2/13/2018 Turtles All The Way Down

It is early, like 3:45 am. I am up making beignets because it is Fat Tuesday, and the coworkers love donut things, and I love to make the coworkers happy, because it makes me happy for them to be happy. Do you ever get dressed in the dark? Fumbling around like an idiot, so the light doesn’t wake that other person in the house. It’s not that you really care if your light wakes them up, it’s just that you want to bestow on them this courtesy, that maybe they don’t for you. I did this morning, and ended up face planting in my bedroom closet.

Someone stopped me in the kitchen at work yesterday and said "OMG every book you have been reading is perfect. I see your pictures on Instagram, and I want to read everything you are reading." I made it a very quick point to tell them that I only post relevant quotes from books I read, on Instagram; and that just because a quote is relevant, does not mean the entire book is. I am fairly sure that this was not the response she was expecting. I just don’t think enough people -really- read anymore, everyone just wants a pretty picture. But hey, I really like Instagram, and these people do not know about my blog, thank goodness.

I will say that it has been uncanny how everything that I have read these last few months, have been very relevant reads. But, when you think about it, isn’t everything that you choose to have an interaction with somehow relevant? I don’t mean you have to relate 100% to the situation you are in, but we don’t generally, purposely, put ourselves in situations that do not qualify as a relevant. I don’t even know where I was going with that.

I finished Turtles All The Way Down last night, and it left me feeling something that I cannot explain. I have to be very careful in regards to the things I chose to read and listen to. I tend to ruminate far too long on things that I find significant, and that can be very unhealthy mentally. Turtles All The Way Down, although I gave it 5 stars on GoodReads, was probably not a good idea for me to read at all. I found myself underlining, dog-earing, and marking up every couple of pages. Then I would go back in my journal and write them down again, so I didn't forget. I started this book, got four chapters in, had a breakdown, then put it down for two days. Then, after a strong demonstration of willpower and determination on my part, I picked it back up. I am no quitter. I got to chapter ten, and did the same thing again. I only lasted 8 hours this break though, and dug in for the finish. I finished the book last night at 11:45pm. All I will say about finishing is that I feel empty and full at the same time. Funny how we can fully relate to things and people that are completely out of our spectrum.

This was not a love story at all. This was not a mystery, or science fiction. It was just a book about a girl, that so many of us, men and women, boys and girls, can relate to. Aza is all of us, Davis is all of us. Aza is highly intelligent, struggles with anxiety over germs and microbes, is constantly worrying about infections, and repeatedly re-opens a callus on her finger in an effort to drain out what she believes are pathogens. This form of self-injury that she performs, almost religiously, is the way she copes with life's difficulties, and emotional pain. I feel like this book brings to light a lot of the mental health issues that people are so afraid to outwardly talk about. Her reopening that callus is equal to any cutter in the bathroom with a razor blade, or a bulimic person in the pantry shoving Oreos down their throat, then going and throwing up; or being addicted to people or codependency. Davis is battling his own demons, but is a poet, and there he finds the beauty in his demons.

​There is a line in the book, that when I read it, I was moved to trembling and I am not kidding. If you have ever had an internal struggle, then you will understand why. It was on page 203:

"It's so weird, to know you're crazy and not be able to do anything about it, you know? It's not like you believe yourself to be normal. You know there is a problem. But you can't figure a way through to fixing it. Because you can’t be sure, you know?"

That dialogue, between Aza and Davis, when they are our laying under the stars, is probably one of the most profound things I read in this entire book. John Green has captured what so many of us are thinking, and cannot put into words; and has put it into words. When you are intelligent enough to know that something is very wrong, but maybe you also do not know how to address it. You think you can manage it internally, on your own. But really, you cannot.

I will not read this book again, simply because I feel like it would almost be masochistic, and unhealthy for me. But, it is wonderful, and full of so many wonderful things. It is ironic, it is wonderful, it is straight and it is sincere.

​I am going to start a Frank Turner book now, because I need a break from all this relevance.

Davis's Blog Entry "The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."--William James "I don't know what superpower William James enjoyed, but I can no more choose my own thoughts, than choose my own name."--Davis