I’m a responsible adult. If anything, I’m too responsible. I’m married, I enjoy saving money, I think a lot about the fiber content of my food, I rarely go out at night (like a reverse Maneater), and I love wearing slippersocks. Just from that description, I sound sort of elderly. But my entertainment tastes tell a different story. As you guys know, I write about YA every week for HelloGiggles, which means that I read a lot (A LOT) of YA. I love every second of it. In my day job, I also write for teenagers, albeit in a much different capacity that requires research other than reading about love triangles. And when it comes to music? Well, I’ve written plenty about my love of T. Swift and One Direction.
Which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy adult-oriented entertainment (wait, how do I phrase that so it doesn’t sound pornographic?) too. I just went to see Dr. Dog, a band that’s not expressly geared towards teenagers. I watch a lot of depressing documentaries. My book club just read Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland! What’s more grown-up than that?
But while I don’t exclusively like teenage entertainment, I can’t escape the fact that it’s important to me. I really do love jamming to Red. I would honestly rather read a YA romance than most things. This is my second teenagerhood, and it feels great.
Second teenagerhood is a term I haven’t heard anywhere else yet, but it’s the best way to describe what I’m going through right now. Sure, I’ve already technically been a teenager once (I’m not like Drew Barrymore, who went straight from 8 to 30), but I’ll be honest…the first time around it kind of sucked.
You guys read Rookie, of course, right?. What I love about that site so much is that it celebrates being a teenager. Tavi and her writers make it seem cool and fun, but when I was that age, I didn’t have Rookie. Nothing about my life seemed cool or fun, not even in a twisted, ironic way. This isn’t to say I had a bad childhood–I was safe and protected, I had caring parents, etc. But I just wanted to grow up. There was no part of me that was like, “Let’s savor every moment!” To the contrary, I basically pushed away all teen entertainment and instead watched Woody Allen movies. Although I loved straight-up pop music, I spent most of my time listening to The Smiths, The Cure, and The Clash. Teenage classics, for sure, but a different kind of teenage classic. And while I definitely read YA, I wasn’t telling anyone I was reading The Princess Diaries. Instead, I showed off my copies of books by Dave Eggers and Ayn Rand–I know, major ugh on that last one, but at least I got it out of my system early. Some people go through their Ayn Rand phases in adulthood.
Entertainment choices aside, I didn’t really like behind a teenager. I didn’t like people telling me what to do. I didn’t like high school. I didn’t like living with my parents and following their rules (yet now I visit them every chance I get…go figure). I really didn’t feel like I was waiting around for my “real” life to start.
Now, I live on my own (well, with my husband). No one tells me what to do…NOT EVEN THE LAW! Okay, well,the law does. But for the most part, I make my own rules. I have a real job(s) that makes real money, and I actually have disposable income, which I didn’t have in high school. I mean, I did have money from my high school job, but my biggest needs back then were CDs and meals at Steak and Shake, so it wasn’t like I was a high roller. I’m actually living my real life and working toward my career goals.
And I get to enjoy One Direction, YA romances, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies while living my adult life! It’s awesome! I finally get to actually enjoy all of this stuff while not being totally miserable or concerned about looking “cool.” I can listen to Taylor Swift while house hunting or listen to One Direction while I’m working. And it’s so fun. It’s such a great feeling to swept up in the emotions of these songs and movies and books without worrying about my Physics test tomorrow.
If you’re another woman in her late twenties who just so happens to enjoy entertainment geared towards teenagers, don’t worry about it. Don’t think about it as a regression…it’s just your second teenagerhood, and it’s probably WAY better than the first.