hadn’t rushed.
Now, everybody…go out and buy my book! (Sorry, but if I didn’t try to self-plug at least one more time, I would hate myself in the morning.)
Be well. Don’t forget to write.
13 Replies to “Advice To My Adolescent Self, by Guest Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted”
Lauren, it is so true. Society tries desperately to force children to grow up ever younger. It makes me so sad and I have fought it as much as I can with my own children. There’s just such a long time to have the responsibilities of adulthood, why force it?
Looking forward to you book–the premise is so interesting!! Thanks so much for coming by!
Thanks for visiting, Lauren! I love the premise of SOMSL and am looking forward to reading it. My TBR pile increases daily!
I think I had the opposite problem – I was in NO hurry to grow up. While my parents were on vacation in Florida, I suddenly found myself a high school drop out who was bored with life. Getting a minimum wage job and subsequently moving out of Mom & Dad’s so that I could party unimpeded changed all that. Very quickly. I eventually returned home and even got myself back to school. But would I change any of it? Not a chance. Being a starving 20 year old who has to eat a big serving of humble pie goes a long way towards character building. I am who I am because of the stupid choices I’ve made. And I’m okay with that.
Jenny, my girl just turned eight yesterday. Since you can’t shelter your kids from the world, nor would I want to, what I do try to do is keep up on what she’s exposed to so we can discuss everything and I can help her interpret the (sometimes confusing) world around her.
Joanne, great stuff. You’ve got a wonderful attitude.
Thanks so much for swinging by the dance. Your book sounds great- and like others my reading pile is growing!
Thanks, Eileen – I hope SECRETS makes it onto that pile!
Thanks for the thoughtful and wise post, Lauren. I have a two-year-old and I’m already terrified at the things she will be exposed to in our big bad world. Your attitude is great. And as far an my own past, there sure are things I wish I’d understood better but I don’t regret where I am today, so I guess I need to be grateful for all of my experience.
Best of luck with your latest books–you’re a great example to us all!
Danielle, thank you so much. I agree: everything in the past has contributed to who I am today. And since, immodestly said, I’m happy with the person I am now, I would do well to be grateful for all those past experiences. Enjoy that two-year-old. But there’s no need to fear the big bad world, so long as you help your child see things in the right way, which I know you will.
Hey Lauren, welcome to the ball! Thank for sharing your wisdom with us. Also, can’t wait to read your latest!!
Thank you, Gail, times two!
Lauren, this is such sage advice! I can remember wanting to grow up SO BADLY when I was young, and now what I wouldn’t give to travel back in time for a few more of those carefree childhood days. Thank you so much for guest-blogging with us–and I can’t wait to read your book!!
Thank you so much, Jess! But…”carefree childhood days”? I don’t think I ever had any of those. Which is just fine – makes me strong. 🙂
Great post and fabulous advice 🙂
I could have used that advice today, as a matter of fact. Thank goodness you were here.
SECRETS OF MY SUBURBAN LIFE looks fantastic — must head over to Amazon and pick up my copy now 🙂
Thanks, Lisa – glad I could come in handy!
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