Monday, March 11, 2013

Reinvention--Jan Blazanin

My junior high and high school summers were when I reinvented myself. Hours spent trying out new hairstyles and makeup and fantasizing about how wowed my classmates would be when they saw the “New Me” in August. After I turned sixteen and got my driver’s license and a summer job, every bit of my salary was spent on new school clothes. Talk about ramping up the wow factor!

But my summer reinventions weren’t all about appearance. I imagined myself in the next grade being cool, sophisticated, blasé. No more tactless comments that had me literally slapping my head for days afterward. Next year, I’d consider every word that passed my lips. I'd never again make a foolish remark that would come back to bite me.

The first day of the new school year found me dressed in my eye-popping sweater—in 90-degree weather. Worse than being sweat-soaked was that nobody noticed the “New Me.” To my classmates, many of whom had known me since kindergarten, I was still the gawky nerd who sang in the chorus, acted in plays, and worried about <gasp> her grades! My loyal girlfriends commented on my stinky new sweater. The rest of the school was unconcerned.

Whether or not anyone else notices, experimenting with clothes, hairstyles, interests, and personalities is a huge part of growing up. One reason I love reading and writing YA is that our characters become stronger and more self-aware. They discover who they are.

Isn’t that what being a teen is all about?


  1. "The rest of the school was unconcerned."

    They were all busy waiting for everyone to notice *their* new looks. ;-)

  2. ...Even now, I still so love a new look...

  3. Love this! I went through so many phases in high school. I wasn't usually on top of it to do them over summer though. Instead, in literally every yearbook besides freshman year, I look completely different in my picture (taken at the beginning of the year)than I did when I was passing it around getting it signed (end of the year). Sophomore year, I had a new blond streak in what was just plain long brown hair at the beginning of the year. Junior year, I started with that hair and ended with fully bleached bob. Senior year, I started with the blond bob, no bangs, and ended with a jet black bob with bangs. And yeah, like Holly, I still love a new look too, so much so no pictures of me are ever current!

  4. What fun, Steph! Wish I'd been brave enough to dye my hair in high school. I had to settle for ever shorter skirts and taller boots. And colors never seen in nature!

  5. I still remember sitting in class on the first day of high school, sweating buckets in my new cords and sweater--yes, it was 90 degrees outside. I think I was a senior before I stopped wearing my new clothes on the first day of school. Guess I'm a slow learner!

    Great post :)

  6. Oh, who on planet Earth hasn't had THIS experience?! lol
    I, too, remember thinking that "next year I'm gonna be better." Alas, just as with you, no one noticed. But hey, that's okay--I WAS better. ;-)

    Thanks for a great post!