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Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall head over heels in love? Yes sir, I have done it!

I'd like to think that falling in love would knock me off my feet. That it would be this force that slams into me, shakes me to my core, and leaves me feeling breathless. In my imagination it would be instantaneous; I'd see something, take it in, and fall. There wouldn't be any teetering on the edge, no sticking my toe in to test it out, no pacing in front of it making sure it's what I want. I would jump, all in, all at once. No hesitation.

So how come that isn't how I've fallen in love?

We all think of "falling in love" as being with another person. That boy in 6th period English class. The woman who fixes her coffee at exactly 8:05 am every morning. The man who smiles at you from across the library. These are the "things" we want to fall in love with, what we imagine falling in love with. No one daydreams about the day they'll fall in love with cheese straws or that cute little dress that's 30% off at Macy's. No, we sit around daydreaming about the day we'll fall in love with the person we're meant to be with the rest of our lives.

But that's not the only time we do fall. Sometimes we do fall in love with cheese straws. And honestly, that's the instantaneous love my imagination runs wild with.

When I've fallen in love with someone - and trust me, it hasn't really happened like I'd hoped - it's been slow. It may have started off as lukewarm attraction and slowly built into affection before turning into a glimmer of love. As someone who has had many, many experiences with falling (hey, I'm a clumsy girl), falling in love was not a normal fall. Falls are normally over quickly. Fall, bam, ouch. That's a fall. Falling in love is more like Alice falling through the rabbit hole. It goes on and on and on and before long you sigh and think "is there even a bottom to this?"

I digress. This isn't about simply falling in love. This is about falling head over heels in love. The fall, bam, ouch falling. The kind that takes your breath away and makes you instantly know you're in love. But mostly, this is about me falling head over heels in love.

I have a confession to make: I... am a book blogger. Yes, friends, I am one of those people who blogs and blogs and blogs about books. But not just any books. Young Adult books. Now, before you throw stones and remind me that I'm nearly 30 and how sad is it that I'm reading books written for 16 year olds, lemme explain. No. There is no time. Let me sum up. I love these books.

The summer I graduated from grad school I discovered the Twilight series. If you haven't read this series, let me just point out that it's like a gateway drug to the Young Adult demographic in the literary world. After I finished them, and reread them (twice), I wanted more. I wanted to feel that first rush of love all over again. I was tired of being a twenty-something who was struggling with money and boys and life and quite honestly, I was tired of reading about it.

Cut to November 2011. I had been following a couple Young Adult book blogs and finally thought "You know what? I can do this. I want to do this!" Thus, The Grown-Up YA was born. That is my blog. You're welcome to check it out, but don't stop reading this to do so.

I'm sure by now you're probably scratching your head and thinking "Okay, Candice, are you trying to tell me you fell head over heels with a blog? Really?" No, that's not what I'm trying to tell you. What I'm trying to tell you is that I fell head over heels with the book community. If you've never experienced ANY of it, you are sadly missing out my friend. And if you have, well it's just great, isn't it?

This community is made up of lovely, lovely people. People who come from all walks of life, have all kinds of personalities, have different backgrounds, education, families, lives. And somehow, they all work. You'd think this huge of a melting pot would be full of drama, backstabbing, insults, slurs. Kind of like a presidential race (oooh, burn!). But let me be the first to tell you this: it most certainly is not.

This community is made up of lovely, lovely people. I felt that line needed to be repeated. Yes, it's made up of us bloggers, but also the authors, the publishers, editors, marketers. We all work together not because we like the money or the recognition (and lemme tell you: as a blogger, there's rarely either of those) but because we have a common love of books and the written word.

In the year I've been a part of this community I have of course had some crazy ups and downs, but overall, it has mostly been ups. I've made some excellent friends and some even better memories. I've discovered a passion I never knew existed for something that I've always enjoyed. I've learned to be a better listener, a more astute reader, to pay attention to the details and not be afraid to state my opinion (no matter what it is!). I've realized it is possible to disagree and debate in a classy manner without losing respect for others and my temper. But mostly I've seen how there are still people out there who genuinely love. Love to read, love to share, and love to pass on the legacy of books to our future generations.

So yes, I have fallen head over heels in love. Not with the man who is sure to rock my world but with a community I am so happy to be a part of. I have fallen head over heels in love with the book community and I am certain our love affair, no matter what roles we continue to play in each others' lives, is sure to last all the rest of my days.