“The Bell Jar” is a novel by Sylvia Plath, one of my favorite books of all time. It details the struggles of a girl who has a nervous breakdown after coming home to a small town from an internship in New York. The novel also represents the fears and stresses of growing up which, beside it being one of my favorite books, is the reason I chose to borrow it for my blog title.
Here’s the story:
“I quit my job and Dave quit his. There’s just so much more we want to do with our lives before we grow up,” she said. Marci was sitting next to me on my couch at my 3-bedroom rental house, where I live with my then-fiance/now-husband. Marci was 24 and I was 22 at the time. We both worked in offices in small towns, full time. She asked me if I thought she was crazy. I looked my best friend over while she talked about what they wanted to do: her art, her writing, his music. She was wearing hot pink rectangle glasses and one of her usual outfits – the kind where absolutely nothing matches and she did it on purpose and it’s absolutely adorable. And weird. But adorable. “No, I don’t think you’re crazy,” I said. And I meant it. I thought, “maybe I’m the crazy one.”
Marci had said the seemingly innocuous phrase “before we grow up.” I met Marci in college and, while we had little in common, one thing we did share was the fact that we were clearly more mature than most of our mutual friends. Not that that’s saying much, but you get my point. Here was my best friend, whose life was so similar to mine right now, who is a year and a half older than me, talking about growing up, as if it was still in progress! I had been personally struggling through the transition from dependant to self-sufficient, but I was thinking only of moving forward and getting it over with. I’d been doing it my whole life, including graduating college a year early. But Marci wasn’t rushing through it. She was embracing that her life was in transition and she wanted to pause and pursue her dreams instead of dismissing them as “just” dreams. Yes, I was definitely the crazy one.
She made me think hard on it. What did I want to do? I’m married now and my husband, Mr. S., and I really want a baby. But maybe it isn’t too late. What did I push aside to make room for “reality”? I wanted to be a rock star, but I will never be Joan Jett. I wanted to write books, but I don’t have the attention span to actually finish one. Maybe I should have been a music teacher because music was always one of my strengths. What if I had decided to be a photographer after all. But I want a secure and well-paying job. All of these are awesome ideas but for the “buts.”
Then I began guest-posting on Marci and Kels’s fashion blog. Marci encouraged me to make my own, but I really didn’t have any ideas. Then today it hit me: I can re-explore these parts of myself and blog about it in my spare time. I will get to be an adult from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. In between these times, I can be whoever I want to be.
So here it is. Welcome to my blog: Breaking Out of the Bell Jar.