How to Grow Up – Michelle Tea


I haven’t been having a good month technology wise – my laptop is still broken, despite me paying an arm and a leg to microsoft for them to come and fix it, the charger for my e-reader had the pin snapped off it and my phone is now cracked in more places than it’s not cracked. As someone who mostly reads ebooks now (so convenient! so cheap!), not having a device is a pain in the ass.

Oh and I cut my library down by about 80% and promptly had a panic attack that left me sick for three days. Apparently I’m a lot more attached to my books that I was admitting.

Anyway, I finally got a charger for my e-reader and I wasn’t in the mood for Gloria Steinem, so I grabbed this sweet little memoir.

I quickly discovered it’s anything but sweet. Michelle Tea is a force of nature. This memoir (one of five) chronicles her adult life: she’s sober, she’s single, she’s got her shit (mostly) together. It talks about her issues finding a home (as opposed to a squat), dealing with money, getting back into dating and getting herself knocked up. Along the way she marries the utterly delicious Dashiell (the two popped out an equally delicious baby last year).

What I liked about this book is how much I can relate to it. I dressed goth in a small, shitty, coastal town and had soda cans thrown at my head. I wanted to be a librarian because I thought that was the only way to live around books. I turned into an angry lesbian in my twenties (I was mostly a peaceful lesbian before and after that). I lost myself in drug and booze fuelled binges which I pretended were a result of the system/contributing to my art/not my fault. I made my own god when the other ones seemed too harsh. I have a hard time dealing with money and the idea that it comes and goes. Every new chapter was a revelation- I am NOT the only one and if SHE got through it all, so can I.

The book is smart, sassy, hilarious and sad – even if you don’t relate, you’ll get a good laugh and some pearls of wisdom, I promise. If you do relate, it’s so nice to see how other people worked their shit out, overcame their demons and lived pretty much happily ever after (like I said, her baby is fucking adorable!). The book is easy to read, flows nicely and if you like reading books that kind of sound like a collection of magazine articles/blog posts, you will LOVE the format. Go enjoy!


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