The Love Story of the Year

TFIOS““My thoughts are like stars I can’t fathom into constellations”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

That is how I feel while trying to write this post. So many thoughts. So hard to pull them all together.

I recently “re-read” The Fault in Our Stars, or TFIOS, via Audiobook. The first time I read it, I flew through it really fast, like within 12-14 hours or so. It made me laugh and cry, and it was wonderful. The problem with reading something so fast is that I didn’t really give myself the chance to absorb the narrative in all it’s glory. Listening to the book was a different experience. Even though the book clocks at around 7 hours, I listened to it in shorter bits, and HEARING the language made me realize even more what I already knew….John Green is truly a master of words. Crafted to a sharp point, his words have the ability to pierce me straight through the heart. The ability to make me laugh while I’m crying simultaneously.

“I don’t think you’re dying,” I said. “I think you’ve just got a touch of cancer.” […] “Would it be absolutely ludicrous to try to make out?” “There is no try,” I said. “There is only do.”

TFIOS is one of the most quotable books I have read in a while, full of great wisdom and wit. The characters John writes are teenagers dealing with a disease that forces them to face the reality of life and death, which in turn makes them wise beyond years. Hazel and Gus are fictional, of course, and the words they say are really John’s – who is much older, but I don’t find it unreasonable that 16 year old people couldn’t have the same thoughts and perspectives that John makes his characters have. All humans have the capacity to learn and grow from what they experience, and to experience something as serious as cancer, I find that a great wisdom could naturally come about from that.

 “That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”

How true. In my profession as a registered nurse, my job is to try to minimize people’s pain. The thing about pain is…the only thing I can do is try to cover it up for a while…just until the medicine wears off and the pain comes back. I tell people all the time…your pain likely won’t be a zero out of ten. All I can do is make is somewhat more tolerable. Even if we deaden the nerves with local anesthetic…the pain will return once again….when the medicine is reabsorbed by the body and the pain signal connection is re-established with the brain. That pain truly does DEMAND to be felt.

“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”

Sad and unfortunate things happen all the time…yes. Happy and fortunate things ALSO happen all the time. Neither are simply wished into being. The amount of control we have over many things is NO CONTROL. It is a hard thing to learn to accept what we cannot change. It is also pointless to worry about the “what ifs”…. we must learn to adapt as we go. Even when we try to change things, they often don’t end up the way we expect. I say be grateful for what goes well, and just accept that some things aren’t going to work out the way we want. Okay? ……Okay.

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, it seems like it lasts for an “infinity”. Today at work was a really good example, actually. Just felt like it would never end. That infinity existed within the what seems like the infinity of my life, which exists within, what is probably “true” infinity, which has yet to be defined by science.  Just some food for thought….

Though I was unable to bring my thoughts together to form a beautiful constellation of stars, they are still stars, and there is no fault to be found in our stars.

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