Maybe it was a bad idea to read John Green’s heartbreakingly beautiful novel, The Fault In Our Stars, right before Valentine’s Day, but then again maybe it wasn’t.
I feel like the problem with great literature is that it makes us question ourselves as people. No matter what good we do in our lives, we will never feel as accomplished as the characters in our favorite stories. We want to be everything that we read about in books. We want the kind of existence that a 200-page novel can create. We want to fall in love just as our favorite characters do. We cry alongside them, we feel anger when they do. Sometimes, we feel their pain, too.
I met a boy about a year ago in one of my typical college gen-ed classes that has come into my life and changed it for the better. He showed me what it really means to be in love. I’ve never been in love before. I always thought I knew the definition, but I didn’t. You can think you know everything, and then someone will just waltz into your life and turn everything upside down. If it’s like what happened to me, you won’t mind, though.
Will our story ever turn into a best-selling novel? No, I’m sure it won’t. But that shouldn’t stop us from living out that story nonetheless.
Sometimes, I think we spend too much time trying to idealize everything in our life that we forget to live it for what it is. You only get one shot at this, and hopefully you have a long time to make mistakes and make great memories.
All I know is that I’m glad I told a boy I liked his shirt last year in a philosophy lecture. Had I not said anything, who knows where I would be now in my life. What I do know, is that this year I actually have a Valentine. My first, real Valentine that didn’t come from a mandatory assignment in first grade.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that maybe we don’t always need to base our existence off of a beautifully written novel. Maybe our own novel is right in front of our faces, waiting for us to take the plunge and write it ourselves.
Article by Maggie Lawler