So I read Paper Towns by John Green. I didn’t much care for Quentin so much as I did for Margo’s character. Maybe because I understood a part of myself in her.
“…you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town. …All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.”
I felt like that. Growing up in a small town, with the same people, where everyone knows your name. I was expected to do a sport, get straight A’s, go to college. And so was everybody else. We were all expected to do so much. Go to parties. Blah blah blah. But I just couldn’t. It never felt real.
“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
College was my out. Who cares what I’d be studying. I just wanted to be away from it all. The paper town without a future. While everyone was crying as their parents left, I didn’t even care. CYA. Harsh? Yea. But I was ready to leave. I always was.
“Did you know that the average life span was less than thirty years? There was no planning for retirement, There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for plannning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future–you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.”
That quote got to me. It embodies how I was raised to think, to live. And I’ve always tried so hard to go against the current. Never had a boyfriend. Quit cheerleading. And all of those things I did, I thought, “HA! I’M NOT GOING TO BECOME ALL OF YOU.” But in the end, I’m afraid I ended up hurting myself more.
I never wanted that cookie-cutter lifestyle. Yet, I’m here at college. A bit miserable. Lost and confused. As much as I want to escape all of this, I can’t. Every moment of my day is lived with the future in mind. One day I know I’ll wake up, void of all of these worries and frustrations I’m feeling now, and it’ll be good. It’ll be a good life. And sense will be made of it all.
“Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.”