I blame my kids.
Okay, I blame them for a lot of stuff, but this one isn’t bad.
I was young when I started my family. Really young. 18. As of July of this year I will have two kids who are older than I was when I became a Mum for the first time, so that’s probably got a lot to do with how young at heart I have always felt. I have never really felt my age. When I was younger, I felt so much older than my age because I was a mother and a wife while most women my age were finishing high school and going off to university. When I hit 30, I always felt younger than my years and I still do. I listen to and know the lyrics to the latest songs, I am in tune with the current trends when it comes to movies and television and all because as my kids have grown up, I have grown up with them in a sense.
I still read like a demon, but nowadays I also read a lot of YA. I’m not sure that I would have picked most of it up had it not been for the kids begging me to read a book or a series they loved, but suffice it to say, some of my current favourites are directly from books they’ve put in my hands.
I know what a YouTube-er is and I follow and enjoy quite a few of them (big shout out to My Drunk Kitchen) but my favourite bar none is John Green.
As most of the world knows, The Fault in Our Stars is soon to be coming to the big screen. I cannot tell you the levels of excitement going through the teens/almost teen in our home for this movie. We’ve all read the book. Last summer I read it aloud to my two youngest, something we haven’t really done together since the Harry Potter books. We all cried together. On our two day drive to our new home last July, we listened to the audio book of Looking for Alaska. I devoured Paper Town and An Abundance of Katherines. And I watch his You Tube videos.
It’s inspiring that this author has not only found a way to connect with his audience, but, has in his video series and his openness, showed his fans that being a “nerd” is probably the coolest thing to be. When my daughter recently made a new friend and they both discovered they were nerdfighters, it was like Christmas morning for her.
I love writers who connect with their audiences. I love it when one of the authors I follow on twitter gives me a little shout out or reply to something I’ve mentioned to or about them. It shrinks our world just a little bit and lets us all know that not only are books not a dying art form, but they are evolving into something even more special. It’s a connection. A connection that can and does happen on a world wide stage.
I wrote a letter to Maeve Binchy, many years ago. I named one of my daughters after a beloved character in one of her books. She named one of her characters Nuala. I got a letter (yes, an actual, in the mail letter) from a fan a few years ago who told me that my writing reminded her of Maeve’s. Full circle. I was touched beyond words.
This week marks some great things. My daughter made a new friend, one of the first since moving here, my other daughter joined the school band back in the fall and this week she leaves with them to go play at a competition, her first journey out with her peers to do something she loves. I start a new job after this week.
No matter what kind of rut you feel you get into and lord knows I’ve been in my fair share, the world will keep on moving on. You have to move with it and find your bliss. I found mine years ago. Books. Writing them, reading them, sharing them. Books have never let me down. Being called a nerd or a bookworm in my younger years always felt like a compliment instead of a jibe. Because it’s hard to make someone feel bad when you’re talking about something that brings them sheer joy.
I love seeing a part of that joy in my children. I love watching their eyes light up at the mention of TFIOS and hearing the countdown to the release of the movie of the book they all loved. I will remind them, everyday, to find their bliss, their joy, their AWESOME and grab hold, live it, love it.
We can all use this advice, John. Don’t forget to be awesome.