Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Help Helped Me

Startling Confession #1: I have a serious aversion to history. (Yes, it's weird that I like English and not history

     That being said, when a book starts with a date more than 10 years ago I'm never too thrilled. I tried to set my aversion aside for The Help by Kathryn Stockett mostly because I'm a sucker for the South. And I am proud to say I made it through all 444 pages through which I laughed and cried...a few times. Though I started with this blog in mind, I didn't really have a question to answer. I've been feeling something missing in my life, but I assumed it was school. No answer needed there.

     So, I made it through the book and started reading the author's comments at the end called "Too Little, Too Late." She talks all about her inspiration for writing the book and her own experiences living in the South as a child. And all of a sudden my heart was pounding, my mind was racing, and I swear I could hear the neurons zipping through my head. I frantically pulled up Microsoft Word, opened my senior paper and started reading---editing. 

     If you're smart and you know me, you're saying "WAIT! You already turned that paper in...and graduated!" That's exactly what I realized 3 pages in...I was so caught up in my rush that I'd forgotten to be logical. Confused, my heart calmed a little and a second realization hit. "This is what's missing."

     The question I needed answered this week was "What excites me?" And this is what excites me: reading something and understanding that it serves a higher purpose, that it can change something or, even better, someone. When I understand that higher purpose in my life, I feel a thrill and then a calm. Reading gives me the reassurance that everything will be alright.

     If you've read The Help, you know that's exactly why the characters write their own book. Because they had faith that it could create change. And it does....for the three main characters and many more.

     I extend the same question to all of you: What excites you? It's so different for everyone. Maybe it's raising your family or being a rocket scientist or making giant fortresses out of laundry baskets. Whatever it is, it's worth doing. If you don't know what excites you, find out. Then, do it. It may not make you loads of money or even be convenient or easy (see laundry basket fortress). But your life will be rather dull and empty without it. 

(Apology: Sorry I didn't do a great job at summing up this book. It really is a great read!)
My favorite phrases from the book

Aibileen: "Maybe I ought to keep writing"
Miss. Skeeter: "Please, please let some good come out of this"
Aibileen: "Go find your life"
Brittany: Thank you, ladies, for speaking my thoughts. 

Writing Songs: "Sandcastles" by Kate Voegele and "Wait and See" by Brandon Heath

1 comment:

  1. You know what excites me? Reading your blog posts! I do know what you mean, though, about reading a book and suddenly realizing how hugely significant it is in your life. That kind of revelation didn't start happening to me until my senior year at SVU, while reading Henry James. Somewhere along Peter Brench or Isabel Archer's journey, it hit me: "THIS is why I'm an English major!" 'Cause you know me, I'm the worst English major ever when it comes to liking what I'm reading. I had never connected with the literature like that before. Now it happens more often, and it's so exciting!