How to Grow Up: A Memoir
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A gutsy, wise memoir-in-essays from a writer praised as “impossible to put down” (People)
As an aspiring young writer in San Francisco, Michelle Tea lived in a scuzzy communal house; she drank, smoked, snorted anything she got her hands on; she toiled for the minimum wage; and she dated men and women, and sometimes both at once. But between hangovers and dead-end jobs, she scrawled in notebooks and organized dive bar poetry readings, working to make her literary dreams real.
In How to Grow Up, Tea shares her awkward stumble towards the life of a Bonafide Grown-Up: healthy, responsible, self-aware, stable. She writes about passion, about her fraught relationship with money, about adoring Barney’s while shopping at thrift stores, about breakups and the fertile ground between relationships, about roommates and rent, and about being superstitious (“why not, it imbues this harsh world of ours with a bit of magic.”) At once heartwarming and darkly comic, How to Grow Up proves that the road less traveled may be a difficult one, but if you embrace life’s uncertainty and dust yourself off after every screw up, slowly but surely you just might make it to adulthood.
Vogue subscription actually cost. It cost ten dollars. A year! Ten dollars! Well, I would spend ten dollars this week alone on burritos! I realized that I was making decisions with an old brain, having not yet grown into this new brain—a sober brain, a brain that maybe didn’t want to look and act like a giant angry dirtbag for the rest of her life. A brain that was maybe perhaps hesitantly interested in growing up—whatever that was. Despite the training wheels tacked onto its lobes, my new brain
particular one I’d been coveting, a gorgeous brown leather jacket. Brown! How daring, how not-black! The sleeves were weirdly long, with cool wrinkles stitched into the wrists. Leather drawstrings dangled from the hood, which was wide and boxy, making you look tough and mysterious, not like a conehead. There were leather side pockets, and a zipper. Some buttons, like butterscotch candy, ornamented the top. It was gorgeous, and it was about to be mine. Anxiety rose in my chest like water in a Las
apparently experiencing the effects of the infatuation chemical norepinephrine, which makes you do batshit crazy things for “love.” Sadly, experiencing obstacles in love actually increases dopamine. Cruel world! When I arrived in upstate New York to visit Internet Girlfriend, her mother was not thrilled to meet me, a thirtysomething, heavily tattooed woman from California, but she endured it the way she had endured the traumatizing years of her daughter’s drug addiction—years that weren’t
it went without saying) until she was like, “Well? Well?” And I said yes. “It’s not a blood diamond, is it?” I asked nervously between tears. Dashiell said that she had asked the salesperson and the salesperson had said no and then her friend who had gone with her for moral support had said, “Don’t ask again.” I never thought I would give a crap about a diamond. I’m actually certain that I’ve gone on tears about why people make such a big deal about them, when lots of rocks—take, for example,
ex at events and recovery meetings—I felt that Paris had gotten under my skin, had perhaps caused me to change, to shift into a new direction. What was my ex next to Paris? What was his girlfriend next to the Seine? No one was anything in the face of the dark river and the ancient bridges that spanned it. I took my New Year’s dream as a gift, reminding me of how I didn’t need to be anymore. And when I returned home I did run into my ex, and it annoyed me, but that annoyance didn’t take up