…and so begins the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The book, written by Stephen Chobsky, was published in 1999, and the movie, starring Emma Watson, is being released this weekend. No, this isn’t a book review, nor is it a entire entry on how much every single person must the read the book because it’s my absolute favorite (see what I did there?), it’s merely a second entry of my blog, a blog I’m not quite sure what direction I’d like it to go, where, as promised, I share a few stories (oh so creatively placed between some of my favorite quotes of the book).
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
When I made the decision to start a blog, my biggest worry was that I wouldn’t have much to say. Actually, scratch that, because most who know me can attest to the fact that I often have very (too) much to say. I was worried that what I wanted to say and what I found important wouldn’t entertain a reader. Every single person is different, so my thoughts obviously won’t always be yours, and what I find entertaining and interesting may cause you to pause and ask yourself why you even started reading this blog in the first place (hang tight, it gets better.) The more I thought about this, the more I realized that, in a sense, these worries are the essence of news reporting. When a reporter wakes up one day and decides (more realistically, is assigned) to cover a story, they have to make it as creative and indulging as possible in order to grab and keep attention and produce a package that makes audience members listen. It may be something extremely dull, or maybe it’s something more controversial, but either way, it’s not the reporter’s job to simply translate what he or she heard to television viewers, but to make the story count, to make it interesting, and to make it relevant.
“Please believe that things are good with me, and even when they’re not, they will be soon enough.”
But coming back to blog writing, it’s almost impossible to truly know the effect you have on your audience. All you can really do is write about your life, your concerns, and what is important to you, and hope that somewhere along the way your readers understand a little more about who you are. This is the essence and the beauty of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The novel is written entirely of letters from Charlie, a fifteen-year-old high school freshman, to an unknown recipient. In his letters, Charlie writes of everything from his nerves the night before starting to high school and the first time he meets his best friends, to matters concerning his experimentation with drugs, friends contemplating suicide, and abusive relationships.
“Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
Of course, so many television shows, magazine articles, and movies portray the same issues in teens, but it’s the sheer innocence and vulnerability of the novel that makes it great. Charlie is so exposed, so honest, and so observant (hence the title), that the reader has no choice but to admire his courage and reflect on the first time we all experienced these same things, and hopefully remember the innocence we once possessed, as well.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
The letters span from August 1991 to August 1992, literally encompassing both before I was born, my birthday, and after I was born. However, despite the obvious generation gap, I connect to the letters, experiences, and characters within the novel better than I relate to a Gossip Girl book today (no hate on Gossip Girl though, it’s one of my favorite shows and the books aren’t bad, either). We get to a point in our lives where we view memories through a filter, often deciding to only remember the good, only dwell on the bad, or forget minor details altogether. Charlie doesn’t do that. He writes the complete truth about everything, with commentary ranging from the most naïve and simple to questions, to thoughts that I honestly think grown adults today wouldn’t manage to ponder. It’s a testament to innocence, honesty, and growing up, and even though growing up can be one of the hardest things to do, Charlie reminds us that not only is it inevitable, but it’s all going to be okay.
“Maybe it’s sad that these are now memories. And maybe it’s not sad.”
When was the last time any of us wrote a letter to somebody? Off on a tangent for a minute, in a age where Facebook and Twitter rule all means of communication (not hating on social media, trust me), a handwritten letter by itself just makes everything more personal, more intricate, and more real. I want to try as hard as possible to make my blog real. Though I don’t yet have a set theme in mind (nor will I ever, knowing me and how much I like to talk and how many interests I have), I hope that my thoughts and revelations will entertain and intrigue you. I don’t want to change your mind, or sway you one direction or another, but merely be a wallflower, writing of what I see and know what commentate a little on why that is.
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
The movie trailer is below! And next post I promise something less mellow, more upbeat, and less “oh my gosh you’re going to make me dig deep and think while reading this??” Thanks guys 🙂