Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?

Posted by Lizzie on Monday, April 13, 2009
Ryan's getting on my case about the fact that I haven't updated in a month. This is my formal apology: I'm sorry.

It's true that the only way to fight inconsistency is to force yourself to be consistent. I'll do better, I promise. Especially now that school is almost over. There will be more time for the important things.

And it's not like I don't have blog ideas. I have 10 blog ideas a day because my head spins with thoughts. I just never get around to doing anything about them.

Anyway, the topics that seems to be occupying all my thoughts today are those of life and death. Which are very broad topics. And I have no idea what I'd say about life and death at this point. Other than a summarization of the heart to heart that my sister and I had yesterday pertaining to events on Friday and Saturday. I really can't reiterate this enough: Listen to each other. You can gain a great deal of perspective just by talking to someone. Sometimes you're the one with the broken heart. Sometimes they are.

Boo. Already this blog is very unfocused and vague and confusing and I'm just rambling. Which is why I'm not actually blogging about life and death.

Instead I'll blog about being 21. Or at least being Liz at 21.

(This is probably going to be confusing as hell anyway.)

I'm grown up. I did it in a day. People say that you can't do it in a day, but I did. Maybe I'm not all the way grown up in the sense that I haven't reached full-fledged adulthood, but I've grown out of being a kid. I'm out of the premature quarter-life crisis and I've made it to the happy safe zone before the impending real quarter-life crisis. The calm before the storm?

Anyway, this is partially related to life and death, I guess. Well, it started with death.

After talking with Mary about death things, I realized that I feel like I've done enough that I could die right now knowing that I did something with my life. But I'm only 21. And if I'm feeling this way at such a young age, who knows what the fuck I can actually do. It's weird to feel accomplished at 21. Everything from here on out is just bonus accomplishment. Superfluous accomplishment.

And it's not the kind of accomplishment that's related to school or tangible success. It has to do with people. I feel like I've done good for people on some level. Not that I'm a hero or anything. Because I'm not. I've let a lot of people down. And I haven't done as much as I could have. But it was something.

I guess it just makes me realize that I know what I have to be. And it has nothing to do with the conventional sort of aspirations that most people kind of adopt, I guess. When I was trying to explain all this to Mary, I couldn't think of any way to say it other than I felt like Holden when he's talking about catching kids in the rye. I have to catch people and make sure they're ok.

I guess I'm 21 and I've learned the hard way too many times and lost too many people to not have a decent amount of life understanding and I can use that to help other people. Not that I'm the expert. I still have 60 more years to learn. But I feel that I've already done something even if it was small because I've gained knowledge of some kind and I've put it to good use. I've lived and learned and now I can be better.

And I was pursuing what I needed to do when I didn't even know that it's what I needed to do. Which is proof, I think, that it's who I am.

We're all trying to figure out where we belong in life and what we should be doing and what we want. And I think I feel content and accomplished and satisfied to the point that I know where I belong and what I should be doing and what I want. It's not a specific plan or career choice, but it's who I have to be. And everything else will come together accordingly. Because nothing else really matters as long as I am this.

It's an strange realization when you discover that you were doing something worthwhile when you didn't feel like you were doing anything worthwhile at all.

Maybe maturity is coming up with some kind of definition of what worthwhile means to you.

So, to sum up in a far less confusing way with the help of J.D. Salinger, this is what I am on the 7954th day of my life:

"You know that song 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'? I'd like--"
"It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!" old Phoebe said. "It's a poem. By Robert Burns."
"I know it's a poem by Robert Burns."
She was right, though. It is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye." I didn't know it then, though.
"I thought it was 'If a body catch a body,'" I said. "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around--nobody big, I mean--except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."



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