Rara asked me to tell the story of my life through book titles. Give it a read and then tell me how I did in the comments.
A Tale of Two Cities: I was born in Ridgecrest, CA. But, Ridgecrest is basically two cities. It is the civilian city of Ridgecrest and the Navy Base city of China Lake. The two are basically one. This book is also a fitting place to start the story of my life, because I’m a Gemini, and because the city represents a peaceful childhood and a wanderlust that eventually drove me away.
Tarzan: Along with being one of the first series of books I remember truly enjoying, borrowing from my Dad’s collection and raiding the stash from our small local library, as I have touched one before, I’ve always felt like the most important part of my early knowledge and experience as a child came from my experiences away from the formal classroom. The wild places have called to me and taught me from my youngest days.
Banner in the Sky: I conquered Whitney when I was 11. It’s weird to have such a defining moment of my life be so long ago now, and yet still be so poignant in who I am and how I approach life. Anything is possible if attempted with the right preparation and the right passion.
The Hatchet: I joined the Scouts and spent my Junior High and High School years trying to survive the terror of bullies and the introverted person I was in school, while simultaneously learning how to be self-sufficient and a leader in every other aspect of my world. Earning Eagle was the culmination of that dichotomy, but I didn’t fully break free of it until I left Ridgecrest to attend college in San Diego.
The Great Gatsby: I reinvented myself in college. I was gregarious in all aspects of my life. I partied and made friends, I hid the shy parts of me, and I lost myself nearly completely in the process. I ended that four year haze with no clear idea of what I was supposed to have learned or what my future was going to hold. The charade quickly unraveled when confronted with real world responsibilities and I spiraled into one of the darkest periods of my life.
Ender’s Game: Not only was this book gifted to me while I was floundering for purpose, searching for meaning, and trying to relearn what I needed to be happy, is that not, in part, exactly what Ender is enduring as well? The twist aside (no spoilers here), it wasn’t until he let go of his reservations, fears, and the idea of what he thought others wanted from him that he was free to find himself. I had to do the same thing, and it worked for me as well. I stopped worrying about expectations and focused solely on what I needed, and I found the truths that led me back to being happy with who I was.
The Princess Bride: Enter the Queen, our whirlwind of adventures, our battles and triumphs, our chaos and peace, and, throughout it all, our true love. Who knows how this adventure will end, but we’ve got the love thing working for us, so I’m certain it will be a happy ending. Right? Right. (That’s a shout out to the fans of the book rather than fans of the movie, because differences are key.)
Mr. Brown Can Moo: Enter the Little Prince and so much silliness, and adventures of a different sort, while being nearly identical to the adventures from before at the same time. There are games and strange noises, and messes, and trains, and thunder, and every sort of wonderment you can imagine or make the sound for, including lightning, and it’s very, very hard to make a sound like that. While no longer in regular rotation, this story was a favorite in the kingdom for a long time.
And that’s the story of my life… so far.