This gem from This Side of Paradise never gets old:
I read This Side of Paradise a year ago. In the Fall of 2013, I was working on a history project that revolved around the 1920’s flapper; This Side of Paradise, which was published in 1920, has some excellent commentary on young women during this time period throughout its pages. Though the word flapper is never mentioned in the novel, Fitzgerald is often believed to be the father of the flapper because of the social commentary he provides on women throughout This Side of Paradise. You can kind of get a sense of the book’s social commentary with the above quote. The type of woman Fitzgerald is describing in this quote is a wholly new type of woman; one who defied the social expectations of the time–that is, getting married at a young age and having children–in order to have time to become her own independent person.
When I read this book last year, I did so as a researcher. I wasn’t reading it to fully immerse myself in the story as I usually do when I read fiction. I was looking for key points that I could use in my paper. This quote didn’t stick with me when I first read This Side of Paradise because, admittedly, I read the book kind of quickly. I read it in the middle of a busy semester and was only looking for important parts that I could reference in my paper. I’d like to read it again, actually, to better appreciate the story. I did enjoy it, just not as much as I might if I was actually reading it as a piece of fiction rather than as a source for a paper.
I came across this particular quote again a couple of months ago on the internet. At that time, I desperately needed to hear something like this. Actually, I kind of needed it pounded into my head. Fast forward twoish months to now; for the first time in my life, I finally feel 100% okay with being single. I don’t feel the need to search for anyone; I’m also not pining after someone who is unattainable.
I’m perfectly fine with me right now. I need to live a little by myself. I attribute the beginnings of this whole new mindset to rediscovering this quote these couple months ago. This new mindset wasn’t something that happened overnight, mind you. It took a couple of months of mulling over to get to this stage. Now that I’m there, I can tell you that it feels damn good.
It’s amazing how much a group of words can change a person.
On that note, I continue to marvel at how I continue to learn and grow from week to week, from month to month. In many ways, I’m not the same person I was two months ago. I’m happy to know that I’m continuing to learn and grow with all the new experiences that I have. I love how, even the smallest occurrence–such as taking a few seconds to read an influential quote–can ultimately change a person for the better.
That’s pretty cool, dontcha know.