Literary Role Models

Today is moving day. I’ve been diligently working since 7 am, and at the moment, my room looks like a disorganized ikea warehouse that had a shipment of sporting goods explode. As usual, I have no idea what day of the week it is (fish don’t care about days of the week), but my freshly issued parking ticket tells me its monday, and street sweeping day! In short its been a day … at its only 10 am.

Feeling a little defeated I decided to eat breakfast, take a shower, and try to de-stress – which obviously left me sitting at my laptop writing instead of packing.  So while I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror braiding my hair. (Whenever I do anything active I have to put it in a french braid to keep it from becoming its own migratory bird habitat.) And I thought to myself, today I need some extra strength. So instead of braiding straight down the middle I turned to the side and tried out my best rendition of the Katniss Everdeen Braid. Looking at my new do, silly as it is, I felt better.

The other day I read a great quote, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.” I don’t know who said it, but its true. You could say that I derived strength from a fictional character today. But its more than that. Thinking about Katniss reminded me of the motivation and resilience to keep going, within myself. Because I read, I have so many memories of courage, victory, adventure and determination. I connect with the characters because they help me see the best sides of myself. Just as every kid wanted to be superman or attend Hogwarts growing up because they see themselves growing to be honest and good, avid readers connect with their characters because the actions within the story remind us of our own motivations, and aspirations. We all need role models, even as adults. Whatever keeps you going, be it a superhero t-shirt on casual friday, a coffee mug displaying your favorite spell or even a sideways braid down the back of your head.

I will wear my Katniss Everdeen braid proudly because I can totally handle this, a parking ticket, cheap furniture and some moving boxes can’t stop me. I’m an adventurer going to the Bearing Sea, with a library of literary role models.

PS I’m still planning on being Katniss Everdeen when I grow up.


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