Google+ Reading Teen: Life Lessons I Learned From Gayle Forman (and a Giveaway)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Life Lessons I Learned From Gayle Forman (and a Giveaway)

Hi ya'll I'm Meghann from Becoming Books! I'm 31, so it's kind of an awesome time in my life where I've had a lot of fun, been some pretty cool places and have had a little time to live and learn. I'm SURE there's more living and learning to do, equally as such. LOL! I love Gayle's writing, and I'll tell you why.... It's not the poetry of her words or the butterfly inducing romances, it's the way her stories reassure me that I'm human and I'm not alone. Every one of her books has reinforced this fact. For that, I am most grateful, it helps me feel better that I'm not just mucking up things over here but I'm human!

"A journey of 1,000 miles starts with just 10 digits." - Where She Went
Oh Adam *sigh* Now ya'll know this is soooo true! Sometimes you just need to pick up that phone, send that email, walk up to that person and say your piece. It's really hard to get one mile or a thousand without a beginning. Sometimes those 10 digits are applying to work at summer camp in Europe (AMAZING experience!), or sending that email to quit your first professional job for a journey to nowhere (also happened!). 

I'm teaching paper making to American Girl Scouts in Germany. 

"Sometimes the best way to find out what you’re supposed to do is by doing the thing you’re not supposed to do.” - Just One Day
I'll be honest with ya'll... I've made some poor decisions, but Gayle's words have my back. (I also only have one regret, pawning my saxophone senior year.) Sometimes you have to do some "not supposed to do" things to figure it out. Trust and believe sometimes I'm on "Plan J" before things start to click. Just try not to do anything felonious. :)  Side note: The idea that there's a set of things you're "supposed to do" is just kind of silly. Travel, get lost, sleep in a castle dining hall because you didn't book a hostel, drink wine while walking through Paris with a Finnish boy, miss your bus, and get dirty. You'll figure it all out, just keep exploring.

My sister and me (left) in Greece at the Acropolis in Athens. 

"Sometimes the wind blows you places you weren't expecting: sometimes it blows you away from those places, too.” - Just One Year
This was a hard one for me. Sometimes you have to know when to walk away and when to come back home. When I graduated from high school I just kind of took off. I went to college and did college stuff on my own. I grew, I got involved on campus, I had adventures and it was awesome. However, I kind of forgot I had a little sister who was left behind, and had to navigate high school and my parents divorce on her own. It was hard for her. Of course I didn't realize all of this until later, more on that in the next quote. However, after I graduated undergrad I was able to save up and take her to Greece, Italy and the UK for a couple of weeks. This was her first time out of the country and I'm so glad I was able to share this with her. Afterwards we've done a much better job at keeping in touch even if I'm so far from home! Our childhood and teen years may not have been perfect but we'll always have Greece. We're hoping the wind blows us back there!

"Forgivenesss: It's a miracle drug. It's God's miracle drug.” - I Was Here
THIS. ALL. OF. THIS. I'm not very religious but I'm a huge believer in forgiveness. It's good for the soul. When I was younger I used to think forgiveness was about someone else earning it, but really it's all about me giving it to me. I deserve forgiveness. It's a conversation with myself that we acknowledge the situation, have stored a lesson and are ready to move on. I find that as I get older the process of forgiveness is much quicker, I don't carry that weight with me and I'm happier. Life can be really long when you're carrying around all that guilt, regret and such. My favorite activity to do while going through my forgiveness is running/walking. Just total body cleanse, LOL! Does this mean I don't get mad? Heck no, I get upset every day, I cry every day (mostly happy/sad YouTube videos), and I go to bed with tons of forgiveness in my heart. I don't have control over a lot, but this I do. 

My favorite Gayle book is Just One Year (beautiful travel scenes and identity development) and I'm partial to her male POVs cause... book boyfriends. She writes 'em just like we like 'em. ;)
Thanks Gayle for your beautiful writing and being my YA novel version of Mr. Feeny! I can't wait to read your next adult and YA reads. 



Join Reading Teen and Penguin Teen as we celebrate the amazing work of Gayle Forman and the release of the paperback of I WAS HERE, her newest young adult book!
  • Five Winners
  • US only
  • Titles:
    • I Was Here
    • Just One Day, Just One Year, Just One Night box set
    • If I Stay, Where She Went box set
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