I’ve had the weirdest month. I think my teenage years have come back to play with my head one more time. Let’s see… I went to see Pearl Jam in concert a few weeks back, a local radio station was doing a Nirvana tribute weekend, I just finished Duff McKagan’s autobiography last night (it only took me 2 days to read it), and yesterday I heard a new song from freakin’ Jane’s Addiction (video may be NSFW – it’s Jane’s Addiction, so you probably suspected as much)… where the hell am I?! It *is* 2011, right? Because as interesting as it was, I do NOT want to go back to the 90’s again.

High school… *shudder*

I am well aware of the concept that the toughest things you live through create the toughest parts inside you, that it thickens your skin. Well, going through high school gave me friggin’ naugahyde, dude. That was one difficult set of years for me, and I wouldn’t want to go back there. Ever.

I struggled a lot – I was not an attractive teenager, and my brain didn’t function all that well, either. I was bullied, so I tried to get in with the only group I could not crack – the ‘popular crowd’. My bizarre logic of getting close to them in the hopes that they’d leave me alone was flawed at best. I didn’t want to be a part of them at all, but I wanted them to stop bugging me. It didn’t work. The only time a single one of those “popular girls” talked to me was when one of them pulled me aside in the empty cafeteria one day to ask me questions about birth control. She was nervous about going on The Pill, and I guess it was known that I was already taking them, so she asked me about it. I thought it gave me an in. Nope. Not even close. After my chat with her, she thanked me and then spent the next few years ignoring me, and/or assisting others in their venom spitting. Whatever. She didn’t get pregnant, so I guess there’s that.

Anyway, I strove to make friends in as many different groups as I could, hoping that the more people I knew, the less I would be hated. I think I’m a fairly nice and friendly individual, and I have a weird sense of humour that people seem to like, so making friends wasn’t too difficult. I liked the senior kids, the 8th graders, and the art & graphics crowd. I liked the nerds and the bad girls, too. The best friends I had were the theatre people – they GOT me, you know?

And I loved the ‘stoner kids’. I didn’t do drugs, but I hung around with them just the same. They were listening to some GREAT music. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers… I heaped all those bands (and others) onto my love of The Ramones, Guns N’ Roses, The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Depeche Mode, and it made for a perfect swirling musical vortex of escape. Music was a very big part of my ability to cope through those years.

Reading the autobiographies of some of the members of those all-important bands, (and the year-in-the-life books, too), 20 years later kind of creates a visceral reaction for me. All that excess, all that drama, all the struggles and triumphs… it’s a gentle echo of my own life at the time. Although my life wasn’t nearly so BIG, I feel a small, strange kinship in that we all survived those same years and came out pretty damn well on the other side.

I like my life. I like me. That’s as simple as it gets, isn’t it?

2011 is a good time to be alive.

Happy Wednesday.