the rules do not apply, but wouldn't it be nice if they did?

February 02, 2018

"Until recently, I lived in a world where lost things could always be replaced. But it has been made overwhelmingly clear to me now that anything you think is yours by right can vanish, and what you can do about that is nothing at all. The future I thought I was meticulously crafting for years has disappeared, and with it have gone my ideas about the kind of life I'd imagined I was due." 

- Ariel Levy, The Rules Do Not Apply

  In lew of my "new year, better me," attitude, I've vowed to make time for all the books and movies I say I want to watch/read and then end up putting on the back burner to instead watch How I Met Your Mother over for the billionth time. Memoirs are my favorite types of books. I hope to write a bitchin' one one day that affects somebody the same way so many good memoirs have affected me and lit a fire under my metaphorical motivation-less ass. I love stories, I love a good heartbreak in love and life, and most of all I love a good comeback. "The Rules Do Not Apply" by Ariel Levy has been on so many lists of must-reads and thanks to my little bookworm Kendyl Raye I was able to snag her copy to read and write all my nonsensical notes in.
   Levy takes you through her rise in journalism and the road of twists and turns of meeting her wife and eventually becoming a habitual cheater on her. She told a story of how she was embarking on a journalism trip across the globe, pregnant for the first time, and married to her wife happily after surviving her own infidelity and her wife's alcoholism for some time. Within a month, none of that would be true and her account of giving birth to her baby in a hotel bathroom and having him die within hours would be the peak of her unraveling. In the opening of the book, she says a line that sticks with me: "My sorrow is so intense it often feels like it will flatten me." Considering her circumstances, that isn't an exaggeration.

   While extreme cases are just that - extreme, I couldn't find myself sympathizing with Levy the way I'd hope I would throughout her beginning stages where she talks about the wrong choices she keeps making. We are all human and my closet of mistakes barely will shut as well, but I didn't buy it. Levy continuously talks about her selfish ways of cheating and jumping into things she isn't ready for. I found myself constantly thinking that this is a story where we are making life a lot harder than it has to be. But maybe that was the point.

   More than once, I'm sure we've all fallen into a pit where we are 100% sure that we are making the wrong decision yet for some ridiculous reason, we continue to do it. Like the next shot of tequila, the 2 am text message, or the yes when we meant no. And then there are those unmentionables that can't be summed up as easily. We decide the risk is worth it and maybe it's for the thrill or maybe it's because we have hope for a better outcome. Or maybe we are just really stupid. I've been there more than once, in fact, I've been there pretty recently. I don't think we realize situations like this until we are seeing an outsider's perspective because if we did, why would we be doing it?

   I digress. Reading this reminded me of emotional maturity and stability, and how you can be an ace at all of those things and how life can crush all of it by throwing something at you. It reminded me the importance of checking in with yourself and also checking yourself when you're acting wild. Once I realized this, I saw the book in a different light. Also, Levy's story of her success is admirable for a very novice writer as myself. I have to pay an ode to that. Because she is right, life does not give a damn about the rules.
 
   


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Just another millennial trying to entertain you with my thoughts on things you probably don't care about & other milestones along the way.
26. Texas.