On Hope

Tuesday, May 7

It's been a bit of a rough week here in the world I live in. Lots of information coming all at once and lots of emotions and epiphany type feelings happening. It's been rough but it's also been very enlightening. I've done a lot of reflecting about why I write and why I blog, even why I feel the need to share my blog.

When I set out to write a blog, I knew that I didn't want it to be an online diary. If I wanted a diary, I would need it to be kept private, not share it with the universe to get attention to my every day struggles and worries. I wanted to write a blog so I could reflect on the moments in my life that have pushed me the most, so I can look back during rough times and see the little moments of hope I had. I also wanted people who read my blog to feel inspired and changed after reading my blog, even if the change was just for the day or the hour. I want to make people think and I want to make people feel.

I share my blog with people I care about, and people who care about me. Maybe there is someone who reads my blog that will never tell me about it who will get something amazing out of read it. I'll never know, so the least I can do is share it and update it regularly with well thought out, well crafted posts. There will also be funny stories because what's life without humor, what's sorrow without humor? I want people to feel something when I write, whether it's a blog or a short story or a book. Even a text message.

That's why I want to write too. I've read books that have changed the way I feel, the way I look at life, the way I write. If I could do that for some other sixteen year old girl riddled with angst and unrequited love, my job will be complete. (I also wouldn't mind having a New York Times best seller that's displayed on every shelf of Barnes and Noble... but... you know.... I'd be cool without that.)

Yesterday, at what felt like the climax of a Week of Death, I was sitting in my bath tub when it hit me: I'm not a kid anymore. When did that happen?!?! My problems have morphed from finding the right cotillion dress, to high school theater classes ending, to picking a college, to watching a cousin go to jail. WHAT. I feel like I woke up one day and realized I'm an adult. It happened without my knowledge and suddenly here I am. Into roughly my third year of college, out of high school for three years. I started my senior year four years ago. I cannot believe that. I remember what I wore on my first day of high school.

But you know what comes with growing up? Besides eventual death? Unimaginable hope. I have so much hope for my future and for the future of my generation. Life is so rough and as awful as aging is, as we talk about when we drive around with our best friends, talking about the past and growing up, we all perpetuate the cycle. We keep pushing forward through our lives and we keep having children and watching them grow up. The cycle won't end. We will keep growing up, making adult decisions, and keep hoping. Keep reaching for that hope.

To quote my main man F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... and one fine morning--" (Brief pause to reflect on the beauty of this sentence. It doesn't end. "One fine morning--"  it leaves me breathless.)

This sort of hope is why I love Young Adult literature. When you read a book geared at adults, it always just.... ends. No hope, the story finishes, the characters are done with their tale and that's all there is to it. But in YA lit, the story ends with hope. The character overcomes his obstacle and still believes life will get better. We grow from it. We are sad but we learn from it and the hope comes back. John Green said it best at the end of his book, Looking for Alaska. Yes, I'm quoting it again. I told you, the book changed my life.

"When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparable broken. We think we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail."

I feel so bad for the adults who have lost that hope and resent who they are. Someone very close to me is like that and it makes me so sad. Yu can always change who you are, you are never irreparable or stuck. You are NEVER broken to the point where there is no coming back. You will always come back, and you will come back stronger than ever. I want to write books that feel like this. I want to give the youth of today even more hope than they already have. If you feed them hope, they remain hopeful as they age. I was on my way to being a resentful adult but I filled my teen years with the words of authors feeding me hope and now, I want to return that hope because it's how I feel inside.

This song always fills me with that hope. It's a quiet, subtle song that is just beautiful. The words are perfect.

You're body cannot stop rocking,
I know it hurts to let go.

We will be with you
When you're leaving.
We will be with you,
when you go.

We will be with you
and hold you til you're quiet,
It hurts to let you go.

So good. Enjoy this song, enjoy this blog, enjoy hope. I love you all.

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Thank you for your words; they light a fire in my heart. You are lovely.