Being an adolescent is such an awkward feeling.
Everything felt clumsy and embarrassing; and most of the time you didn’t have half a clue what to do with yourself because it was just so uncomfortable being.
Yet as I write this, I can’t help but have a huge smile on my face remembering the silliness that transpired during my teenage years.
Like that time my cousin egged me on to jump off a speeding golf cart and I did, just to prove I was fearless; and came home with a hideous gash on my forehead and spent the rest of summer with a huge bandage wrapped around my head.
Or that time I passed out in front of my English teacher partly because I was so scared he wouldn’t like my essay and partly cause I was anemic, hated eating and probably dehydrated.
Or those Middle School dances that lasted three hours but felt like forever cause boys would always wait until the last minute to ask you to dance. And even after he’d ask, the song would already be half over by the time you actually got around to getting into a slow-dance position; and then before you know it, teachers and faculty switch all the lights on and start tidying up and I’d be dashing off to go meet my dad, worried I’d be even a minute late.
If there was anything constantly comfortable for me throughout these pubescent years, it would be books. Reading was a big part of my life growing up, and I always found solace in books as they had the remarkable ability to take you to far places, live many lives through various characters, and help you get over yourself even if just momentarily. Here are 10 books and 10 lessons they taught me to help me transition to adulthood.
- The Catcher in the Rye by D. Salinger
Fleeting feelings of angst and alienation are normal and mostly hormonal; everyone goes through it at some point. Phonies are everywhere but you’ll eventually sift through them and find your own ride-or-die homies.
- Perks of a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Everyone is fighting their own battle and it takes genuine effort and courage to see this. Mindfulness and compassion can go a long way.
- Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
For every act, there are consequences; and there is grey in every choice.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Everyone copes with loss differently and some need more time than others.
- Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock
There is love in hope and hope in love.
- The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
A woman can assert herself in subtle, feminine ways. Be your own advocate and choose to lift other women up, not tear them down.
- Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
Never take anything at face value.
- Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Be authentic and set boundaries.
- Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Forgive yourself and forgive others.
- Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
There are a lot of crazy assholes out there. Don’t be easily fooled and stay far away.