She’s warm.

Spring is a good time for new things, right? Spring is a thematically appropriate time to introduce changes into one’s life, and then write about them.

The life I lead here on Crowded Little Street, Southwest Baltimore, is very unlike the life I’ve had anywhere else, and by that I mean, my life is very normal. Astonishingly so. It’s the kind of normal I didn’t think actually existed outside of sitcoms. My roommates and I hang out and play video games. We have Burrito Night. I can walk to the grocery store and the coffee shop. I’ve had a recent uptick in my freelance work, so lately I haven’t had the crushing despair of hanging around an empty house, unable to enjoy the solitude because you’re not allowed to enjoy days off when you’re an unemployed bum. Oh, and I have a cat! If you follow my Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr, you know this already, but here’s a picture anyway.

Mina window

Not pictured: the photographer writhing with glee, because the cat and MouseBear are friends, and she ACTUALLY PULLED HIM OVER SO THEY COULD BE CLOSER AND SNUGGLE, GOD SHE’S SO CUTE I’M GONNA DIE

So I have a house, human beings, a cat, and (brief, temporary) employment. The support group I started in December is getting more members every week. I love the novel I’m writing. My essay about why Ophelia is the most important character in western literature was published on The Toast not long ago! And I just got my contributor’s copies for Companion Piece!

That’s all it takes to make me quite content, apparently. Compared to where I was a year ago, it’s pretty much paradise.

So naturally, in the face of all this goodness, the advent of sunshine and spring weather is making me nostalgic for my childhood. Which, as long time readers of this blog will know, was, occasionally, a barren wilderness full of thorns and locusts, etc.

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Anatomy of An Adolescent Rebellion

As my last post probably demonstrated, I was kind of an intense 11 year old. Puberty was relatively kind to me in most outward ways: I didn’t go through any awkward new growth spurts (I’d already been a foot taller than everyone in my class since kindergarten) and my complexion didn’t do anything especially revolting. No, for me, the principle change that puberty brought on was something health class did not prepare me for: it was dissatisfaction, with myself, my life, and the way I fit into the world.

Children are understood to be narcissists, and people a generation or so older than me are especially fond of talking about the entitlement of people my age and younger. It’s sort of like the baby boomer generation realized that it was kind of hurtful when their parents’ stoicism prevented them from expressing love and pride and encouragement, so they compensated by saturating their own kids with daily, hourly affirmations of worth and affection. Then, when those kids grew up and didn’t thrive for one reason or another, their parents took it as a personal insult: “But we did everything right! Unlike our parents. I guess we just loved those kids too dang much, and now they’re unprepared for the real world.”

I don’t know. It’s possible that I’m on to something, or it’s possible that I’m attributing my own fucked-up family dynamics to American parenting trends in general. I do that sometimes.

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