Monday, March 4, 2013

Being A Wallflower

Today was a gloriously sunny day. It was so nice. Even yesterday was sunny, with the wind whipping snowflakes around Main Street. The sunshine lends me some energy, especially when I am beginning to feel worn down physically, scholastically, and emotionally.

The sun is a just a big ball of rejuvenation in the sky. It reminds me that even when things seem dark and exhausting, the sun comes out. Every time. It's always going to be there.

Which leads me to my new favorite movie. If you have not yet seen or read The Perks of Being A Wallflower, go out and do it now. I'm not kidding, it's amazing.

It's a beautiful coming of age story. A story of triumph, facing your demons, and somehow or another managing to come out on top, even when "on top" is a really ugly, hard won, painful triumph.

Sam is a girl who has been at rock bottom and found herself there, coming out strong and beautiful and scarred. And scarred is okay. She asks Charlie at one point, "Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we are nothing?"

"Because we accept the love we think we deserve."

Whoa. How true is that? If I think I am nothing, I can't accept someone who thinks I am the world. It's just not possible. We have a hard enough time as a culture accepting compliments for goodness' sakes.  But Sam decides that her job is no longer to please the world, but to validate herself. And that is how she finds herself. What a lesson.
 One of the best things about this film/book is that the story is not really happy. It's not a candy coated illustration of high school like so many are, it is raw and real and really hard to watch at times. It reminds us that high school and being a youth is hard, even if they aren't paying bills or living on their own or going to college.

"I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. Ad maybe we'll never know most of them. But even we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there."

Stuff happens. Whether we're high schoolers or students or adults. Stuff like breakups and death and abuse. And we can't control that. We can't control the scars we earn. I can't control whether or not my ex begs me to take him back because he misses me. I can't change that I had a friend pass away in high school and I have a real scar to mark the day. Those events formed me.

And the peace in between the moments of chaos - between the running across campus, the arguing, the fear - the moments when you first open your eyes in the morning and you can see the sunshine through your eyelashes and all you can feel in softness or when you are driving to campus singing, or when you get to sing in your choir and just be - those moments are suspended in time.

We are infinite. Just like the book tells us. We can just throw our arms open and cast our eyes forward and just be. Be happy with our lives. Because to be honest, I am happier with my life than I have been in a long time. And I didn't completely believe that that was true until it was put to the test - I could have gone back to something -and it was offered- and I realized I didn't want it. I had actually managed to make the right choice about something!

"The one moment when you realize you're not a sad story. You are alive..." - The Perks of Being A Wallflower.

Being alive is pretty cool. Even when you feel you're not touching someone's life, you are. Your life is important. Even when things are tough.

Seriously, guys, go read this book. Rent the movie. And shed a few tears with me.