If there’s one story that came at one point in my life that I can truly relate with, that is Honey and Clover by Umino Chica (making it my most favorite josei series of all-time as well). I shed so many womanly tears, laughed hysterically, and then cried again. I felt like a piece of my soul went with the series when it finished. Because Honey and Clover made me reflect several things about my life back then. I wasn’t sure if life was playing a joke on me when it decided to present a story that somewhat paralleled my dilemma then. But I think the story came to me at the right moment I needed it most.
Often than not when people ask me why I love reading, my answer is always the same: an escape. In all honesty, I’m not a huge risk taker. I’m coward. I’m scaredy-cat. I’m anxious. I’m sometimes quite pessimistic just masking through my jokes and stuff. But reading also gives me courage. Reading also makes me rethink. If those characters that I admire can make it and so am I. So it’s not always an escape then; with that it also becomes a reminder.
I was like Takemoto (one of the MCs of Honey and Clover) back then. I was graduating from university I was so scared of the future (and still am by the way). Like him I was questioning everything. I was transitioning from one major point in my life to another one, and I was not sure if I was ready to take it by the horn. But Takemoto journey and reflections in his life somehow helped me eased my way to my adult life. Granted that I’m still a work in progress in many ways (perpetually be, I think) the fact that it aided me to see things more optimistically and gave me the most needed courage was a great outcome.
When my father died two years ago, I was so scared to pick up a book about grieving because I was not sure if I was prepared to recall those sad memories. It was still too soon. But after few months I realized that those books I read didn’t only tell me about losing, it also told me about moving on. So yes, a story is just a story. But sometimes a story becomes more when you genuinely connect with it.
So reading is really such powerful thing now that I think about it. Sometimes it is not purely an entertainment; depends on the person and situation it becomes a ray of hope, an encouragement, and like I said a reminder: it can be better.
How about you, have you ever stumbled across a story/book that almost mirror your situation? How did the story affect you? Care to share it with me?