It’s story time! Gather around so that I can tell you a tale about my life.
If you don’t know already, I LOVE The Hunger Games trilogy.
Like a lot.
More than that.
I own over 3 different editions of the books, 15+ shirts, 14 posters, paintings, blankets, pillowcases, bags, necklaces, bracelets, pins, calendars, school supplies, etc.
Yeah, it is kind of my favorite.
But I’m tired of being judged, getting weird looks, and ridiculing remarks when someone hears me talk about it or sees me wearing my battle gear (you will understand in a moment 😉 ). I’m ready to live unashamedly and passionately for something that means a lot to me. So I’m writing this blog post.
In the Fall of 2011 (I believe it was in the beginning or end of November), I was talking to my older sister and she had commented that she was currently reading the first book of The Hunger Games series and was loving it. She recommended it to me but, to be honest, I was not appealed to the story line.
A bunch of kids get thrown into an arena to be killed?
Umm… no, thank you.
Though, she told me that it isn’t only about kids killing each other, that it deals with other themes like: love, compassion, leadership, courage, and oppression. So, I trusted her judgement and began reading the first book.
I was attracted to Katniss and her independence, her courage, and her strength. The stories and the characters really drew me in and helped me find a decent book series that I actually liked.
A month later, we packed up and left the only home I had ever known. During that period, I also lost some close friends of mine and was dealing with a bunch of other issues. This brought on a case of serious insecurity, depression, and anxiety – I was desperate for an escape from my life.
I began to read Mockingjay and suddenly started to relate to the characters (especially Katniss) more than I did before. She deals with loss, depression, and other drastic occurrences – more extreme than anyone – but despite them, she’s a fighter. She fights for her beliefs, for her life, for her family, and she never gives up.
However, she still proves that it is okay to be broken.
It’s okay to need to curl up in a ball and cry.
It’s okay to be hurt.
It’s okay to be afraid.
It’s okay to not be okay.
The characters became my best friends, in a way.
They picked me up and dusted me off.
They showed me how to be strong when life pulls me down.
They showed me how to fight for what I believe in.
They showed me how to be courageous when I am faced with my fears.
They showed me the importance of my relationships.
They showed me that I needed to be grateful for what I have.
Though they all had a great impact on helping me through tough situations, Katniss became my role-model, more than any of them. When I had to face something, I would channel my inner Katniss and face it with strength and courage. It began to develop into an every day thing, I grew more confident, more courageous, and more strong because I did that.
“The sun persists on rising, so I make myself stand.”
-Katniss Everdeen (Catching Fire)
Not only were they (both the books and the characters) there for me and helped mold me into the person I am, they also brought my best friends into my life. The Hunger Games was a conversation starter that developed my friendships into something better than I imagined. I found people who understand my passion for the series; who let me squeeze their hands during the movies until they were numb; and carry conversations about the smallest of details in the books or movies, deeming the topic as the utmost of importance.
On top of that, The Hunger Games trilogy helped me find interest in reading again. I could never find anything decent to read, so I didn’t read much at the time. After I read them, however, I began to find similar books that I liked and am now book blogging and majoring in English/Publishing because of my renowned love of reading.
Now, why do I have all the merchandise and clothing? Why not just buy the books and movies and call it good?
– The books and movies are my escapes
– The posters are reminders of my friends that helped me through my darkest times.
– The clothing and accessories are my battle gear (as I like to call them).
– The other stuff just makes me happy to look at. 😉
So when I’m having a bad day, I put on my battle gear, look my fictional friends in the eye, and know that I can make it through another day because of the influence that they had on my life.
I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t read the books. I imagine that I would still be in the rock-bottom state that I was in…but I did read the books and I am better because of them.
No, these stories weren’t just entertainment and a hobby of mine, they were my livelihood.
So, to all of you who have scoffed, laughed, or ridiculed me (whether out loud or in your head): I hope that you now have learned to hear the whole story before you begin to judge.
What is your Hunger Games story? Or do you have another book that helped you the way that The Hunger Games helped me?
Thank you, big sister for being the one to recommend this series to me and for always being there for me through everything.
Thank you to my family who put up with my unending fangirling and for being an amazing, supportive family.
Thank you to my friends who have stayed by my side through thick and thin, for being as excited as I was about every single little piece of news that was announced about the series, and for letting me squeeze your hands for all 2+ hours during every single Hunger Games movie.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Suzanne Collins for writing such empowering, amazing, special books and I want to thank the cast and crew for putting all the time and effort that they did into creating the most amazing movies ever! I’m also especially thankful to them for staying so true to the books unlike most book-to-movie adaptions do.