Before I arrived back at Marquette about a month and a half ago (so good to be back!) I stopped at a few of my favorite places on Mass Ave. in Indianapolis. I was in the checkout line at Silver in the City mindlessly picking through a bowl of buttons that had weird cactuses and tacos on them, things that we would’ve thought were cool and quirky and funny in fifth grade. I picked up one pin in the whole bowl of umpteen pins and it read “Future Author” and I promptly shoved it in the cashier’s hands. It could’ve said anything: future IndyCar driver, future rock star, future sandwich connoisseur…
My family, the people that are exposed to every annoying bone in my body, tells me that I can be an author if I want to be an author. That should be enough. But no, it took a little bitty $2 pin (overpriced but support local am I right?!?) to refuel my aspirations. (I always have to look up aspirations in the dictionary to make sure it means what I think it does because to me it sounds like a mix between aspirin and perspiration so you’re welcome for making you never want to use that word again.)
One of the best nights of my life was back in high school when my best friend Madeleine invited me to go to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with her for a show featuring Son Lux and Shara Worden. Naturally I said yes not knowing what exactly I was doing (a constant in my life) so we went downtown to the theater on the Circle and listened to this dreamy music. We made jokes about Jimmy Fallon falling out of the sky because a year earlier we were skipping school at this same theater attending a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Then after the show we were in the lobby and Madeleine nudged me and eagerly whispered that she spotted John Green. I knew he wrote The Fault in Our Stars and I knew that book was this massive deal but I hadn’t read it yet at that point. If I could go back to that night I would slap my ignorant self and rack my brain for something somewhat intelligent or witty or English to say to Mr. John Green. But alas I stood there smiling in a polite and idiotic daze.
Now let me tell you why I admire this author. Wonderful books aside, I think it’s the combination of his ability to touch people as a writer, validating the profession, and the fact that he lives in Indianapolis. Last year I came to college wanting to help people and I mistakenly assumed that the medical route was the only way to do that. When that didn’t work out, I threw my hands up in exasperation (phonetically, a much better word than aspiration) and thought I was doomed and would never help the human race. Fast forward to a car ride halfway through the first semester of my freshman year during which my mom told me that was a silly thought because look at John Green. She pointed out that he wrote a book about teens with cancer and ended up helping them emotionally just like how doctors help them medically.
You know how when you imagine meeting someone you’ve always admired (e.g. Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, John Green once you’ve read his books) you have this sort of script made up so that you seem cool and don’t make a complete moron out of yourself? Well earlier this past summer I ran into Mr. Green again and that mental script was sent through a paper shredder and lit on fire. I can’t even recall exactly what I said to him but I can tell you it wasn’t that intelligent or witty. I did, however, speak English and addressed him as “Mr. Green,” while shoving a Thai coffee Nicey treat in my face, which is always a start. (My cousin Sarah then joked “The Fault in Our Customer Service a sequel by Lauren Brown.”)
I’m excited to see what doors writing will open, partly because med school would absolutely juice me and partly because I enjoy playing with words too much.
On a completely different note, I sacrificed a high school chemistry test grade to see Jimmy Fallon and it was the best decision of my life. Because let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have done that well on a chemistry test anyway.
Jimmy Fallon > Chemistry
(^The only math you’ll see me confidently broadcast.)
(Do you like how I just juxtaposed ‘math’ and ‘broadcast’?)
(Ok I’m done.)