Growing Up: When you Shed a Genre

by jonnahzkennedy

Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.

I recently sold off one of the last pieces of my old YA collection–and I had no remorse whatsoever. In fact, a couple of months ago, I sold the Divergent Trilogy, including a signed copy of the final book Allegiant; before that, I sold my entire Cassandra Clare collection (that one was asking for it, what an awful waste of paper and space). Before even that, I sold a shit ton of others–and I’ve never looked back. Somehow, I was able to let go of that whole world I’d thrown my self into years ago when I first began reading seriously. I won’t say that I didn’t enjoy the ride, but I wish I would have ridden another coaster in that time; I guess a remembrance of things past does no good against the persistence of time. This may sound like I’m mourning, but I’m not, there’s just no pleasure in either rehashing those old memories, nor scolding those memories since they helped to build me up to where I am today. For this matter, I think there comes a time in everyone’s life where you shed a genre.

Suddenly, you stop watching romantic comedies and you’re really in on dramas; suddenly you stop watching dramas and trade your couch for sitcoms; suddenly, you stop reading YA and move into serious literature, and you begin to get a feel for what you actually like.

In short, when you shed a genre, or you stop doing something in exchange for something else, you’ve been born again. Eventually, we all grow up and grow out of our old shoes, so we have to get new ones, and this is not a bad thing at all: isn’t it always fun to go to some store, maybe a very expensive store, and look around. Now that you’ve sold all your old shoes, you have plenty of money to invest in better shoes–shoes that will make you stand up a little taller, shoes that will give a little bounce to your walk, make people turn and say, “Christ, what is he wearing?” But you just keep on walking. You’ve never been more comfortable in your life.

While I am now quite against the whole genre, I can’t say, totally, that it did not shape my taste for what I do and do not like to read and write today. I don’t like overtly supernatural stories, but I love high octane social commentaries like Fight Club, A Clockwork Orange, American Psycho, and other books all of the like. Times change, so do you, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that. Just know that if you stand for something, stand for it; if you stand against it, be prepared and brace for the tidal wave that will come against you.