I haven’t finished a movie on my own in over a year. Maybe two years, or even longer. I hate movie theaters and I avoid Netflix. You may be thinking, “Oh, that’s because you’re a reader, right?” …except I haven’t finished a book in over a month. I either start and give up or never begin at all – and I hadn’t really been thinking about why this was until I watched this movie.
I’ve been so obsessed with not labeling anything as “good” or “bad” that I refused to consume any media at all. I became legitimately fearful that stories wouldn’t be what I wanted, so I just cut them out of my life. It’s not that I’m doing anything exciting in the meantime – I’m writing stories. Short snippets of romance, paranormal novels, sci-fi/fantasy YA mashups –
Anyone’s story but my own, right?
That’s the thing I realized watching Lara Jean. I related a little too intensely to this character: introverted, nervous, dedicated to family, friends, and fiction… and scared to drive. That’s me, isn’t it? I’ve become obsessed with defining lines and then coloring inside of them.
Well, now I’m headed to grad school in under a month, and I’m sick of being scared. I want to live my life. As Andrea Gibson once said, “In the end, I want my heart to be covered in stretch marks.” I want to write my own story, to live it. I want to find the magic in every day – I’m realizing that magic isn’t fictional, it just looks different in real life. It doesn’t have to involve dragons and warlocks – it might be just as wonderful to see a city’s lights right after sunset with your friends, or laughing so hard you almost pee, or listening to your favorite album with someone who’s never heard it before – or never heard it with you before.
Yes, there will be pain on this path if I do it with my whole heart. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take. This way, if I choose this path, I will know that I’m doing everything in my power to seek joy.
It’s never too late to start fresh. I don’t really know if I’m 100% ready, but I know I’ll be getting on that plane September 14th, and I’ll just have to take a deep breath and gulp down my fears and say, “Yes!”
Thank you to my family, who has always encouraged me to go for it. I know that I will have a warm hug waiting for me in America when I get back for the holidays. And thank you Jenny Han, for writing a story that has inspired me to live my own.