When you're living through it, though, especially when you are twelve and you think the whole world is changing until you realize it isn't the world, it's you, no piece seems little. It's all so big you think it can kill you. But it doesn't. Which is why the story goes on.
We all start out thinking that there is such a thing as perfection and that there's something wrong with us if we settle for less. First we won't eat the food with the brown spots. Then we hate ourselves because we have our own brown spots—pimples or ears that are too big or legs that are too skinny.
This business of really knowing people, deep down, including your own self, it is not something you can learn in school or from a book. It takes your whole being to do it—your eyes and your ears, your brain and your heart. Maybe your heart most of all. —Bobby Goodspeed
I never thought I could write this much and now that it's coming to an end, I feel sad that I have to stop, sort of the way you feel at the end of a really good book and you know you're going to miss the main character. But in this case, the main character is me! Myself. Joe (formerly JoDan) Bunch. —Joe Bunch
I hated that the soldier doll had my name. I mean, please. I didn't play with him much. He was another Christmas present from my clueless grandparents. One time when they were visiting, my grandpa asked me if G.I. Joe had been in any wars lately. I said, "No, but he and Ken got married last week." Every Christmas since then, my grandparents have sent me a check.
The point is that something I thought was perfect has been broken, and I'm having to find the beauty in what is there instead of what I thought was there. Like this shell. I can either spend all my time wishing it were perfect, trying to imagine it the way it was or might have been, or I can see how beautiful it is just like this.
Crying can help, too. People are often afraid to cry because they are told that crying is for babies. Crying does not make you a baby, no matter what anyone says. There are times when people feel so bad that they can't express their feelings in words. At those times, crying helps.