This post was inspired by Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, a novel that exposes the gothic underbelly of an American dynasty, and an outsider’s hunger to belong. Join From Left to Write on May 20 we discuss Bittersweet. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
Imagine if someone told you to be someone else. Or, better yet, someone thought you weren't good enough "as-is" and asked you to change to fit it....or maybe, slightly more disconcerting, you thought you weren't good enough to be/have/do something and wanted to change.
Have you ever experienced that? No need to answer out loud - it's a very private thing and I get that you're not shouting it atop the mountain especially if you're not happy with the answer. Well, I've personally had moments as a kid when I didn't feel like I belonged or fit in, and it was rough. I had the opportunity to read this book by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore and it was laced with so many coming-of-age themes and everyday perils that even the most confident and swan-like of us can face from time to time. I believe the moment at which you cease to want to be yourself, you are in danger.
As I reflect upon those uncomfortable moments as a kid, there are a few saving graces that I happily recount: (1) they were moments in time, not long stretches or periods; (2) in those moments, what brought me out were relying on what I heard/learn/remembered from my family; (3) I got to see and use each moment as a step stone for reinforcing "me"; and (4) I did want "out" of those moments but I never wanted to be anyone else but myself. I share not to say I'm great and you're not but so that you know you're not alone and in those quiet, painful moments, you can prevail....just like Mabel Dagmar (or me).
Check out the book, Bittersweet on amazon.com ~ the almost 400-page book will keep you glued to your seat! I sooo see this being made into a movie!