A Thank You To Mara Wilson

A Thank You To Mara Wilson

Your stories have saved me.
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Like most children, one of my favorite stories (and films) growing up was the tale of "Mathilda" and how important she was in empowering those around her with the beautiful gift of knowledge and books. I remember really loving the film especially, and watching it whenever it was on TV with my older sister. I also remember really admiring whoever played the character Mathilda anyway, but that's about it really. Now, I'm not one to keep up with any of the actors and actresses that were a part of my childhood favorites. I don't actively go out of my way to do what some (like my sister) might do where they tend to use IMDB to search what other films someone was in because "they look familiar" and they may have been in other things I have watched.

However, this particular story is a little different and includes maybe a little too much backstory.

It was the summer of 2013. I was 16 years old and spending my days relaxing before my last year of high school would begin, and I was still actively using Tumblr, mostly as a way to keep up with people I know and to find new shows and what not to immerse myself in. I was introduced to something different from what I'm used to which blew up almost immediately on the website. It was a podcast series created by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor called "Welcome To Night Vale." It had its own lore, weird plot, and every bit of creepy to make me love it a lot. My personal favorite aspect in the series, though, were the featured celebrity guests who played particular characters which ended up reintroducing me to those who were famous in my childhood. One of those guests in the series, who played the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, was Mara Wilson. Many of you reading this may not really know who exactly she is. In fact, neither did I when the name was introduced in the series until Tumblr informed me very well, and trust me, the user base on the website does this kind of stuff all the time. Mara Wilson is best known for her role in "Mathilda" as a child actress, playing Mathilda herself and gave life to one of my favorite fictional characters.

After I lost track of "Welcome To Night Vale" because things started getting busy in my life, I went back to not really paying attention to any actor and actress in general. My mind was too focused on the content I found rather than the content creators which, looking back, was my loss because I definitely missed out on a lot of great inspiration for my own content and how I can continue making my work great.

Now it was the year 2016 in general, the year no one likes to really acknowledge. Even then, and today, I'm still using Tumblr but in different ways. I never really left that site to begin with, I just don't use it as much as I used to, but nevertheless there has always been posts about elections popping up in that year especially. One of the most popular types of posts were those with screenshots of tweets made by celebrities in regards to the election and what they had to say. There was a whole bundle of posts, issues, and names, but the one name that returned to me once again three years later was Mara Wilson.

While I am active on Tumblr, I'm also pretty active on Twitter and it sort of plays hand in hand. Because I was able to see quoted tweets on one website, it made me easily follow and see these tweets and future tweets for myself on another. While it was in the summer of 2016 I followed Mara Wilson's twitter, it was the best time to because of the active promotion of her novel "Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame." I wanted to get my hands on the book for so long and finally, my prayers were answered when I received the book as a Christmas present from one of my close friends.

Mara Wilson, I want to thank you.

I read your book in its entirety during this past holiday break, first on the plane ride to London, and then on the couch in my cousin's living room. I read a small portion on the plane and made no further progress at my cousin's house until the Christmas and touristy festivities were over and I finally had a moment to myself. The minute I started reading, it was really hard for me to put the book down. What exactly is it about this book that made me finish it in only a few hours? What made me keep turning the pages and wanting more? The answer is simple, really, what you covered in your book from your life and the experiences that you went through really struck a chord in me and made me really realize that I am not alone.

Of course, I'm not child actress, nor am I particularly famous so I can't relate to every experience, but I do consider myself to be a writer, and I also suffer from an infamous mental illness that really strains my thoughts in almost every aspect. Reading your informative words about mental illness in general, and gave me great comfort. For the first time in a long time, I felt pretty okay. I was able to find something that gave me comfort in the form of a book and it's been a pretty long time since that's happened. I love reading books, but most of the time I find great stories about things completely unrelated. Your book, however, had great stories and comfort. The combination plays really well and I can't stop thinking about it. So many lines and passages are underlined and annotated now with my favorite pen because of how much I found to be so great.

I'm glad I found your work now that I'm older and I'm really glad how you turned your passion of storytelling into something you love. You're not afraid to openly talk about mental illness and most things people wouldn't acknowledge in the first place. You helped me realize that it's okay to seek help in my efforts to try to make myself a better person. You gave me a spark to continue writing my own work and doing what I love.

Thank you, Mara Wilson, for being there for me as a child and even today.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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What The 2019 'Season Of The Crab' Means For Your Zodiac Sign

It could be a super emotional month for everyone.

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It's officially summer, and that means it's time to dive into the watery depths of Cancer season on June 21. There is a different energy in the air; different from the vibe in Gemini season. Each sign can expect to notice its effects, whether they are obvious or more subtle.

Cancer season means you're probably going to feel more moody than usual. Maybe you're crying more often. Maybe you'll feel more dreamy and intuitive. Maybe you'll be more irritable. Whatever the case, it never hurts to know what you're about to get yourself into.

So what does Cancer season mean for you, based on your zodiac sign?

1. Cancer - 21 Jun to 22 Jul

@rebeccahmac_

Happy solar return, cutie crustacean!

This is one of the dreamiest times of the entire year for you, but lacking structure and planning could prove stressful. You're in an imaginative zone and you may not feel like settling down before chasing the stars, but you must think ahead so things will work out.

2. Leo - 23 Jul to 22 Aug

@lolasuxs

Cancer season will find you exploring who you want to become, and what you want to leave behind. With your season just around the corner, this is also a magical time for healing and exploring yourself. Journaling, creative pursuits, or talking things through are wonderful ways to nourish your soul.

3. Virgo - 23 Aug to 22 Sep

@nahomi.17

This Cancer season, you'll find that the stars and the moon are asking you to rest. You will be faced with many choices and decisions this month. Enjoy your time fostering whatever creativity comes to mind. Do not force yourself to go out if you're not feeling up to it. It's okay to be you and be alone sometimes.

4. Libra - 23 Sep to 22 Oct

@tiiffahh

Cancer season and Neptune retrograde begin on June 21, causing you to need to pause and reflect on your goals. Change can be uncomfortable, but every small shift brings us closer to our goals. Be willing to take a risk, and let the universe push you in the direction of happiness and adventure.

5. Scorpio - 23 Oct to 21 Nov

@jordansavannah_r

Cancer season finds you traveling and opening new doors of opportunity. Are you really gaining anything by holding onto the past so tightly, Scorpio? Set your sights on new dreams, and leave all those people and situations that are holding you back in your rearview mirror.

6. Sagittarius - 22 Nov to 21 Dec

@zelzhcabbage

The question Cancer season asks you now, Sag, is whether you'll run away from your past, cling on to it, or do the emotional work necessary to process it and let it go. Appreciate the memories you are making and try not to get too wrapped up in the little things that annoy you. This is a time for experimentation.

7. Capricorn - 22 Dec to 19 Jan

@xxadriiana

You love your deadlines and goals, but remember that taking care of your emotional health will ultimately help you be more efficient! Trust your intuition, take it slow, and use the energy for play and creativity rather than detailed planning.

8. Aquarius - 20 Jan to 19 Feb

@yeeshibee

Cancer season this year is all about being comfortable and doing what you know, so go ahead and stick to that. This is also a great time for you to check in with yourself when it comes to wellness and your habits.

9. Pisces - 20 Feb to 20 Mar

@stephdangle

This Cancer season, the heightened emotion that is in the air will bring you natural happiness. Go out, have a wonderful night under the summer stars, and use your experiences for inspiration. It will reinvigorate your soul to be more creative and more adventurous.

10. Aries - 21 Mar to 19 Apr

@marilang_

Cancer season finds you focused squarely on your personal life. It's a wonderful time for an adventure. Go on that hike. Wake up early and drive to the beach. You'll feel an inclination to do it all-- and you can! Remind yourself that you are capable.

It will be hard to stay focused because the vibe just feels so good, but Neptune's retrograde brings intriguing messages to your dreams, so pay close attention to your inner voice at this time.

11. Taurus - 20 Apr to 20 May

@belendenike

Cancer season causes emotions to be even more extreme so you'll probably reach your breaking point this month, Taurus, but you are never alone in the problems that you face. Remember to control your temper long enough to cool off and take some relaxation for yourself.

Take a day off and drive around with the windows down. Take five days off and drive to the beach to hang out and reflect. Whatever it is that you need to feel better, it is time to do it this month.

12. Gemini - 21 May to 20 Jun

@nicolenaone

Cancer is a sign that's all about security and protection, and you're really feeling those vibes right now. Your confidence is running high, as you are feeling more in control of your life. Get rid of the elements in your life that won't propel you forward.

Just as the moon and ocean cycle, so do we. Cancer is that strong energy that gets you up in your feels; it's sure to be a ride.

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