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I Miss My Youth

Sitting on the couch, watching some music videos I had a bit of an epiphany: I miss my youth.

Disclaimer: I am 28. I am not old. I am not young. I am stuck.

During this moment of heightened lucidity, I realized I miss my youth so much right now because the last six months have been the most creatively frustrating time of my entire life. The soundtrack to my epiphany? Def Leppard's Hysteria of course. Yeah, I listen to all sorts of music - I own way too many albums. I am blessed to earn enough money to purchase plenty of music to engage my soul, but every time I miss my youth, I go right back to Hysteria.

Put on Hysteria and I'm eight again.  

Why eight and why Hysteria? Simple: Def Leppard were the soundtrack to my life when I was that young. Sure, I was big into Poison, but when I want to feel's Hysteria or bust.

I'm been feeling like sleep won't hold me anymore. It's like whatever I do...there's a nagging feeling that I should be doing more. That more is writing. That I should be writing all the time. All the  damn time.

Here's a complex emotion that words probably can't describe, but if you're a writer, an artist, a musician then you'll know what I mean: at points in your life your body starts to ache because you need to create. You must become your art. The rest of the world stops because you need to create. Only problem is, real life and human emotion are rarely in sync. Sadly, real life wins out.

Let me explain further. I was "listening" to satellite radio yesterday while driving to work. I had zero recollection of the trip or the songs on the dial. I was terrified when I sat down at my desk and realized that I couldn't remember stopping at lights or even walking from my car to the building. The entire commute I was in a completely other world, creating. There's a recurring theme that keeps running through my mind. This tells me I have a story inside me - perhaps a novel - that needs written. Lately, my mind has been consumed with this story. I find myself obsessing about it everywhere: at work, in the car, at the store. Now here's the rub: when I sit at my computer to write, I can't. I'm rendered impotent by the fear. I'm not sure what I'm afraid of exactly...but the fear is real, palpable and very painful.

So why do I miss my youth? There was no other time in my life when I so free creatively. From the ages of eight to 18, I wrote freely. Sure, I didn't have to worry about working 40+ hours a week, but I don't think that's the issue here. There's something deeper going on...and I can't quite place it and at the end of the day, I'm freaked out. 

So I listen to Hysteria and flip through music videos and remember being a kid. There are all sorts of songs that take me to a different time in my life, and no, they are not all Glam. I guess Hysteria is the permanent in the ever-changing soundtrack of my life.

I suppose all roads lead back to Glam, don't they? The majority of us love Glam because the music makes us feel young, full of life, excitable. Yep, I went there.

Reader Comments (17)

Great article Allyson

I know how you feel, i myself left the 'Glam' scene around 1991 - got into silly things and lost interest but it all came back to me around 2000 and i havent left since. i like how the music reminds me of my youth - Shout at the devil and im 13 again.
I heard Keel ' right to rock' on the radio yesterday and i sent me right back to sitting in my room sewing patches on my denim jacket and wearing cowboy boots.
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred6ixx
Great article Allyson..When I listen to my favorite albums now I think of High school and all the fun we had in the 80's...My tastes have never changed since then...Goes to show great music has no time limit....So glad to see many of the 80's bands back..I tell Jody all the time..I'll NEVER grow old...older..But never old ...LONG LIVE GLAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
funny to fall today on this blog and article; yesterday my girl came back early from work and caught me guiltly dancing alone in the kitchen, headphones at 11, on the song 'hysteria"
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbluedemon
Allyson, I am so in touch with your emotion! I am 38 and often think of my youth. My faves were 1984 - 1988. These were great times and when I felt the most alive. This was before the 9-5 daily grind and before becoming an "adult". I still listen to glam constantly and love the way it makes me feel. When I want to drift back to a simplier time, I can. It also helps me get rid of the daily work blues. Great article Allyson!!!
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCrazynights
I was having a Def Leppard-a-thon at work yesterday.

Mixing up Pyromania, Hysteria, Yeah, and Sparkle Lounge(God I hate that title).

I can totally relate. Last summer especially I found myself drawn to the late 80's/early 90's glam as it brought back such good memories of junior high and high school. It all really came rushing back to me when I saw Warrant and Firehouse last summer as I saw them on the last day of 9th grade and it was such a sweet, blissful time in my life. Life is still good now, but as a husband, father, worker, etc. there isn't as much time to relax and have my biggest worry be what concerts were coming to my small town. I'm hoping to see Extreme next month and that will be another 'turning back in time' moment for me too.
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
I'm 39. I'd give my right ass cheek to be 19 again.

July 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
Awesome article, Allyson. You pegged it... again. Two thumbs up with a hair toss AND a guitar spin!!

July 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
I hated my time in school and I'm glad it's over. Also all the hassle about not having enough money for CDs and concerts was such a pain in the ass. I'm glad where I am now, I wouldn't want to change it under any circumstances.
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXandra73
hey Allison
....Your point is well taken...but think of this "You are as young today, as you will ever be again" rejoice in the age you are. My 3 fave CDs of all time are Poison Debut, GNR's APD..and Bonepony's Stomp Revival..and all were released when I was in my 20's or enjoy the memories of your youth..but maybe , just maybe..something new will strike you even in these coming years...
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGene
As a fellow aspiring writer, I can relate to your struggles at the keyboard. It's not fear that holds me back, but confusion. I know where I want to go with my story, but am having trouble connecting the dots in a rational way to get there. I finally broke out of a 6-month slump recently and "exploded" with 15 pages, but now I'm back into that "what now?" phase.

One thing that I have found has helped is music, both old and new. At times Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" works (and it has even worked its way into my novel), at other times it's Wednesday 13 or Motley Crue. But at work (the best place for me to work on my novel), I'm limited as to how much "noise" I can make. At home, I usually busy myself with other tasks (such as watching TV). At this rate, it will be 5 years (at a minimum) before I get my book done. And then the real work begins of trying to get it published.
July 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJT
Aside from the fact that I am happy where I am right now, I understandn your struggles, Allyson. Somtimes I write a bit for fun and I usually get nothing done when I sit down at my PC on purpose to write something. I get my ideas while cleaning, under the shower, in the subway, at work. Therefore I always have a notebook with me, so I can write my thoughts down, the moment I have them. When I do that, I have much less trouble to type everything into my PC.

Don't be afraid, just write down what's on your mind. When you're finished working on it, it will be great, I'm sure of it!
July 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXandra73
i'd give anything to be a kid again, but only if i could be a kid in the point of time i was a kid in the first place 78-88 the greatest years in history. i feel so much sympathy for kids today, they missed out on so much freedom and fun. just imagine going to school nowadays and having to walk thru a metal detector?
July 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdart
Well, I myself cant miss my childhood. im still in it.
I am only 15, but I am absolutely in love with all aspects of Glam, expecially Motley Crue. I wont pretend to like it, or know as much about it as any of you guys, but I do spend almost every waking hour listening to some form of Glam Rock. It annoys me that the youth of today are into that Rap and R&B shite. Me and some of my friends are all into glam and old school rock and everything. LONG LIVE GLAM ROCK!
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLucifer Styxx
Thanks Allyson. It's nice to know that other people feel the same way I do. I'm a 46 year old musician that still gets together once a week to jam with the band to create music. The same thing I did in my youth just twenty some odd years later. Gene's entry
"You are as young today, as you will ever be again" rejoice in the age you are. Wow so true. Words to live by.
October 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFranky Franks

I dont listen to strictly Glam rock but more of the alternative bands of the 80's and 90's like Echo and the Bunnyman, Jesus and Mary Chain, PIL, New Order ..etc. Those were my soundtracks of my life at that time. The mood the style the freedom of those times just brings me back to the mid to late 80's when I was wild and free. Everything meshed with my lifestyle, the clothes, the people you hanged out with, the cultural norms more or less every clicked and made sense. Once the 90's hit everything fell apart and reversed back to the 70's as if changing back to pseudo disco or change for change sake made it better. It is now the 00's and it still hasnt change back to the time I remember in the 80's...
August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
So! Written a while ago. Have you changed your mind? I was fifty six a few days ago! You were so young when you wrote this. Live your life before you realise how precious time is. Life is what happens whilst you are busy making other plans. Thankyou John :) live your life and enjoy each breath how else will you know you are alive and able to creat your own destiny. Be strong, be safe and be sure of who you are.Fuck the rest of humanity, you have each day , yourself and nothing else ( so ta Jonsi) GO DO ! Love to each of you Nina xxxxxxxxxxx
July 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina

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