Friday, January 11, 2013

Perks and Me

Last night I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

In my head, I have sooo much to say about the awesomeness of the book and movie, but I still can't find the words to express it.  I read the book in high school after one of my friends suggested it.  I want to say it was... maybe 11th grade or so.

The main character, Charlie, resonated with me SO strongly.  Maybe it's the anxiety of being new or the feeling that you are so different from those around you or maybe it's the creeping realization that no one notices you.  There were so many moments while watching the movie that I couldn't help but to think back to my experience in high school.  Luckily for me, I had a couple friends that stuck after middle school.  My high school was a trade school, so we all had to pick 'shops' to study.  I chose Visual Communications which was the "artsy" shop with illustration classes and layout design and sign making.  There was a 'joke' around the school that whenever you saw anyone weird (spiked/dyed hair, JNCO pants, crazy make-up, etc) or even the quiet out-liers like me, they were most likely in VisComm.  We oddballs tended to band together like that.

So I had people. I had friends.

That's not to say that I never walked into the cafeteria and didn't feel that snake of anxiety squeeze the air out of me while trying to figure out where to sit.  I'm almost 27 and still feel that way in settings like that.  Charlie was like a concentrated version of all the hard things about HS life.  He was very real.  I felt (while reading the book and watching the movie) that we would've been friends.

Unlike Charlie, I haven't had any friends commit suicide.  I have had too many suicidal friends.  That could be another reason his story is so close to me.  I remember having to be "the strong one" for a friend who was in and out of psych hospitals.  She would come back to school with cuts down her wrists... the 'right' way.  I still remember how she'd look.  Hollow eyes. One day I walked out of class and cried in the hallway because I couldn't fix her. My history teacher came out and told me that he knew it was hard on me, but I had to be strong for her because she can't hold herself up.  I took that in.  And I've been that person ever since then.  Always trying to be the strong one... holding everyone up.  But I digress... Charlie felt everyone's pain. He saw people for what they were. Behind the masks we create.  He knew what it was to want to fix everyone... to save everyone, but he also learned that he couldn't.  I guess I'm still learning that.

I love this character so much because while he is an illustration of the horrible parts of growing up and some really effed up things happen to him, he works his way through.

"And in that moment, I swear, we were infinite."
He said he felt infinite.  And to someone that knows how finite life really is, that statement, right there is perfect.


  1. Love this Post! have to go see the movie

    1. It's at the dollar theater behind walmart :)

  2. You got me curious... just requested the book from the library. :)

  3. I want to read this so bad now! Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. It's amazing. I hope you really like it :) and thanks for stopping by!

  4. I'm so glad you suggested this book to me. It was UH-MAZING! I've connected with students through this and I've been able to examine my life as an "outlier" through a new lens. It makes me want to be there for the Charlie's of the world, and be that teacher he had for someone. I will be going to see this sooooon.


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