Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Enlightened: High School Musical edition

Well, not really. I just have that song in my head because I just had my high school reunion on the weekend. Okay, so that doesn't have anything to do with HSM per se, but just go with it, mmmkay? My high school was not so much musical, although we did put on a few of those (The Boyfriend, anyone? No? Um, as you were...).

Uh, anywho, I went to my reunion, and had a flash of inspiration: I was a terrible teenager! Now, before you go rolling your eyes at me because you're thinking all teens are terrible (admit it, it's crossed your mind), what I really mean is that I wasn't any good at being a teenager because I didn't really have the right mindset. You know, the one with all the drama and parties, and the drama, and I heart the football team, and the drama! and all that jazz?

I didn't care what other people did or thought; I just did my own thing*. Peer pressure was a non-issue**, and when I was interested in sports or drama, that's what I did. I loved band, so I did that all the way through. I took motor mechanics because I thought it'd be interesting. It was! I did cheerleading (very briefly in grade 9 before volleyball started), tennis, volleyball, basketball, track, badminton, drama, choir, band, debate team, Model U.N., SADD, variety nights...and I had a blast!

Where was I?

Oh yeah, me being a lousy teen. I definitely had the cranky hormonal thing going on (sorry mom), but for the most part, I was too grown up to be a teenager. This was a big revelation for me at my reunion. I watched people acting pretty much the same way they did in high school, and as I sat with my girlfriend (love you L!), I realized that my point of view was also the same. People were just as ridiculous as they were back then, but I hadn't changed. Sure, I'm less hormonal (er, mostly...), but I'm more or less the same gal I was back then (only wiser, and hopefully kinder, and maybe - okay, definitely - a little chubbier, hehe). Honestly, the reunion was a great time, but I'm grateful to no longer be a teen-aged grown-up.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how this affects my writing. I've got a few young adult novels in progress, but I know they lack a little bit of that teen flavour. I've always known there was something amiss, and I now know that it's because I wasn't typical in many ways. This is pretty exciting, because now that I recognize that, I can fix it! I think that everyone has strengths and weaknesses in their writing, and this perspective was definitely a big one for me in those YA novels. Not that I'll be working on them for a while, what with my focus on perfecting this middle grade novel, but's there when I've got the time.

Have you had any revelations lately?

*Too bad one of those things wasn't my hair...
**And would it have killed me to feel the pressure to dress a little nicer??


Terresa said...

I love you, Tracy. Maybe b/c my own hs reunion is in a few more weeks and I'm still fence sitting on going. Maybe b/c I feel as if I was atypical as a teenager, too...

Your own experiences as a teen would write up nicely into a YA novel, esp the bits about motor mechanics!

Hope your writing is evolving this summer. I'm hanging out in the essay & poetry quadrant for now (my novels are on a back burner), and enjoying it for all it's worth!

Schmutzie said...

I was wondering how that reunion went, seeing as I was there with you people for two of the four years. I kind of wanted to be a fly on the wall and check everyone out.

My reunion with the high school I graduated from happened recently, too, of course, and I didn't end up going.

Hmm, it's like I missed a reunion-and-a-half. I'm glad to hear everyone's still the same.

Laura said...

Love you too, T! We definitely weren't typical teens! Sometimes I wonder if life would be different if I had played all the 'trying to be popular' games - and it probably would be. However, if I had to do it all over again I wouldn't change a thing! I'm glad we're on this journey together!

ali said...

What a fun revelation! I love that you did just what you wanted to do in High School. Bet you had a ton of fun.

Latest revelation? Hmm. That trying to do it all burns me out faster than you can say Hibachi. ;) I think I'll stick with being a happy under achiever, lol.

All good things said...

Perhaps if you were to write a book about being an A-typical teen, it would become a best seller! There were only about 10 (tops) "popular" kids in my school-and the rest were just like us! Joining clubs, unable to keep up with the trends, and really, not following the "in crowd" too often! You might just be selling yourself short in this one. So go ahead, write a book about you and your experiences, and you will find that there are more "just like you" out there.

Missing you!

Tracy said...

Terresa - I hope you go to your reunion. It only comes along once! If nothing else, it's a great opportunity to listen to some "oldies".

Schmutzie - yeah, it was pretty much same old thing, except most of the guys are bald...and way shorter than I remembered!

Laura - It would've been lots different, but I'm not sure that would've equalled better, you know?

Ali - I did have fun. And trying to do it all is a recipe for disaster. Besides, underachieving is way underrated, and more people ought to look into it as a lifestyle. ;)

B - Thanks for the encouragement. I'm sure that book is in here somewhere, and if I can figure out a great plot, I'll definitely write it. Missing you too. XO

MT said...

High school reunions are eye opening, aren't they?
My recent revelations: I'm an awesome weed puller. My garden looks pretty good too.

cleemckenzie said...

'Tis the season for high school reunions. At mine I had a revelation and it was that these people were pretty nice, even the clique-girls had turned out to be lovely women.