It has been a year since I graduated college. I can't believe I am saying that already. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was walking across that stage in an oversized robe not a care in the world. And yet here I am 12 months later in almost the same position I was in then.
Most of the things I had envisioned for myself have not happened yet. Or as I recently realized...I have not made happen yet. After sending out so many applications and substitute teaching day in and day out I still don't have a classroom of my own. Bad things started happening that I couldn't make sense of and I sort of lost sight of my dreams. I even started convincing myself I didn't want those things anymore because it was easier just to give up. After a year of that kind of stress, and an ulcer later, it can really take a toll on a person. I began to lose hope and look for other options...other career paths. I'll show you in a gif exactly how I felt:
gif from photobucket.com
But while I was reading The Immortal Rules I began to realize a quality in the main character that I wished I still had. Hope. Hope when it seems everything is lost and there is no way up. Hope when it seems the whole world is whispering in your ear to just give up already. But Allie and Zeke, from The Immortal Rules don't give up. They are living in a world that has rabids who can claw their way out of the ground and tear you to shreds and vampires who rule the world. They're trying to get to the one place they think they'll be safe, yet what are the chance they'll ever really get there and live happily ever after?
As I began to think about this quality in these characters I started thinking about other characters who were similar. Jack in Everneath he's my new crush, Katniss in Hunger Games- Duh, Lena in Pandemonium, Juliette in Shatter Me, and the list goes on. In fact, I bet if you looked in almost every book the main character overcomes the conflict because they never gave up easily. The ones above are just extreme cases and make it more noticeable.
I know people think it's silly that a 23 yr old -almost...my bday is in exactly a month!- reads YA books, but I think as long as you're getting something out of your reading experience whether it is just entertainment or a life changing attitude adjustment, like me, then it doesn't matter what publishers rated the words you're reading. The Immortal Rules characters somehow sparked a fire in me that was barely even glowing anymore after this rough past year. Now when I'm clicking send on my the 1,000th application I've sent out I no longer feel close to tears of frustration. I just remember that the only way I will someday overcome this conflict is if I keep hoping, trying, and not dwelling on past obstacles. Allie didn't let anything hold her back so why should I?
If by some chance you happen to stumble upon this someday:
Thank you Julie Kagawa for writing such inspirational characters. You may have just changed my life. Here's some confetti for you.