Carey here: I have the honor of kicking off the next rotation of topics. #1 Absolute Rewind: If you could go back to your teen self and do one thing different, what would it be? OR #2. How teen friendships influence our lives?
I’m going to talk about both.
I’ve read a couple of fantastic contemporary YAs recently where the friendship between the main character and the BFF were deliciously complex. Elizabeth (how now goes by Beth) & Lacey in Katie McGarry’s DARE YOU TO; and Tessa & Noelle (who now goes by Elle) in Kristina McBride’s THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES. In both stories, the friends are reconnecting after a prolonged absence with (because it’s fiction) horrific circumstances. These friendships are vibrant, complicated, and very satisfying.
In comparison to Beth and Tessa, my own teen years were wonderfully unremarkable, punctuated with minor dysfunctional family issues and moderate peer persecution. Still I don’t know what I would have done without my BFF Becky (who now goes by Rebecca). Becky and her family accepted me unconditionally. They always made me feel important and accepted.
In junior high and high school, as bullies tore me down—which happened a lot, and guys didn’t like me back, Becky was always there to help me get through. She was at the center of my every social activity. Even when she became wrapped up in her first serious boyfriend, she made it known we were a package deal. Her love me, love my BFF attitude was the life line that kept me from sinking into total isolation. I wouldn’t be the person I am today, if it hadn’t been for her. If not for her family, I wouldn’t know the kind of mom I want to be. If not for my BFF, the pain and loneliness of my teen years would’ve devoured me.
|Becky, Me, and Our Scooby Gang|
Which leads me to my one of my biggest regrets … If I could go back to my teen self and tell her one thing, it would be not to lose touch with Becky after high school. (And maybe to knee that bullying jerk Mike P- in the nads!) Summer after our senior year, we were close. Then Becky went to UC Berkley, while I bummed around the US, Canada, and Europe for the next five years in an attempt to escape myself. I left home at 17 and never looked back. Becky and I saw each other a couple of times over the holidays and then, as all my family fractured and moved away, we lost touch for a long time.
|Carolyn, Rebecca, and me (with the boobs) at our high school reunion|
While I hated high school, my high school reunion was one of the best things to happen in my life. It not only allowed me to reconnect with Becky/Rebecca, it also reminded me of other friends that I wanted and needed in my life. I don’t think I ever apologized to Rebecca and my other high school friends for vanishing.
I’m sorry … and I love you!
YOUR TURN: Do you have something you need to say to your high school BFF? Say it!
Until next time!
Carey Corp is the author of DOON, Brigadoon reimagined, co-written w/Lorie Langdon. Book 1 coming 8/20/13 - IN 15 DAYS!!! - from the new YA imprint BLINK (a division of Zondervan/HarperCollins)
Join the DOON journey: www.doonseries.com