Posts tagged ‘hope’

January 1st, 2011

Choose You

by Madeleine Rex

I read this post of Libba Bray’s tonight, recommended by my friend, Audrey. It’s past midnight, and my parents are telling me to go to sleep. I replied with a sincere, “I will when my brain stops clinking around.”

While reading, I tweeted this:

MadeleineRex I am so grateful for parents & counselors & church leaders that believe I can do anything, that hand me the tools to paint whatever I want.

And I am so very grateful. You see, despite the fact that I’m throwing “I love you”s left and right and do try to smile a majority of the time, I’m a tough person to live with. I know this. It’s one of those things that is strictly undeniable. I cry – a lot. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad. I cry at least once a day. Quite honestly, it’s a crucial part of my healing process.

I’m easily afraid that someone’s disappointed in me. I’m defensive and indignant. I always, and I mean always, have something to say. I’m overly anxious, and some little bird told me that I tend to push myself too hard.

And, yet, miraculously, there are all these people who stick around. These people who support me, believe in me, flatter me just enough but aren’t afraid to give advice. They know that I have potential for a lot of things – mistakes included. These people – my family, school counselors, church leaders, and other friends – happen to be my nourishment. They supply me with my Daily Values (based on a 2,000 calorie diet) of cheer, love, advice, support, and painful-but-necessary-growth. The arguments I get in – particularly those I am the cause of – are crucial. Every time I say sorry and every time I don’t serves as a life lesson.

I’m grateful for the people who shove me into a pool of ice water (even if I might yell at them). I’m grateful for the people that pull me out. I am grateful for the people who hand me a towel and say, “Next time, maybe the water will be a little bit warmer.”

I’m sorry for those teens around the world who aren’t as fortunate as I, that are seriously lacking in their Daily Values. Those kids who have people shoving them into ice water for all the wrong reasons. Whose water never gets warmer, and who are forced to claw their own way out and wipe themselves down with a washcloth. I hope for their sakes that someone will come into their life who will drastically alter it for the better. I hope for their sake that even if no one comes for a really long time, they’ll have the inner strength and resilience to keep moving on anyway – that their love for themselves will be sufficient.

I have so many dreams. I have ambitions. I want to be a stay-at-home-mom-editor-of-books-who-writes-on-the-side, even if that might be as impossible as a singer-rock-star-guitar player-who-also-juggles-and-flies-airplanes. I want to get an MFA. I want to exceed my own expectations and push myself harder. I know for a fact that I can only get so far – that I am, in fact, not invincible and am not talented in all areas (Goodness, no). But while I am wholeheartedly in love with literature, writing, writers – this fantastic world that is most certainly the one I belong in, I don’t want to confine myself. I don’t want to limit my potential or my knowledge-base. It’s not right to underestimate ourselves, our value to the world, or the effect we can have. It’s so very wrong to say “when” even though the glass is only two-thirds full simply because you’re afraid that someone will knock it over.

I hope that teens will aspire, dream, work hard, find their niche, and encounter people along the way who will prove to be invaluable and incredible. I want no one to live life contently in a 4×4 box. There are so many possibilities, so many holes in this world that need to be filled – holes shaped just like you. Somewhere in the future there is a happy, smarter, vivacious you – a you who will face troubles and loads of crap, but will always bounce back, whether because you’ve clawed yourself out or someone gave you a hand. There’s also a you who has limited his or herself, who has accepted a less satisfactory condition, and that you is the one you want to avoid.

So, while I’m out-of-this-world lucky to have people who love me and want to see me succeed – who say “when” and not “if,” but also manage to keep my head from entirely losing itself in the clouds, who are always there to say what needs to be said or not (both teach equally important lessons) – and I might seem like the most ridiculous person to try to give advice, I have to sum this up and say one thing:

Choose the truest version of you. Always choose the path that leads to a better you, the you that is kinder, wiser, remarkable, beyond all comparison. This you will influence the world for good and stretch the boundaries of This Cannot Be Done. This you will inspire, and this you will be happier. This, despite the corny, sappy-movie-ness of it, is the you that you are meant to be. You were born with a potential to wreak havoc on people’s expectations, to wow and to uplift, and you were given the means (though it might be deep inside) to meet that potential.

December 26th, 2010

Five Challenge: Hopes for YA in 2011

by Madeleine Rex

First, a reminder: I’m participating in Persnickety Snark’s Five Challenge. For the remainder of the year, I’ll post 5 books daily that were the greatest in whatever category. Today’s is 5 Hopes for YA in 2011.

  1. I hope that more people will do what I did back in January – “convert to the YA faith” – and quit considering it as inferior literature, instead seeing it as a source of nutrition for teens and adults. YA has changed people’s visions, inspired them, and taught them valuable lessons, all in a relatable and remarkably honest way. I simply hope that more people will realize this.
  2. I hope that YA literature will improve. Though I love it and write it – heck, I nearly live it – I do believe there’s room for improvement. There always is. We could use more books that, though not preachy, have an implied message. We could also use more books that are uplifting. Not to mention the fact that there are always audiences that need to be reached through specific channels that we have not gone through yet.
  3. I hope that YA will continue to thrive and prosper. The market has simply boomed. I’m so glad when I see the huge YA section at my library (at least in comparison to the other sections). I don’t really mind being the 322ned person with a hold on a book because the mere thought of 322 other people reading it is splendid. I love that my Borders has a beautiful YA section. I love that there are so many YA book blogs. And though it’s all so grand already, I like to think that this is only the beginning.
  4. I hope that young adult literature will affect people’s pasts, presents, and futures. I hope that it will continue to guide, strengthen, and empower teens. I hope that more and more inspiring and admirable characters will spring to life and teach lessons through the sheer force of their personalities and adventures.
  5. I hope that I’ll keep reading and writing YA, that it will continue to effect and brighten my life, and that I will be able to promote and support it… And I hope that my writer and blogger friends will do so, too.

What are your dreams for your favorite genre, whether it be YA or not?