literature

Confessions of a Not-so-Teenager Twi-Hard

You know that one thing that you have in your life that you know is bad, but you love it anyway? Call it a guilty pleasure, if you must.

Well. I’m here to admit, no matter what I have said in the past, but I have a guilty pleasure, I know it’s bad, but I must come out with it: I’m a Twilight fan.

Let me defend my case here, before you decide you never want to read anything I write again.

I’m going to start by saying the movies have the worst acting, and the books are no literary works of genius. Yes, Edward sparkles and Bella is moody. Yes, their love story is stupid, predictable, and yet unrealistic. Everything about the movies, books, merchandise, you name it, it isn’t worth the time of day.

Bet your wondering why I just admitted to being a fan and then bashed it, right?

The reason I love Twilight is because it’s nostalgic. It reminds me of those painful tween-early teenager years where I didn’t fit in and all I wanted was a “true love.” Twilight stands for a time period of my life where I could read stupid novels and not be ridiculed, both publicly and privately. There was no worrying about whether reading a certain type of novel would damage your reputation, and you certainly didn’t need to hide the hard-cover editions and your poster of Taylor Lautner every time Jessica from gym class came over.

Me, 2010. Camping, somewhere north, maybe? In the height of my Twilight craze, here you can see me crouching as I hunt (I'm clearly a vampire).

Me, 2010. Camping, somewhere north, maybe? In the height of my Twilight craze, here you can see me crouching as I hunt (I’m clearly a vampire).

Truth is, why does anyone care how bad a novel is or a movie? No one is forcing you to watch it, or read it (unless they assign it for English 101). My point is, I’m tired of people looking at me like I’m crazy just because I like a corny romance that just so happens to include wolfish, shiny and/or pale faced boys. I’ve had people say, “You like Twilight??” Hey now, just because I enjoy The New Yorker, Earl Grey tea, and my go-to hairstyle is a coiled bun, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some poorly written vampire saga.

There are several confessions I’d like to make at this time. Yes, I had a poster of Taylor Lautner, shirtless (I had to take it down once I started dating Colin). Yes, I have all of the books, and I have read them cover-to-cover four times. And yes, I have Twi-hard merchandise, including a “Team Lautner” necklace and purse, and I have a tote bag with Bella and Edward on it.

Did you just lose respect for me? Well, you probably shouldn’t, in fact…you should gain some respect for me. The fact that I love one of the world’s most hated piece of entertainment and I’m not afraid to admit it is pretty gutsy.

I finished Breaking Dawn Part 2 (that’s the movie) and let me tell you it felt good. There were those obvious scenes that I rolled my eyes at, or mocked (Kristen Stewart’s angry voice and “Bella and Edward” having sex) but overall I was happy with how it ended. It’s a little bittersweet, having both the books be completed as well as the movies. Good news is, there is always Netflix or a rainy day for me to start it all over!

So, it’s okay to like things that people loathe. In fact, I think this is what makes us human. I stopped liking Twilight because it’s what everyone else was doing. I figured I couldn’t have people thinking badly of me, so I switched to more popular series like The Hunger Games or to authors like James Patterson. But, I’m a closet Twi-hard no longer. If this is what makes me, well, me, then so be it!

“Death is peaceful, life is harder,”Twilight 

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‘Leaving a Mark’ on This Blank Page

Although much of my complaints is work or school work, I have to say this semester is the best one yet. My Theory of Writing course is showing me how to become a more expressive writer, critical thinker, and excel at reading between the lines.

We finished Blankets, an illustrated novel by Craig Thompson. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read something with images, think deeply, cry a little, and feel every emotion in the book (a bit ironic, right?) Long story short (again), this book is Thompson’s narration of his life, his struggles with his art, and the story of first love and disconnected families.

One moment stood out to me the most in this book, and relates mostly to current situations in my life is the following, “Even a mistake is better than nothing.” The context is that one of the characters wanted Thompson to paint for her and he was afraid he would mess up.

What stands out the most in that quote is how bold it is. While it may be in a completely different context, I still took this moment to heart. Even a mistake is better than nothing, wow, is all I could think.

We have this idea that making mistakes is such a terrible thing. But, aren’t the mistakes we make a way to make ourselves better? There’s sayings like, “Have no regrets,” and “Everything happens for a reason,” because they are true. There have been so many mistakes and regrets I have, but I take them with me and make meaning from them, much like the novel Blankets discusses.

Throughout high school I had this idea that the people I was close friends with would stay true forever. At that moment where I graduated, the only true thing I was thinking about was how the sun was directly in my eyes; giving me a migraine, but I also was thinking about how this is it. That was the moment I never had to see the people who wronged me, the people who hated me, or the people who I loved.

It sounds like such a depressing way to look at graduation, but I disliked high school so strongly. I had always been a different kind of girl, someone who wanted to stand out rather than fit in, and we all know how disconcerned people are to differences. College is a growing experience for me, and I highly recommend everyone try it once in their life. In all seriousness, it has been a time where I realized who I want to be. All I do is try and reach that goal, and at the moment, I’m doing a pretty darn good job. But, the person who I am doesn’t start and stop with me, it’s the people I have encountered and spent my life with that have shaped me.

I have found, much like Craig Thompson, that even though friendships and relationships may not last forever, the mark they have on us never truly leaves. Thompson falls in love with a girl in the novel, and even though they are young and need to discover themselves, I can’t help but feel something for them. The fact that they both make such an impact on each other, even being a teenager, is astounding. The idea that someone can make such a powerful impact on your life is true to my life. Sometimes all you want is for them to stay and be with you, but eventually you come to a point when you realize they can’t.

There have been those friends who have come and gone and have meant nothing to me, and there have been those friends who have stayed but then drifted away (college does this, I have found). There have also been those friends who still remain, and always will.

It wasn’t until very recently, I discovered that finding yourself means making sacrifices with these relationships. It’s a sad realization, cruel and bitter, but it’s also something that I needed to bring to my attention. I start my real story here, and it’s much to my satisfaction rather than all of you reading.

The falling out I recently had with someone was certainly no easy one. This person has meant more to me than any other person on this planet. She had been there through every failure, every mistake, every heartbreak, every detail of my life; she knows it. Likewise, I have been there for her every step of the way.

We have watched people come and go, laughing, saying, “That’ll never be us.” But, if there is one thing I have learned from heartbreak it is you can never predict it. You want life to be perfect, candy-coated, but in reality no one plans out the bad things that may happen.

I never thought I would have a feeling where our friendship wasn’t worth it. I never thought I would think about her constantly, miss her, wish she would text or call, wish she would just reach out. I never thought I would stop trying to connect. I knew the conversation would be mundane, the same old, “What have you been up to?” The person she was becoming and the person I have become do not match anymore. I think as harsh as it may be, if she were reading, I have grown and learned and become who I want to be and I think she is still discovering that. I know there is someone who will change her, make her who she needs to be. Or maybe she won’t ever find out.

There are these moments in our life where we can’t breathe, and it feels like we can’t do anything but sit and stare at the wall. All the memories come swirling back to you in these moments, when you want to forget but you can’t. A break up, a falling out, a death; you won’t ever forget them. You can paint over the memories but there is still that tiny spot in your mind that reminds you it’s more than a memory, it existed.

I’ve always had a hard time saying I’m sorry, or admitting my mistakes. I know I’m stubborn and I hate to be told I am wrong. But, I refuse to sacrifice what I believe in for someone else and their satisfaction. I know I have said things in my past and present that I regret. I am so sorry to everyone. I am sorry that I never went to your graduation party. I am sorry I didn’t want to go on a date with you. I am sorry you didn’t love me. I am sorry you turned out you needed a therapist and I couldn’t help you. I am sorry that we couldn’t be what we dreamed of being. I am sorry I said those mean things to you. I am sorry we are over.

Life is meaningless without mistakes. I know she thinks I made a mistake. I know she thinks that I was the worst friend anyone can have, and I know for awhile, maybe forever, she will think that. I can only thank her for the memories. Thank you, for all that you have given me and all that you will continue to give me. I will miss and always love you, like the sister you were to me. You can’t ever understand what I went through, my inner-termoil, because you never listened. It is all my fault that I couldn’t try harder to reach out, that I gave up. I wish I hadn’t given up, but it’s what I needed to do. I hope that you can understand one day.

If I could speak to her, although I think I will never be given the chance, there are so many things I would say. I could lash out and yell at her for making me look like a villain, when I know who is at fault. I know that’s what I want to do, but I think now I would say to her, if you have to be mad, be mad not at me but at the fact that we need to change. We can’t be the same person we were at 14. We will never be the same. We thought that change was an okay thing to accept into our lives, but the truth is it’s a hard concept. You can’t stop it, and you can’t predict it. We can only live from it.

I want to continue to grow, to make meaning of this life I have been given. I can’t take everyone with me on this journey. I’m constantly on this journey to find myself, and even though I think I have reached a high point in my life, I know I will never end the journey. I know I will continue to make mistakes, but I have accepted it’s a natural part of life, of living.

 

“How satisfying is it to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement–no matter how temporary.” –Craig Thompson, Blankets