What I’ve Learned From Teenage Angst

A special shout-out today to Bill, my dentist.

While he was shoving a new crown onto my bothersome right molar last week, he suggested I read a book by Sue
Townsend called The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾.

Thanks, Bill. Loved it.

The novel’s so damn funny I bugged Deb all weekend by reading passages aloud.

All eight books in the Mole series are collections of diary entries. This one introduces Adrian and his tortured life of unrequited love, uncooperative parents, unreasonable teachers, and unremitting angst.

Here’s an early entry:

“I felt rotten today. It’s my mother’s fault for singing ‘My Way’ at two o’clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children’s home.”

Adrian is a victim.

At least that’s the way he sees himself.

Everybody else is to blame for his assorted “crises,” real or imagined. And it’s everybody else’s job to make him happy.

In his mind, Adrian’s not responsible for anything.

That’s what makes him so funny.

And it’s what makes Townsend’s book a powerful wake-up call.

I hate to sound Oprah-esque, but are you empowering yourself? Or are you dis-empowering yourself, like Adrian Mole?

What’s keeping you from moving to a new neighborhood? Or finishing that college degree? Or starting your own business?

Maybe it’s got nothing to do with the government, the economy, your kids’ school vacations, or your mother-in-law.

Maybe it’s all about you.

Just sayin’.


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