Today when I went into work I found Pastor had left me an article from the Chicago Tribune on a movie that defined my generation- that is Generation X. Its the 30th anniversary of the movie this year and apparently they will be re-releasing it on the big screen. As I read the article I had tears in my eyes and that forever immortalized song “Don’t You Forget About Me” in my head. No, I won’t ever forget; the movie, The Breakfast Club, or John Hughes the writer and director, or anything about that movie. It was so close to home for me, in so many ways.
It was spot on for my high school experience, and also where they actually filmed it. I went to a sister school of the high school where it was filmed – when it came out. I had friends who met the cast while it was filming. I walked the very same field that Judd Nelson walked at the end of the movie (now filled with townhomes) and I can even boast that my kids played in that very gym (for a time there was a youth drop-in center we volunteered at in the same building). My first babysitting job was at those apartments next to the school- and ironically my eldest son got his first apartment at those same apartments – where my grandbaby was conceived. I won’t ever forget The Breakfast Club. Nor do I want to.
Beyond all the geographical familiarity that movie brings to me is the heartfelt bittersweet pain I remember when I watch the movie. Though John Hughes was 13 years older than me and the movie was written about his experiences in an affluent suburban Chicago high school,- they were exactly the same for me 13 years later and my high school experience. It wasn’t the same school but it might as well been. It was all the same stereotypes. Can you guess which one I fell in? Well it sure wasn’t the cheerleaders, nor the jocks – and some of you might be surprised to know that.
It was the hardest time in my life. I was filled with deep insecurity that only worsened with no real answers or sense of self. But I wouldn’t take any of it back, because it is why I can be the me I am today. If I didn’t feel the pain I wouldn’t be able to help someone else to avoid it.
I believe it is still that way, all these years since, for the “millennial generation” with the added fun of the internet and technology to create further pain and hurt. Though high school and adolescence is the hardest time of our lives, it doesn’t have to define our lives. I struggled with that for many years. I finally figured it out.. and that’s when I started writing.
I can’t tell them how to figure it out, they have to do it on their own. I can offer guidance but its something that we each have to come to in our own times. What consoling thing I can say to them is this:
- We didn’t grow up to be our parents
- We did grow out of our stereotypes
- and there IS a lot of happy in the grown-up world.
-Once you make peace with your past and let it go-
Happy Anniversary Breakfast Club, and God bless you John Hughes for forever defining our youth on the big screen so eloquently and correctly.
Love, Encouragement and Blessings,