Desperately seeking independence yet not entirely sure of one’s self.
Awkward. Is this my body? I don’t want to look like this. Why don’t I look more like her?
I still remember what it was like to be a teenager. It wasn’t that long ago. Trapped in an incredibly feminine body with large breasts, curves for days, and a booty I didn’t ask for. Sports. That was my thing. I loved, no craved to run. I wanted to be an Olympic track star. Jackie Joyner Kersse, Michael Johhson, Gail Devers, and Marion Jones were my heroes. Back then that is what I dreamed about. Propelled down the track, fast as the wind, muscles carrying me and my relay team to the finish line. Free to be exactly who I am despite the body I found myself trapped in.
I learned a harder life lesson then. Being a teenager is not simple. Never mind the body I didn’t ask for, trying to figure out who you are, deal with emotions you don’t quite understand, and family dynamics you wished were different, brought a whole new element to my teenage years. I look back on those years and to some degree think it was easier for me to stand up for myself at that point in my life than it is now.
Those are the words that come to my mind when I think of myself as a teenager. I stood up for what I believed in. Defended myself and others from bullies. Watched some of my friends experiment with drugs. Distanced myself because I didn’t see the need for that in my life. Wanted to be a good role model for my younger brother and make my parents proud.
There was also a time in my teenage years where I began to think, why am I working this hard? Why do I care about my grades? Does any of this matter? I began to feel tired of being told what to do all the time. Whether it was sports, school, or my parents. Adults became the enemy. I saw their own flaws. After all no one is perfect, including grown ups. Adults make mistakes. Adults do not always have the answers. “Do what I say because I’m the adult.” Teenage Rachael is gonna go ahead and call bullshit.
When I read Flowers for Rodney by Kristine E. Brickey, all of these memories and feelings came flooding back. There are demons that Rodney struggles with that were not my own, but I remember the struggle nonetheless. I remember how difficult it was to talk to my parents about my own demons. The fights we had. The hurtful words that were said. The struggle is real. Teenagers struggle navigating their world. Adults struggle with raising teenagers, faced with their own imperfections.
Flowers for Rodney offers a chance for teenagers and adults to see their own struggles reflected back. Take a moment to breathe. Remember that neither party is perfect, and somehow through the imperfections, you have to find a way to communicate about your demons.
Disclaimer: I personally know and love this author. She was my fourth grade teacher. Kristine E. Brickey was the first person to help me tackle my fear of math and public speaking. Life lessons I will never forget. Now an adult myself, witnessing struggles and triumphs, this book is a testament to Kristine E. Brickey’s courage and strength. From one dreamer to another, you are an inspiration. Learn more about the awesomeness that embodies this woman: Things I wanted to be .
Join the celebration!
Meet the Author Event: Kristine E. Brickey
When: Thursday, May 28th 2015
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
2019 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912
Extra Good Stuff: Proceeds benefit Firecracker Foundation, assisting child victims of sexual trauma through counseling, yoga therapy, and advocacy.
Building a community that supports and empowers one another.
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