My copy of tfios has yet to show up, and I haven’t gotten my hands on lola and the boy next door yet either, so today I made the cold, although short, trek to the library. I got a few books, but the one I read is Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr. What can I say except that I sobbed through the majority of the story. The story brought up some of my own fears and I felt myself close to panicking at a few points, but I stayed okay. It’s the story of a girl Deanne Lambert, who slept with her brothers best friend when she was 13 and he was 17. After almost a year of this, her dad caught them together, and he never looked at her the same since. Now she’s 16 and the boys in her school treat her like public property, her brother is a new father with his own problems, and her two best friends are in love with one another. But they make it through you know? There isn’t a flowery ending or a grand conclusion, just small steps taken to try and make things right and move on.
I don’t like hating things, I don’t like to say I hate things even, but I hate that teenagers treat each other like this. It’s so incredibly heartbreaking. What screwed Deanne’s life was not that she had sex when she was 13. I’m not saying I advocate 13 year olds getting it on, but it wasn’t the ugly thing that it was portrayed at school. She just wanted to feel chosen really, to feel closeness with someone, to have their attention, and that is not a bad thing. What screwed up her life is the way the story was twisted and spread and lingered over, by her classmates and her own father, until she started to believe that was all she was. Pathetic. Trashy. A slut. Yet she wasn’t, she was just a girl, trying to find compassion and love. It’s true that she didn’t find love in Tommy’s 17 year old arms, but that’s all she was really looking for. What right does anyone else have to judge her for that. What right does anyone really have to judge anyone. We just go around in our lives not knowing how to be or what it’s like to be anyone else. But trying to know, trying to feel, trying to understand, I think that’s pretty much the most important thing any of us really ever do. Now I’m tearing up again, but hey, that’s okay. Sometimes I just get scared that we’re not doing it right, we’re wasting all these precious moments we could make things better, but then I take a breath, and say, the only way we can go is forward, so we might as well embrace it and do our best.
And be grateful.
I am so grateful to this author for stirring up these feelings within me so that I am reminded of the things that are most important. So that I can remember to live my life the best I can, even if I’m still scared some of the time. Breaths, one, two three. Breate in and out. I’m also grateful for John Green’s book tfios, even though I haven’t read it yet, because I can feel in my heart from the general themes people have let slip, and the response overall, that it will be a positive and beautiful thing in my life at this time.
It’s okay. Remember to be loving to people, even those who’s choices seem silly, or stupid, or wrong to you, because no matter how smart or experienced or right you are, you still don’t know.