Sunday, April 27, 2014

Reality Smackdown

The moment I realized I was grown up was not when I turned 21 and became "legal." It wasn't even when I <<wince>> turned 30.  The moment I knew I had grown up was when I became the only authority figure in children's lives. That's a terrifying revelation for a singleton with no children of her own, but I pulled up my big girl panties and got to work anyway.  Here I am today, still showing to work with my little people.

Isn't that the way of things generally?  We're thrown into situations that stretch our abilities and grow our skills, and only recognize the progress we've made in retrospect. Life is about the journey. How we arrive at the destination--the unexpected twists and turns--is as important as the destination itself.
Is there any story that isn't about a journey, either figurative or literal?  I can't think of one. And if I've ever encountered one, I'm sure I tossed it aside long before reaching the final page. Personally, I am uninterested in people that don't face drama, challenges, or struggles. And I am equally unimpressed by anyone who comes out the other side unaltered for good or ill.  

Our character is defined by how we respond to the plot twists in life.

Good books tutor us on how to react to life's twists and turns. Either consciously or unconsciously, we relate with the characters we read. Hand in hand, we complete an emotional journey, facing impossible odds and emerging victorious.  

Since girlhood, heroines like Anne Shirley, Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennett, and a variety of twisted fairytale princesses have taught me bravery, patience, strength, self-worth, morality, and kindness. Why is that? What does fiction have to do with reality? Like the Hobbit's tale, going There and Back Again with these characters lends me the strength to carry on when adversity comes. 

So, here's my invitation: whether you're a writer or reader, find exemplary characters to follow, open your heart to the lessons you will learn, and take the journey together. The world grows harder and colder each day. Only a soul steeped in hope and filled with the vision of what is possible will be strong enough to withstand the onslaught.
With years of goodness stowed in your heart, thirty sugar-induced five-year-olds with mommy issues (or any other equally daunting task) becomes a walk in the park. 

As long as your walk in the park includes muggers, screaming babies, and naughty toddlers.  Happy reading and writing!


  1. The best books allow the reader to grow alongside the character. Thanks for the inspirational post.

    1. Exactly! It's not only self-help books that challenge us & spurn growth. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Hope in the realization of promises and trust in the Source of the promise is what gives any of us starch enough to make our way through life. Your suggestions are great!!

  3. Sarah,
    I remember the first book I read in grade school that didn't have pictures in it was "The Diary of Anne Frank. I was mesmerized by this girl who was about my own age at the time of the writing; her adventure, captivity in a secret location, and ultimately her family being discovered and sent to the concentration camps. This was real, not a made up story, and it touched me. I thought you might enjoy some of her insights as shared by her father much later. One quote: “Of course we all knew that Anne kept a diary. Sometimes she read us funny episodes and stories… She even repeatedly asked Johannes Kleiman if he wouldn’t mind sending one of her stories to a magazine. That’s how much she wanted to publish something. Though she never read us anything about herself. And so we never knew how intense her personal development was; and of all of us, she was the most self-critical.”

    1. That is amazing! Sometimes you just have to write & share. It's we connect, teach, learn & lift. Thanks for sharing, honey!