I love to read. I sometimes talk to myself in random accents. I appreciate good grammar. 80’s music makes me happy. Weird movies are my favorite. I am stronger than people give me credit for. I like to spend hours inside book stores. I am a goofball. I have a weak spot for romantic comedies. I enjoy shopping at thrift stores. I like to watch Disney movies. I play No Doubt music loud and ride around with the windows down. I love hiking and swimming and camping. I dream out loud. I am a neat freak. I enjoy the simple things. I am obsessed with collecting autographed books. I am a nice person. I listen to audio books. I am deeply sentimental. I read other people’s favorite books so I can understand them. I suck at flirting. I think the jazz age was the best era in music. I always make up my bed in the morning. I like to cook. I enjoy historical facts. If I could live in any time period, it would be the Italian renaissance. The previews are my favorite part about going to the movies. I listen to the lyrics in a song. I’m a firm believer in shooting stars, eyelash wishes, and four-leaf clovers. I enjoy a good literary reference. I have tendency to be a dork. I am quirky. I live as if my life is a television show. I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I am turned on by good grammar. I randomly repeat movie lines in my normal daily conversation. I am an open book, but I’m written in a different language. I believe you can’t embarrass yourself if you don’t care what other people think. I always put too much of myself out there. I want to jump on the bed, make a fort out of blankets, stay up all night talking, and then eat cereal and watch morning television. I care too much. I enjoy watching meteor showers. I have a big heart that I wear on my sleeve. I like to listen to classical music with my eyes closed and make up a story in my head. I like to lie on the grass and watch clouds. I put an awful lot of thought into picking out gifts. I like to give than to receive. I look for personality instead of looks. I always say too much when I should say nothing at all. I am clumsy when I’m self-conscious. I get tongue-tied and easily flustered when I’m nervous. I am not as dumb or naïve as I can appear to be. My biggest fear is being a burden. I get scared easily while watching horror movies. I pay attention to detail. I am faithful. I worry too much and too often. I am skeptical about people’s intentions. I am respectful. I constantly tell myself never to have expectations. I am courteous. I cry during sad movies. I think it’s fun to play the game where you pretend the floor is lava and you have to jump from piece of furniture to the next. I want to be the exception instead of the rule. I have this inane phobia of falling with a backpack on and a pencil stabbing me. I am ticklish. I am happiest when I am writing. I snort when I laugh really hard. I am a morning person. I am a day person. I am a night person. I am a person. I am just me.
While I was driving, I started thinking about life. I realized that as much as I wished there was not some greater force in the universe, that we were the master of our fate, that we determine our own future...I can no longer bring myself to believe my ignorant delusions because some things are simply out of our hands.
At first, I exhaled a sigh of relief. My shoulders lightened as the burden of trying to control the uncontrollable lifted. Finally, I knew that I didn’t know.
I didn’t know what the future held. I didn’t know what would happen to me. I didn’t know what my life would be like tomorrow or a week or a month or a year. I didn’t know if I would live up to the precedent I’d set for myself. I didn’t know if I would be somebody or a nobody or anyone at all. I didn’t know anything.
Not knowing scared me terribly.
The first thought that popped in my head? Holden Caulfield.
I kept replaying his quote over and over in my head:
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.”
I couldn’t help but agree with Holden. I wished I was there to protect the innocence. I wished I could protect those who didn’t know what was coming. I wished I was the catcher in the rye.
For some reason, this scared me even more so. I started crying, and it grew difficult to breathe. I bled emotions; they started pouring forth from the expertly bottled-up depths of my soul.
I don’t have a point in sharing this. I wished I did though. If only a profane meaning shone gloriously from my epiphanies and fears and tears; however, there isn’t one. There rarely is a defining moment of gloriousness.
Most of the time, there is only truth.
And the truth is, I wished I was the catcher in the rye.
We tell ourselves those little, white lies to help us through the day. We tell ourselves we will be okay, we will be strong, we will not make the same mistake, we will be…something.
Sure, it’s a shame to lie to ourselves. It almost feels so wrong for it to feel so right, you know? Maybe we subconsciously know we can’t handle the truth. Maybe we are more aware than we lead ourselves to believe. Maybe, just maybe, we are as naïve as we hope we are.
After all, worry consumes us. We worry what will happen if we don’t live up to our lies. We constantly worry “what if?” until it eats away at our souls.
It’s called self-fulfilling prophecy. By telling ourselves we will be okay, we in turn strive to make it happen. That is just how we are hardwired as a whole.
See, lies get us by. I lie to myself all the time. I lie. There. I said it. I’m a big, fat liar. But you know what the best feeling in the world is? When those little, white lies turn themselves into truth.
Those are called goals. And I always reach my goals. I will be…everything I want to be.