Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I'm okay. I can breathe.

Alright, let's talk about that thing I always talk about. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know of my - I don't really wanna say the O word because it sounds scary- deep, deep love of a certain book. I'm sure a lot of you either think I'm crazy, or you probably just overlook me and think 'Emily is talking about Reckless/Hentzau again.' 

I understand I must seem a little crazy...and - the dreaded O word - obsessed, but I want to give you a look back into to mid-2012 to early Nov.  No, let's go back to about 2007. You're 14. You start dating one of your best friends boyfriend's best friend. You're a stupid, young teenager and you're just excited to have a boyfriend. Things start out okay (don't they always?) for the most part. Within two months, things aren't so great, but still you have a boyfriend and all your other friends want one and you feel special. Things get worse and you turn to books for comfort because the best friend you mentioned earlier has decided to write you off because you're too depressed and sad and she just doesn't think she can be around you anymore because she's just ended her depression and you may bring it back with your sadness. So, you jump into the Harry Potter series, and for some reason, your 14/15 year old brain latches on to Sirius Black. He becomes your happy point. You have every Sirius Black quote memorized from the books and the movies. You mourn his death more than you do your own grandfather's because it gives you a physical pain to read those words because it's like visualizing someone diving deep into your bloodstream, finding every happy cell and lighting them on fire. But you still have the books. You still have happiness a little because you can go back and smile and be happy because those words won't betray you. They're there and you know them by heart and when your boyfriend is emotionally abusing you and making you feel like you are less than nothing, you can look back and quote those words and find something to smile about. 

2009. You're 16. You don't need Sirius anymore. You've found happiness in a boy that has real flesh and blood. He's nice. He makes you smile. He makes you feel like you're special. All those things the last real flesh and blood boy said to and about you mean nothing. Everything is great. Until that October when he kisses his ex-girlfriend on a band field trip and you find out about it from his best friend. All those walls you allowed to come down are all suddenly back up. You're hurt. All those things the last guy said to and about you rush back to your mind and once again, you are nothing. You stay, though. He says it won't happen again. You don't trust him, though. You know better than to stay, but you do it anyway. Once again you find happiness in books. A few weeks before you go to your school's library, you watch a movie with your sister titled Inkheart. You think the movie is kind of cool. The idea of characters being able to come out of books? That's definitely what you need right now. You find the trilogy by Cornelia Funke in your school's library and read all 3 of the books in 2 days. You can breathe again. Your happiness now finds the form of a knife-thrower with a tame bear. The Black Prince. Your real flesh and blood boy doesn't make you happy. You don't know why you're staying, but you feel guilty for wanting out because you've wanted to be with him for so long, but he's not the kind of person you want to be with anymore. He's lied. Multiple times. You don't really care, though. You're too busy highlighting in your Inkdeath book every single time the Black Prince is mentioned. When your world starts spiraling and you're ready to jump in front of a speeding bus, you pick up your book and find any page with a highlighted section. You're okay. You can breathe. 

2012. You don't need the Black Prince anymore. You ended the relationship with the boyfriend over 2 years ago. You have also cut ties with someone who has been your best-friend and lifeline for 10 years. Sure, the friendship had been deteriorating for the last 2 years, but you put up a good facade and went through the routine. The ending to an amazing friendship was very unclimatic. One day, the two of you just stopped talking. Now, you're pretty much friendless, and let's face it, you've never had an easy time making friends. Having to introduce yourself to someone makes you want to vomit, crawl into a corner, and cry your eyes out. You're being forced to go to a school you really, really don't want to go to. You have no say over ANYTHING that is going on in your life. You don't want to eat. You're not getting much sleep. You haven't talked to your dad in six months. Everything in you feels dead. You're basically just a body. No emotion. No feeling. Nothing. If someone told you that the world was going to end tomorrow, you'd just shrug your shoulders and sit outside to watch the comets destroy you. It's late November and you've been like this since May. You were late for one of your college classes and pretty much nothing has gone right. It's raining so you run into the bookstore to kill some time because it's a 30 minute drive home. You get a Frappe from the coffee shop and roam the teen section. That's when you see a certain last name. FUNKE. You remember that spark of happiness from years ago. You scan the summary, and you know you have to get it. You have hardly any money to your name, but you have just enough. Your happiness takes a new form. You have feeling again. You don't feel alone anymore because a Japser Goyl "...had learned that the world made no sense and that there were no happy endings." For some reason you find comfort in that. Someone understands you. You're okay. You can breathe. 

I'm still okay. I can still breathe. So, yes, I cling very tightly to books. For four years, Reckless and Hentzau have been a great comfort to me. I'm excited to be able to read the book that brought me back to life with new words in a little over a month. Words cannot express my gratitude to the authors who wrote the characters who made me feel like I had a friend and that I never had to be alone. I may be crazy and obsessed, but I am alive. I am happy. I'm much more than okay.