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Newsflash:
Thursday, 22 March 2001

Overextended Teen: A Monologue on Stress

Written by  Sherri Mandell

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I need ten hands or two bodies or another leg or something or somebody to help me get through all of this.

I need somebody who appreciates how much I have to do and how much there is out there.

Mrs. Nodiff gave us a report on the effects of democratic policy on the urban dweller in the former Soviet Republic.

Like I care. And I have to do a report in English on the psychology of Stephen Dedalus in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

And I'm the captain of the soccer team and the class secretary and a candidate for homecoming princess. So I have to write a long essay for that, and take on a community project, because it's not all about looks. Which is good.

And I have almost no time to get together with my real friends, or to meet normal guys.

And I have to take care of my little sister, who I love, but if I take her with me to soccer practice, she jumps on the field and I have to buy her a whole-day lollypop out of my allowance just to shut her up (and then I've got no money to buy myself pizza afterwards.)

So I'm starving, and I don't want to eat the no fat, no calories, no taste food my aerobics mother cooks. I run every morning - I need my energy.

How can I do what I want to do?

I want to:

... grow my hair and cut it off and donate it for cancer patient wigs.

... collect clothes for the poor people in Turkey who have lost their homes to the earthquakes.

... intern at my Dad's marketing firm. I'll learn something, and then I'll at least get to see him sometimes.

... get all A's, go to Harvard, be a super successful executive and retire by 38 so I can have some island fun with my husband (who should be a world famous chef, and also look like Matthew Fox.)

And I have no time, no time, no time; I can't sleep at night because I've got too much to do, way too much to do. And like no time to have fun or go to parties.

And I can't keep track and I am forgetting everything.

I forget to do my math homework (convenient, I know) and I forget to pick up Cary and I forget which person I called to tell about something and which person I forgot to tell. And then they get mad at me.

And the guys think I am a total snob.

And I forget my appointments.

And my mother says I should relax and take it easy.

And yeah - sure. Then I'll end up an aerobics instructor like her.

Do I want to talk about crunches and grapevines and cha cha?

For the rest of my life?

I want to be somebody.

I need a Palm Pilot.

I need a baby sitter for my sister. I need a math tutor and in-house tech support. I need a researcher for my papers.

I need a cook to make me something delicious, and maybe a personal trainer.

I need more hours, more minutes, more seconds, a new clock.

More understanding friends who don't judge me if I don't call them back. And a guy who can see a movie whenever and not make a big deal about it - like just sort of fit it in between things and not have it take all day.

I need somebody who appreciates how much I have to do and how much there is out there.

I need to clone myself.

But then I'll probably find more for my double to do.

I'm burning out.

I've got to stop doing.

But there's nothing I'll give up,

In fact, I often feel that I'm not even doing enough.

Am I a human doing, or a human being?

Sometimes I'm not sure.

Last modified on Sunday, 08 May 2011 14:47
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Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and Penn State University. She is the author of the book Writers of the Holocaust. She has written articles for the Washington Post. She is married with four children

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