Welcome to Full Grown People!
Thanks so much for checking us out! On Tuesdays and Thursdays, FGP publishes essays that tackle those moments in life when you wonder, what’s next?
Maybe you’d like to know more.
A couple of years ago, I interviewed Nicholas Christakis. Christakis studies how people—even people who don’t know each other—influence one another’s choices in life, from weight gain (or loss) to divorce to mood. One thing he said stuck with me: people are open to change when they’re in a “liminal state.” Which is fawncy talk for being in transition.
“In transition” pretty much describes where I am. In 2012, my beloved friend and business partner, Stephanie Wilkinson, and I sold our magazine. For me, that meant I pretty much sold my identity. (Read all about it here.) I looked around at my friends, and they were all going through different, but no less earth shaking, transitions. We were all done with the celebrated firsts: first kiss, first sex, first long-term relationship, and in many cases, first child. We were left with the sometimes glorious, sometimes messy, stuff that comes with adulthood.
From way back, I’ve looked to writing to help me figure out the difficult stuff in life. Before I discovered reading for wisdom, I read for information. I learned about sexual intercourse from the World Book Encyclopedia that my mom ordered one book at a time. (In case you’re wondering, it happens by a man inserting his penis into a woman’s vagina. In practice, this is not an especially helpful description.) I founded Full Grown People because I find comfort, empathy, and intellectual stimulation in reading other people’s stories.
The topics here run the whole gamut: romance, family, health, career, dealing with aging loved ones, and more. But what draws everything together is the sense that we’re all feeling our way along. There are a gazillion how-to books on all of these subjects, but I’ve always been interested in the how-come.
I hope you’ll find here what I’ve been wanting to read: well-told true stories of how different people have figured it out as they’re going along. I think every age has the potential to be an awkward age, and as my teeth migrate steadily back to where they were pre-braces, I’m revisiting those feelings of let’s pretend again. Let’s we pretend we know how to dance. Let’s pretend we know how to kiss. Let’s pretend we know how to dress for work. Let’s pretend we know how to date after many years. Let’s pretend this new career move isn’t scary and thrilling as all get-out. Let’s pretend we know how to deal with our father’s dementia. Let’s pretend we know how to say a final goodbye to our mother.
Thanks for pretending with us.
P.S. To stay in the loop and help us spread the word, you can sign up for notifications of new essays (over there on your right), like FGP on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and do what one does on Google Plus.
JENNIFER NIESSLEIN is the founder and editor of Full Grown People.
Fun Facts about FGP:
• It debuted on September 4, 2013.
• Jill Talbot’s essay “Autobiographies” was honored as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2014.
• Sara Bir’s essay “Smelted” was chosen for Best Food Writing 2014.
• In 2014, Full Grown People published its first book: Greatest Hits, Volume One, a collection of thirty essays. You can order it exclusively here.
• In 2015, we published the second anthology, Soul Mate 101 and Other Essays on Love and Sex. You can order it exclusively here.
• In 2015, Randy Osborne’s “All Sorts of Things and Weather, Taken in Together” and Antonia Malchik’s “Reclaimed Ambition” were honored as Notable Essays in Best American Essays 2015.
• In 2016, Jane Eaton Hamilton’s “Never Say I Didn’t Bring You Flowers,” Jody Mace’s “The Population of Me,” Lynn Nugent’s “The Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card,” and Deesha Philyaw’s “How Can You Be Mad at Someone Who’s Dying of Cancer?” were honored as Notable Essays in Best American Essays 2016.
All content copyright Full Grown People 2013-2017.