After reading Papertowns, here’s what I thought or felt (whichever):

All of us wanted to be found. Whether we are ready to be found or not is yet another question. And there’s a beautiful difference between finding yourself in the process and being found by others afterwards. And that’s why we needed to take a day off and go to our Osprey’s (John Green reference, using this as metaphor: the place where we can be ourselves and think through life and stuff) just to gain enough courage before we head on to a journey which will require us leaving – temporarily or for good – or staying. In the aftermath, we’ll know if we’ve picked the right or wrong decision. In the aftermath, we’ll realize that getting it right or wrong was not really the whole point. This is our lives, we had been given choices. And we can make mistakes. Terrible ones. But we had to live this life in the hopes of moving forward into a future where our mistakes and our continents of Good and Bad experiences contribute significantly to our growth and humanness.

Maybe this whole ride is meant for us to enjoy the drive, the Bluefins, the GoFast bars, the fourth food group which does not include Crackers but Apples, the friend-peeing-in-beer-cans-inside-the-minivan-before-throwing-the-bottle-on-the-side-of-the-road because that has been his role all this time: the “needing to pee” friend, the Metaphysical I Spy and (all) the John Green references you wouldn’t care about because you have not read the book and how it explained that we should be careful in choosing metaphors because it matters.

The amazing thing about being broken is the truth that you are not the only one who’s falling apart. Everyone comes to a breaking point. And the breaking point allows us to see each other as they are. Not as what we imagined them to be. And the breaking point allows us to find ourselves. And it allows us to find others. And sometimes, that’s enough. The moment of getting found was enough. And when you look back, it’s not like you’ve figured everything out. It’s just like you were allowed to breathe. It’s just like you allowed yourself to breathe. And that you are still broken but you are breathing.

We got this whole life and I bet, it’s not gonna be enough to understand everything, but at least we go out there and keep trying. Even when we’re broken, kind of stupid, overly optimistic and very human.

Like, each of us starts out as a watertight vessel. And these things happen — these people leave us, or don’t love us, or don’t get us, or we don’t get them, and we lose and fail and hurt one another. And the vessel starts to crack open in places. Once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable. But there is all this time between when the cracks start to open up and we finally fall apart. And it’s only in that time that we can see one another, because we see out of ourselves through our cracks and into others through theirs. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.

-John Green, Papertowns

Alaska and the Stars: An Afterthought

I’ve always wanted to write down (in the blog) what I felt after I read The Fault in Our Stars back in January but I never had the time. I always wanted to write about Looking For Alaska which I read last year but as you can see, that I wasn’t able to do also. Boo. But let me try to change all of that today. :)

The Fault in Our Stars
Note: What you are about to read is the very emotions that I had right after I finished the last page of the book. There are some spoilers here, you’ve been warned. Also, if you haven’t read the book, READ it.

Hazel’s dad kept saying that the universe wanted to be noticed; and that it would push itself to be noticed. Hazel, on the other, wanted the universe to notice them for once. She had been noticing the universe far too long.

I don’t know but it was in a way that it somehow looked unfair from their side that they felt love, and they were in love, but they were sick as hell and either one is healthier than the other or vice versa. They were in a path woven for each other but could never meet the ends. It will cross but it will pass straight the other direction. And I kind of think that it was unfair too.

It was.

However, this life isn’t all about us. Never is and never was. Sometimes we’re too succumbed by our own miseries that we feel that the world owe us something; that we don’t deserve to be treated any less; that we should always get what we worked hard for. But no. Until we learn to notice the universe, to give attention to what is far more important, we wouldn’t know that this, this life is more than just us. There is Someone Somewhere doing Some things greater (actually, all things) for each of us if we let it. Capital S.

We are in a universe where as much as we wanted it to notice us, it won’t. Until we see the bigger picture that we are only a part of Something greater, we won’t fully surrender. We got our own infinities and it can surpass other infinities and this world is gonna turn, it will, either up or down. It won’t care if we are hanging tight or letting loose. Try to see it in a new light, try to appreciate whatever it brings to the table, try to scratch off the idea that it is indebted to you. It is not.

Feel all the pain, the joy, the sorrows, the overwhelming peace. Feel the universe. Let your eyes see it. And whatever comes and whatever goes, may you find the courage to believe that Someone made it and you are only a part of it but even so, even there is so much more in life and the world you are in, Someone made you also matter. But sometimes you just got to see the bigger picture.

There is.

If not for their current health situation (Hazel and Augustus); if not for their paths that will cross, will meet but won’t stay too long – at least for life on earth – I think they won’t understand love in the way they did. At a young age, they got brave souls. They got that heart, the You Can Never Explain In Words kind of heart. They felt everything. They were everything. And I think they’re infinite, present tense.

Also. I don’t think there’s any fault in the way their stars were drawn. Yes, it wasn’t a And They Lived Happily Ever After because Hazel lived, yes, but Augustus died. But true love don’t die, does it? Even memory sometimes forgets, the heart will never seek to delete something it felt so genuinely pure and true as that of true love. The stars had crossed but at the time it met in the middle; that, they have. That, they keep. Keep in their hearts.

Praises for John Green’s rawness!

***

Looking For Alaska
When I read this book a year ago, this was my first encounter on how raw the story of a writer such as John Green could be. Unlike Fault, I wasn’t able to write down what I had felt after reading it and that was a major mistake. I could’ve caught myself saying something more fluid than what I could say now. (See kids, if you felt you got to write something down ((an idea, concept, poem, story)) you better write it down immediately. That’s the formula in writing.)

We all living under different stories in life. When we welcome people inside, when we invest on them, we experience something more magical. We see our life in a new light just like Pudge when he met Chip and Alaska. Theirs was a story of finding their own Great Perhaps, exposing themselves to what it means to truly live, what could courage do to you, what could life offer and what offer you don’t refuse. Even when life will let you lose something/someone, when it blows land mine in front of your face, when you can’t take the grief anymore, you got to believe that there is a place that will be beautiful – where everything will be beautiful. But for the Now, I hope we are living, we are taking life in the open: ready to be loved, to fall in love, to fall down and get hurt, to lose someone, to meet someone, to grieve, to cry, to just feel. Let’s all find our Great Perhaps and let’s all have the courage to live it.

***

And now it’s time for bookmarks! Or in other words, the feels, those conversations, monologues or statements that really strike me – those that captured my core.

Note: This is super KADUPER long. Again don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you. But if you’ll continue to read, it will be amazing. John Green’s words are wonderfully crafted and written.

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