Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Paper Girl

So I recently read a book that stuck with me in a weird way. Paper Towns by John Green. I don't think the point of his story was for me to relate to Margo. She's the girl who runs away and her friends spend the entire book trying to find. But I did relate to her... more than I wanted to. You see she described her city as a Paper Town. And she was a Paper girl.

Two dimensional, shallow, insignificant, grow up and get married and have babies kind of life. The kind of town filled with subdivisions, and suburban life, and soccer moms and kids who are content to live their life the same way week in and week out. Year after year. Until they look back at 50 and all they can see is a routine that never changed and the people they never became.
I've been there. I've been Margo. I am Margo still, in a sense. I don't want that cookie cutter life. I never did; I knew it back in high school. I should have taken a bigger risk at 18. I should have done something about it when I had a chance to break the strings that tied me to this life and this city.
But unlike Margo, I can't just leave. Unfortunately I give too many fucks about my life now to truly rebuild myself by leaving.

So I have to go about it a little bit at a time. I have to make time to ditch the paper girl and become more than what I am. I need to find myself.

And as she let go, she learned forgiveness.
As she fell, she learned to stand.
As she broke down the walls, she learned love.
As she broke, she learned strength.
As she learned, she found herself.


  1. I just finished Paper Towns yesterday and had very similar thoughts to you about feeling 2 dimensional. I didn't like Margo, or relate to her on any level, except I felt for her when she said she felt stuck. That she couldn't go back because it'd just be too easy to fall back into who she was. Unlike Margo, I can't just pick up and leave as I have a life and like you, give too many fucks about my life, but I always think about ways to make myself happier, to feel unstuck in the place I know I can't leave. I'm getting there, day by day. You will, too.

  2. That sounds like a really interesting read. I kind of grew up thinking I was more like Margo (from what you describe anyway) than I actually really am. I kind of always knew that a cookie cutter life wasn't for me, but at the same time, it was scary to really step outside of that. It took me a long time to figure out that I could take a different path, maybe backtrack even, and that that was okay. It really wasn't until I started to accept that that I really started to figure out who I am. I've spent a lot of the last couple years feeling like I should have taken bigger risks at 18 (like the ones I'm now taking at 25+), but at the same time, I don't know that I'd be where I am if I had taken them to begin with.

  3. Preach, sister! I agree whole heartedly. Reading it, I didn't expect to understand Margo the way I did. I got the 'being stuck', 'being afraid of never changing'.

  4. Sounds like a great book. I despise any sense of being stuck which just makes me restless. I bore easily and at times never feel content.

  5. I know exactly what you mean when you say you feel like Paper Girl. I have always referred to my town as a black hole, you want so bad to get out but even when you do you find your way back. John and I will joke about picking up and moving, but we have too much holding us back and keeping us here. I hate it.

  6. I need to read this. But I so hear you... I wish I'd gambled more, and been a little bit stupider, when I was younger and could have gotten away with it. But having to "grow up" really young made it impossible to look at certain decisions with anything other than crystal-clear logic and concern for "the future." Luckily I've built a life I love off the decisions I did make, and I'm smarter and able to take different kinds of risks now, and I don't think my life is cookie cutter or conventional, but man.. I wonder sometimes.