Everything I Never Told You was extremely heavy, despite the fact that I think it is an unmatched masterpiece. It was difficult for me to read for more than just the following reason, but this is what I will share:
I am being torn in half. I can feel my muscles stretching and tearing like an overstrained rope, and my bones are cracking and splintering into pieces from the tension.
I see myself in both Lydia and Nath. I am leaving for college next year. That statement leaves me shaking in my boots and itching to break into a run. I understand Nath’s desire to escape what is weighing him down. I have Ghosts. I understand both his desire to lift up his sister up and to kick off running. Ghosts have weight, as much as we cling to them.
I am also Lydia. I feel as if I’m speeding towards a future which I am not sure I have chosen for myself. It sounds arrogant, spoiled, privileged, whatever the hell you want to call it, to even think of not seizing what opportunities are within my grasp. I am thankful for the opportunities I have, but Lydia also had an incredible future planned for her. The world is open, and I do not know where I want to go or what I want to do with my life. I have inklings of those, and they are as often as not related to the track I am on. For the past four years, I have followed this track because on some level I believed it would eventually take me where I want to go. Now that I have the wheel, I’m scratching my head and trying to take others’s hands off of it. Those hands have gained strength this year. My greatest fear is that those hands will land me in a place I hate.
I am being torn apart. I feel both Nath’s desperation for outer space and Lydia’s leaden gravity. I have never had the time or clarity to stop the car and consider if the road will lead me where I want to go. I have come this far, and I don’t regret where I am. This car cannot stop, and often times I am confused if the hands on the wheel are mine or someone else’s. I wonder if I have the courage to seize the wheel. I don’t, because I don’t have the surety to hold that tightly. Every flicker of clarity I have makes me wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have to fight for an unknown path. Maybe that path would be Gatsby’s dream, or maybe it would be Janie’s path to freedom. Maybe the path I’m on is Janie’s dream. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Unsureties are hounding me like wolves, and I feel lost on the very path that I have been driving on for years.
*Nath and Lydia are from Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Gatsby and Janie refer to The Great Gatsby and Their Eyes Were Watching God, respectively