Choosing your own path is never easy and coming of age is so vague. For me, my path unsurprisingly spawned from the books I read. I found comfort in the pages of “Catcher in the Rye,” “The Truth About Forever,” “Looking for Alaska” and “Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” All about individual people and places linked solely by exploration. Exploration of one’s mind and heart, of foreign places, of massive dreams.
I decided I wanted to be a novelist or a book editor or a journalist because I wanted to provide the solace to others that I so desperately needed when I was a teenager (…last year…). I wanted to feel special and feel loved and connected to other people, and books did that for me. So I began reading more and writing about the books I read here, on this blog. And for a while, that’s all I wanted from life. Namely, to be for others what my authors had been for me.
I’m starting to realize that the books I depended on changed me in so many more ways than I perceived. They don’t only make me want to write and influence people, they make me want to stamp my own trail. They make me want to be an individual with her own thoughts, dreams, heartaches and ideas.
I’m writing this because I am just starting to feel unafraid in my pursuit of distinction. I think people feel obligated to nurture their community’s beliefs and desires, whether that community be your family, friends, school, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. This is a treacherous way of being. Respect is necessary. Compliance is not.
I wish to challenge my peers to think broadly. Depend on books that glorify exploration and independence and find in yourself the courage to run out of your comfort zone as fast as possible. I don’t think this will be easy, but I think it is something we all need to do. I believe that is the only way to encounter your true self and make up your own mind about what kind of person you want to be.
The most resonating thing I’ve learned from books is the necessity of giving back, whether you give back money, education, food, love, friendship, or a kickass YA book. I don’t think it matters how you give back, just that you find a way to contribute to your world. I’m not sure how I’ll do it yet. Maybe someday I’ll become a novelist, book editor or journalist, but right now, I’m keeping my options (and mind) open.
P.S. Sorry this has almost nothing to do with books. It’s finals week and I haven’t read anything fun in a million years and this all came rushing to me at once. Hopefully, this doesn’t sound as pretentious as I’m afraid it sounds. DISCLAIMER: I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT LIFE AND ITS MYSTERIES. FEEL FREE TO PUMMEL ME VIA INTERNET VIBES.