Dear Rainbow Rowell,
A few short months ago I read Eleanor and Park and to a girl who has always questioned what people see in her to make them like her this was simply the best book to read. I formed a bond with Eleanor and her struggle to understand Park’s love for her because can it really be that simple?
While I would love to spend my entire blog talking about Eleanor and Park (another day) I wish to tell you why I wanted to cry when I read the first chapter of Fan Girl.
I want to cry because I am Cath. I am the girl who would rather hide in her room than face a cafeteria full of people she doesn’t know. I struggle with anxiety. It’s more than just thinking about the future, classes, paying bills, no it is an everyday struggle. When I walk into a room full of people all I see is a thousand eyes staring at me whether they are or not and most of the time they aren’t. It is being fearful of every action you make and then thinking about what you did wrong for hours afterwards. It is telling people you have too much homework to do because you are too scared to go out and meet new people. I am the quite girl in the corner because I cannot hear beyond the beating of my own heart.
I was that scared little freshman desperately trying to fit in, but finding myself hiding in my dorm room alone. Classes were my saving grace because without them I don’t think I could have made myself leave my room. It was my safety net and it was slowly killing me. I found myself wandering down a path I promised myself I would never return to and I knew I needed a change. I moved out of the dorms at Christmas break and started fresh spring semester. I made new friends and worked on controlling my anxiety.
Not that the anxiety has dramatically improved. I transferred this last semester to CSC and the whole way from home to my new dorm I felt like my heart was being squeezed and my stomach was going to churn until I had to throw up. I was so exhausted from being nervous, scared, and anxious all day that I fell asleep early that night.
It has been a long journey from the dark days of eighth grade when I felt that I had no one to now. I am still shy, I still get anxious in large crowds, but I am discovering a new me. A girl who is brave despite the fact she still wakes up in the middle of the night heart pounding, blood pumping and desperately wondering if I will ever feel normal. I am discovering that I like sitting in my room, watching Netflix and cross-stitching. If I want to go out I’ll go out, but if I want to stay in I will and that is ok. It’s taken me since eighth grade to be comfortable with who I am but it’s never too late to start.
I am excited to see where Cath’s journey takes her. I am excited to laugh with her, share her struggles, and enjoy some fanfic because what kind of world would this be without fandoms?