Sunday, July 11, 2010

Life's Lessons from Literature: Charlotte's Web

Had an interesting thought today and I just wanted to get it down here. Kind of deep, but it made me feel good about life.

Oy... I woke up this morning in one of my "What-am-I-doing-with-my-life?" funks. Even knowing I'm doing everything I can possibly do at this point in my life, I still feel like there's more I could be doing. It's just one of those irrational, everything-must-be-perfect-so-how-come-it-isn't-and-I-suck-because-I-haven't-accomplished-XY-and-Z moods I get in.

So, I'm sitting in church today thinking about all these things and I feel like my brain is about to explode from all these self-deprecating thoughts I'm having. I fished out my writing journal that I keep in my church bag and started writing down everything I 'd been feeling and I came up with the most random, yet encouraging things I've thought of in a while.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was "Charlotte's Web" (bookworm+farm kid = loves "Charlotte's Web" - I have yet to hear of anything to the contrary). I even had a little piglet I named Wilbur. I still hate spiders, though. Anyway, there's a point in the book (and in the movie too, now that I think of it) that Wilbur is feeling really low because he misses Fern and he feels like there's no other reason for his life than becoming pork chops and bacon - and he doesn't want to just be a fat, lazy pig in the farmyard. In the movie, the line is that Wilbur can't sleep because "his stomach was empty and his mind was full" and that's about where I was (my mind was full - not necessarily that my stomach was empty... just go with me here). But then he meets Charlotte, who uses her ability to show that Wilbur is more than a typical farm pig. But through the story, Wilbur never really does anything beyond what he's accustomed to doing - he does put on a little show when people come to see the spider's web, which could be out of his comfort zone a little. But really, he's just himself all the way through the book - it's Charlotte's friendship and the fact that she sees something special in Wilbur that ultimately saves his life.

Sometimes, when I feel like life's just about checking off "go to college, get a degree, get a job, get married, have kids, blah, blah, blah..." it gets so bland and so routine (sort of like a grocery list - but when you get to the store, you can't figure out where certain things are hidden in the shelves). It's like waiting around and fattening up just to be made into pork chops. But even though the things I'm doing now may seem bland and boring, something's going to happen that makes me amazing - and that I'm not just here for the things that people have told me I'm here for.

It's been years since I've read "Charlotte's Web." I want to read it again.

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