Friday, August 27, 2010

Have we really changed all that much?

In our Lycan Regencies, the underlying theme in each story is ‘Change’. Once a month, each hero changes shape under the power of the full moon. However, even before the big physical transformation takes place, his temperament and personality undergo slight changes as well. He gets moodier, lustier, less patient.

And all the while, he tries to keep the ‘change’ a secret from those around him, usually including the woman he loves.

I suppose I could also describe this aspect of our Lycans’ personalities as them being insecure in their own skin. They’re not certain if their friends knew the truth about them, if it would change how they were viewed and accepted.

My son started back to school this week. Middle school, I should clarify. I know half of you reading this just groaned aloud. It certainly made me groan. Is there a more anxiety-filled three year period in anyone’s life? If you could go back to middle school and do it over, would you? I know I wouldn’t. The idea makes my stomach turn, especially as I see him make the transition from child to teen. It’s a difficult time and in a lot of cases, a painful one too.

What I remember most of my middle school years is my peers trying desperately to blend in, to hide what made them unique, and their overall desire to be accepted by the masses. It’s not until much later when people are secure in their own skin, when they feel comfortable being who they are, that they can find happiness and acceptance in their own lives.

I’ve often heard people say – “Wow, he/she has changed a lot since school.” But I don’t necessarily believe that is true. I think most people are the same they’ve always been inside. What has really changed is their desire to keep that part hidden from the rest of us. And that is the best sort of change there is.

13 comments:

  1. Great insight, Lydia. I love your wolves. That journey to self-acceptance gives them great character arcs.

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  2. This is so true! I just sent my last one off to high school. While it won't be a piece of cake there, I don't think it will be as horrible as middle school either.

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  3. Thought provoking!

    No, I would not go through middle-school for any reason. I formed a completely backwards conclusion about myself that it took the next twenty years to correct.

    Because everyone complained that subjects, assignments, tests were HARD, and I thought they were easy, I concluded my schoolmates must know something I didn't!

    I laugh now and wonder how I got it so wrong.

    I developed the very bad habit of MAKING schoolwork hard so that I could feel like I fit in. Which of course backfired at best, and at worst became self-sabotage--which I'm not sure I have completely overcome.

    Re your lycanthropes: since most lycans are men, I had never before appreciated the correspondences between their moon cycle and a woman's. That perspective offers a whole new level of symbolism, doesn't it?

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  4. Omgosh I would never return to my teen years for any amount of money. Of course, my story isn't quite normal either. While I think this insight could be said for most people I think I really did change but for the better. Or maybe just being a teen mom made me grow up a bit faster than most and it seems like I changed. I'm not sure. But definitely thought provoking!

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  5. Clarissa ~ I am so glad you love our wolves. I'm a little partial to them as well. ;)

    Amy ~ I enjoyed high school. Of course I was the sports editor for the yearbook, so all the jocks and cheerleaders were nice to me. :) But in all honesty, the four years of high school were a breeze vs. the three years of middle school. Ugh!

    MM ~ You made life harder on yourself!?! I am so sorry. As far as our Lycans... that was the very first thing Deb Werksman noted about them. "It's like male PMS." :)

    Melissa ~ I think you've done amazing with the obstacles that were placed before you. I think you're probably stronger than you were way back when, but the core of who you are is still there.

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  6. Middle School - in my case Junior High - wasn't that bad. I still enjoyed school from a learning standpoint and a lot of my best teachers were from this school.

    High School was the real problem for me.

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  7. Very good post. I think there are charactistics inside us that are there from the time we're born, and others we develop over time. But I think a lot of it comes down to what we learn to hide or show.

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  8. Junior high school... UGH! Well, some of it. There were good times, too. I never went with the crowd, so it made it more challenging in a way (dealing with the ridicule), and easier in a different way (never felt pressured to be someone I wasn't). I know, I was a weird kid. Very independent-minded and self-reliant. Still am. That hasn't changed.

    Great post, Lydia! Do your wolves eat increasing amounts of chocolate as the full moon approaches? Just wondering.

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  9. I think it makes more sense to either make the cut off between eight and ninth, Catholic school style, or to at least keep sixth grade with the elementary school crowd. Other cultures with a better vocabulary of pubescent rites and rituals don't seem to have as much middle-school angst as we do. My sense of this life passage is that it's so much about being against against against, that on the other end of it, you still have the major job of figuring out what you're for.

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  10. Lydia,
    It does take some of us a bit longer than others to realize that we actually like the person we are. Loved your post.
    Amelia

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  11. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to middle school. Especially since, in my town, they were switching from a junior high model to a middle school model while I was in the midst of it. There's nothing like going to junior high and being treated like youngish high school kids for a year, and then being thrust into the middle school environment, which felt like being thrown back into elementary school. As if we didn't already have enough going against us between hormones and acne and braces! That said, the only real changes I notice about myself? A lot less acne, better control of my hormones (most of the time), and straight teeth.

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  12. Beth ~ High school was worse? Sorry about that.

    Anita ~ I am in complete agreement.

    Olivia ~ Good for you, being your own person as early as middle school. That's awesome.

    Grace ~ I wasn't aware other countries don't have the same middle school angst we do. Interesting.

    Amelia ~ Thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the blog.

    Catherine ~ Yikes. You just made me cringe on your behalf.

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  13. I think all men should experience PMS at least once. Of course, the planet probably wouldn't survive the event...

    Let's see. Middle school. We called it the 6th grade and Junior High when I went through it. Being a 6th grader was cool. Being in 7th & 8th grade wasn't. Nuff said!

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