Joy and Hope

“I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts…Energy is never created and it is never destroyed…awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be…We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think we are invincible because we are.
– John Green

Another great quote from John Green’s book Looking For Alaska. This one is written by Miles “Pudge” Halter about why we should have always have reason to hope and be hopeful. So today I hope you find the hope and joy Christmas always brings me. And if today is just another day for you, then I hope you find joy in it. This quote reasonates particularly strongly with me today in light of not only the Christmas season, but also in light of some news I got this morning. Someone I had come to count as a friend and a fellow social justice worker died yesterday morning. Their sudden death has reminded me of the fragility of life and how we should hold on tightly to each precious moment of it. Not all moments are good and I have some awful ones this year, but I think it’s important to try and hold on to the good ones as best you can and make them as worthwhile as possible. May all of you find hope, joy, and happiness today and in the days to come.

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If People Were Rain

“So I walked back to my room and collapsed the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
– John Green

This quote is said by Miles “Pudge” Halter about Alaska Young in John Green’s novel Looking For Alaska which I just finished reading. It was an interesting experience because I read his novel’s in backwards order. What I mean is that I started with his most recent novel and worked my way back to his first novel. I did this for two reasons. One: I didn’t get into the Vlogbrothers and John Green’s books until I was in my late teens by which point he had already published several novels and Two: there was something organic that appealed to me in reading an others work in backwards chronological order. I got to see one of my favourite others progress in reverse. What I found most interesting is that while Looking For Alaska is a good novel and one which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, I’m not sure if I would have continued to read his books as enthusiastically as I do now if I had Looking For Alaska first. Which reminded me of the central point of another of his books Paper Towns, that it’s about the journey, not the destination. I love and continue to read his books because the first An Abundance Of Katherines and The Fault In Our Stars were just so good I had to read his other work. So in the end I realized that it doesn’t matter that I don’t love Looking For Alaska as much as his other books. Reading his books in backwards order was the journey I had to take to love his work and that’s what matters.

As for the quote itself, I really love the analogy of people and their personalities to rain and to weather. To me there is something so truthful and captivating about how people are as strange, weird, wonderful, unpredictable, and predictable as the weather. How we look at others and devalue ourselves. “They are so spontaneous, exciting, and full of life,” we say to ourselves. “Why can’t we be more like that?” we think, “We will never be like that,” we think. What we do not realize, as the novel goes on to show, is that it’s a good thing that we are not like that. We all have to be our own person and trying to be someone else is folly. Also, people are the way that they are for reasons we may not know or understand. The character of Alaska is a good example of this.

Links:
John Green’s website:
The Vlogbrothers Channel:

Musings On Moving

“You never need something as quickly as when you’ve just packed it away.”
– The Mischief Mistress

I will soon be moving out of the house of horrors (YES)! As such I am packing up all of my belongings while studying for Mid Term Exams. Oh the joys of University. My new place is five minutes down the street and is much cleaner. I haven’t met all my new roommates yet, but when I went to go see the house for the first time one of them was cleaning the stove. I mean really cleaning it. Taking the coils out and wiping them down cleaning it. I never thought the sight of a twenty something brunette cleaning an electric stove would bring me so much joy. My new room is smaller and behind the kitchen and the laundry room is on the upstairs floor, but it will be worth it if helps me find a way to be happy again. This house and the people in it have sapped so much of the joy out of my once happy life. I know my situation could be much worse, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am currently receiving psychological counselling for depression as a result of my living situation. Course the fact that my school mandated I take a course overload this semester didn’t help either. What I’m truly looking for at this stage is simple: common courtesy, space to cook, a clean house to live in, the quiet to sleep soundly, and friendship with the people I live with. The last one is optional. At this point I’d take indifference. I hate being hated. It sucks.

Now onto happier things! I took a week between my mid term exams so I decided to go home and spend some time with my family. Which for me consists of my mom, dad, boyfriend, and recently reconnected with elementary school friend. We had a great time decorating the house, helping me study, eating deliciously bad for us food, baking up a storm, and watching Adam Sandler sing The Hanukkah Song. Seriously, you have not lived until you’ve seen Adam Sandler perform the original SNL version of that song. I will write my final exam on Wednesday after which I will move to my new place. From there the world is my oyster! My plans include sleeping, sleeping, sleeping some more, laughing, giggling, baking, smiling, hugging, gift giving, and merry making.