I shouldn't write two posts in one day, but I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars, that new book by John Green that everyone's freaking out about, and I had to tell the world. Because it is a beautiful thing, a beautiful, beautiful thing, and it made me cry, and I don't feel like myself, which is always the aftereffect when you read a good book. When you write, you feel more like yourself, in a painful, open, broken way, but when you read you have become someone different. Or at least that's my experience. Both feelings are good, because they both give you something greater, something real.
And I just wanted the world to know that The Fault in Our Stars is beautiful. Honestly, I've never been able to stomach any of John Green's writing, even though I know he's a genius, because it's all so raw in a way that doesn't fit my morals too well. I don't live that way. I'm a romantic, an idealist, always seeking for heroicism and love and beauty and truth, in grand or in small ways. It turns out, so is Augustus Waters in The Fault in Our Stars, in kind of a far-out way, and this story is so true, it hurts. It's a cancer story, but it's not one of those stories, because it's so full of.... I don't know, philosophy and honesty and so many different views that just cut through to the core. And because at the same time it's a love story.
I just wanted you all to know that. Because there's so much truth in this book, and I live for that. I'm just like Augustus: I fear oblivion, I want to make a difference in the world. But I know I will always be on the sidelines, because I'm the writer, not the character. But if in some small way I have affected someone in a positive way, then I have done my duty. I have done more than my duty. I have lived a dream.
The truth is, the world is a horrible place, and terrible things happen to lots of people. Terrible things. I've only lived a part of them, but I've lived enough to be able to deeply understand and feel the honesty of this book. I struggle, a lot, with memories and heartaches and tragedies that should not have happened to me, should not have happened to anyone, ever. But there's beauty in that, because there's no joy without pain, or at least, not the kind that rips you open and makes you feel. Real joy screams as loudly as pain does, but you can't feel it until you've been broken open enough to hold it.
Sometimes I forget that, when I start drowning in the tragedy. I forget that I'm a stronger person because I have known pain; I forget that because I have failed I can learn to do better. I forget that underneath all the scars is an incredible amount of beauty and light, and even though it's hard to reach, it's there. If I can do nothing else in my life I want to give some of that away. I want to help people understand that reality and fantasy are indivisible, that romanticism and darkness are intrinsically tied, that love of any kind does not exist without heartbreak, and that my life, and every life, is only and will only ever be a reflection of that.
There is opposition in everything, including me.
But it's OK to be broken and a romantic at the same time. It's fine to have failed those you love, but to continue to love more deeply than anything you can fathom. You can only offer what you have inside of you, but what's inside of you is the universe itself. That's true for every human being out there. We have the best and the worst of the world living inside of us, but we need both to be truly beautiful.
I just wanted you all to know that.
Also, you should probably read The Fault in Our Stars yourself. Like, right now.
Image via Goodreads.
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