More photos on my blog!
This is what I looked like when my sister and I took the train into Stockholm on Tuesday. We went with our mother to an early screening of a movie they’re making based on one of my mom’s books. It was one of the best nights in forever for me – not because the movie was amazing (it was good, though), but because of someone I met at the screening. He’s a Swedish author, and not just any author – but the one I admire above every other. His name is P.O. Enquist and he’s written so many of the books I love the most. Meeting him was not only an honor, it was truly inspirational! Although… I wish I’d had the guts to tell him how much his writing has helped me through the years. That I keep a quote from one of his books in my wallet, as a reminder of why it’s so important to use the hard and painful things you’ve been through to make the world a better place in your own way.
It’s impossible for me to translate it word by word, because the strength of it gets lost in translation. At least maybe I can capture some of the the meaning of the quote, and it goes something like this:
“You can take your pain and throw it away, move on and never look back. But then it will all have been for nothing. Then all it did was hurt.”
(From Captain Nemo’s Library by P.O. Enquist)
Those words mean so much to me, and I try to live my life by them. I completely understand why people who go through hardship want to bury their pain and simply focus on living as full of a life as possible, instead of dwelling on their hurt. But I can’t do that. Because growing up, I felt so alone with my thoughts and my pain – and my shame. Being bullied is immensely shameful, having an eating disorder is shameful, being depressed is shameful. No, wait. It’s not. But that’s what it feels like when you’re in the middle of it – especially when you’re under the impression that you’re the only one going through this.
“I’m the only one with no friends, the only one who just can’t get people to like me. The only one who’s afraid to go to school because they’ll call me even worse names than they did yesterday and I know I’ll cry in front of everybody, again. The only one who’ll never get kissed. The only one who can’t manage to be thin and beautiful without making myself sick. The only one who can’t simply be happy and cheerful and appreciative of everything I have. The only one who can’t figure out how to live a life.”
I’m still me, I’m still the same person I was ten, fifteen, twenty years ago. But at the same time, I’m not. I can’t imagine dealing with what that version of me had to go through. If there is anything I can do to help out younger people dealing with those same issues, anything at all, I feel like I have a responsibility to do just that. Even if it’s only by sharing my experiences, to let others know that they’re not alone. That they’re not the only ones. And that even though it might not seem like it, the sun will one day rise and they’ll realize that from this moment on, everything will be a little easier. A little less painful. Maybe even okay.
And some day they’ll look back and think:_ yeah, it did frickin hurt. But without it, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. And I kind of like it here._