To be 16 again…

I’ve found the fountain of youth.

Seriously.

Wanna feel like an adolescent again?

Have your husband of 30 years leave you.

No kidding.

It puts you right back to being a high school junior and your boyfriend broke up with you the week before prom.

The angst, the agony, the blow to your self esteem.

I know what I’m talking about; I spend a lot of time with junior high kids. I see them sobbing in the hall after breaking up with the boyfriend, the whispered consults in the lunchroom, the evil-eye glances across the computer lab.

Yup. I swear, I’m no different. If I know that we’re going to be in the same place, I pay more attention to my appearance. It’s not that I want him to look at me and think, “Wow! She looks great! Forget the divorce!”

I just want him to eat his heart out. Just like my 8th graders would want.

I get the same lift from hearing my half-deaf, half-blind mother tell him that he’s fat that my 13 year-old students would get.

Yesterday I spent some time with my daughter’s friend, who’s living on his own after just graduating from college. As I shared “cooking for one” tips with him like keeping the pot of coffee for three days and nuking as needed (really – it’s fine. Just use a little more flavored creamer), I realized that we had much in common; he lives on his own, doesn’t have a partner, is trying to figure out what his life is going to look like in the next year.

Me too.

Of course, I’ve got the wisdom of being much older and having lived through a lot more. What I’d like, though, is the excitement of starting anew; the feeling that the future is brimming with possibilities and that I can do anything as long as I want it badly enough.

Hopefully that’s around the bend.

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1 Comment

Filed under Moving on, Optimism, Singleness, Transition

One response to “To be 16 again…

  1. Laura Raye

    You don’t mention your students much, but, when you do, they seem like pretty strong characters.

    What can you tell me about your students, without being too revealing? (For the privacy of your little drama queens and kings.)

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