Hey, kids… I’m out of town this week. Finally taking that vacation I’ve been thinking about for eight years. Anyway, while I’m gone some friends have agreed to write some guest posts for my blog. Today’s post comes from Alex. I asked her the question, what is one experience that has shaped the person you are today?
It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be to pick one experience that has helped shape who I am today. But I finally settled on the experience of reading The Catcher in the Rye in my ninth grade Literature class. That book taught me that it’s ok to be alone. Not just because the main character, Holden Caulfield, is so beautifully portrayed as abnormal, imperfect, and painfully solitary, but because my experience reading it was isolating. My classmates and, more disappointingly, my teacher, took a collective heaping s— all over Holden, while I felt he spoke to my soul and was basically a hero. I was so angry at them–I wanted to scream in all their faces how wrong they were! And how much they were missing the point: Holden was different, and real, and that was OK. But they were trying to make it seem like it wasn’t–like he wasn’t ok. I was traumatized and discouraged by our completely opposite reactions to the book. But I was simultaneously emboldened: rather than make me question my interpretation of Holden, that experience just reinforced what I took from him–that not fitting in, being different, would be a lonely path to walk, but that was ok. And that sticking to your convictions counts for something–maybe the most. Perhaps that makes me a sociopath–diverging so intently from the majority, not taking their opinion as a signal of the error in my own. But I’d rather be a sociopath than a lemming.
* * *
Alex has a humor blog called Only Bad Chi and is an Opinion writer for News Cult. You can frequently overhear her saying, “f— this s—” and “nope.” She daydreams about unicorns and gold pineapples and is currently prepping for law school, because there’s not enough justice in the world; (in other words, because f— this s—).