The Perks of This Story

Most of you have probably read, or seen the movie adaptation, of Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s a story that has affected countless teens in countless ways. Instead of posting a book recommendation about it, I felt like sharing how it captured me and the change it made to my life.
I recently came across a journal entry from when I first read the book in 2011, when I was in grade eleven (or junior year for the Americans). Here is insight about how I used to feel:

I finished reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower today and I was left speechless. I love the book and I was definitely moved by it, but I donʼt really know how Iʼm supposed to feel. The main character, Charlie, is an introvert who doesnʼt know what itʼs like to have friends. Then he meets two seniors, Patrick and Sam, and they take him under his wing and show him what itʼs like to be happy. One thing Charlie says in the beginning is that he needs to participate. Participate. Simple as that. That stuck with me because it’s how I feel. Sometimes I feel lonely and friendless and I know the cure to this is to participate. Invite someone to hang out, go to a party, join a club! If you want to make your life interesting you canʼt just sit around surfing the internet, feeling bad for yourself. If you want to have a life full of happiness you need to live it. Easier said then done though. I wish participation was as easy as one word, but itʼs not. I tell myself constantly “tomorrow youʼre going to do this (talk to your crush, ask someone to hangout, etc.), no excuses, it is good for you”. No matter how much I convince myself nothing bad could come from it, I back out. Fear takes over. Okay then, “be fearless”. Another thing easier said than done. Donʼt get me wrong, I take risks. Last year I joined drama class and got a big role in the school play. That was huge! But Iʼm not taking enough risks to fulfill my potential. 

I was never fully content with my high school friendships. I lived my life vicariously through the TV shows and movies I watched. The friend groups portrayed on the screen were ones I wish I had. I remember when I finally saw the movie, it further pointed out something that made me sad. A thought stuck with me; they had the type of friendship I longed for. Their group has issues and quirks about them, not pretending to be perfect. Most friends hide their flaws from each other, but in Perks they let it all out there, accepted one another, and had fun. They became so close and went on the best adventures together. As Charlie, the main character, pointed out, the key is to be present in life and have friends to be present with.

I was hoping to finally find that in University, and oddly enough it happened. I found a group of friends and life became an adventure. A great amount of firsts occurred and I saw the world in a whole new light. I felt free to put myself out there and be rebellious, while staying true to my morals. We looked past our flaws and were willing to have a good time. It’s funny, when Charlie joins the group, Sam welcomes him to “the island of misfit toys” … and somewhere along the line, someone ended up calling our group the Misfits

I will note that I no longer hangout with people from that group (it was for the best), and I’ve since formed new groups, but the Misfits got me out of my comfort zone and I am forever grateful for my first year of university with them. I am no longer a shy girl who’s afraid of approaching a cute boy, making new friends, or being the first one on the dance floor. I put life in my own hands and take the necessary risks to live a happy life. I am proud of who I’ve become and barriers I’ve overcome.

(This is part of the GML Blogging Challenge – Day 2 ‘Something You’re Proud Of’)

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