Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Faith Post

"In life, we are given two options and, from there, a million possibilities can sprout.  Sometimes, our choices are influenced by the things around us.  This is true about a novel, The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, which I read last summer.   Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, had depression similar to mine.  My depression influenced my choices.  I was raised by a single mom who also suffered from depression.  I remember two things from my early childhood;  my mom worked late hours and I was bullied at school.  I was different from the other students;  I didn't speak English and I was one of only a few kids with divorced parents.  My mom was almost never home and, when she was home, she was very tired.  I had transferred recently to my school so I had no friends.  I felt unfit for life.  Much like Holden Caulfield, my family was too busy and I had to find a way to relieve the stress.

I didn't read the book until I was recovering from my depression.  During my sophomore year, I was put into a mental hospital, much like Holden's experience, and I was resistant to treatment. I was let out by the end of a month.  That's when I started to read The Catcher in the Rye.  It wasn't until I read the novel that I saw just how much depression had shaped my life.

Holden looked at life as a big disappointment, a common sign of depression.  I didn't want that for me.  I was stuck between being a Holden and being happy.  The more I read the book, the more I realized just how similar Holden and I were.  It wasn't until the end of the story that my life began to change.  I wasn't Holden anymore.  Holden was a melodramatic teen who was desperate to keep life the same.  So was I.  But something changed when I read the book.  I realized I had two choices; shy away from God or follow Him and be happy.  From there, came a million possibilities."

Z: I know the girl who wrote that.  I had to share it with you...... and the fact that she's taking advantage of every positive possibility that comes her way............she's come a very long way in an amazingly short time.

"What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways."  Job 22:28

Decide on something positive today.  "Be happy, not Holden."

I'm "beholden" to her for her inspiration...I hope you are, too. 



Jen Nifer said...

Beautiful story, Z.

I'm glad she had the maturity at such a young age to see herself in the character.

Z said...

Good morning, Jen!
She's actually 16 or 17 years old! Amazing, isn't she? I am glad she saw herself, too, and realized who she didn't want to be.
Stay warm in Big D! :-)

Ed Bonderenka said...

Now I have to read Catcher in the Rye to see what I missed.
I never connected with it or, like many, understood it's popularity.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Always On Watch said...

I realized I had two choices; shy away from God or follow Him and be happy. From there, came a million possibilities.

We all have those two choices. Too often, we wallow in self-despair instead of taking the better road, instead of taking the Lord's hand so that He walks with us and lifts us up.

An amazing essay, Z. This student is showing maturity far beyond her chronological years.

You know, over the years, some of my students have written the most personal of essays, sharing their struggles of which I've often been unaware until these students have bared their souls and shared their innermost thoughts. Writing is truly cathartic and can "save" us from ourselves.

sue hanes said...

Z - Following God is the only way to go. Sometimes you have to stray from Him in order to get back and really appreciate what He does in your life. That's a good story from your friend.

Have a great Sunday - Z.

Z said...

I should have considered publishing this NOT in my Sunday Faith Post because I'm less visited today than other days and I DO believe ADULTS need to read this. I might do that another time.

The line that jumped out at me was... "either be like Holden or be happy" and that this VERY young girl saw the difference and was strong enough to choose HAPPY? WOW.

You can't IMAGINE the support she got from faculty and admin during this time...teachers visiting her at the hospital, etc...I KNOW that someone said something that took fire in her. Or maybe the recommendation of the book. And she's so different now; so happy. Even while she still deals with issues at home, etc.

Z said...

AOW, how'd you like my little play on words in my last line? :-)
It came out, then I realized what BE HOLDEN had turned into!! I love things like that!

Duckys here said...

This is the first time I've ever read of someone with the same take on Holden as mine, serious depression.

All Salinger's characters are emotional cripples to some extent who lack an ability to connect to the world.

Impertinent said...


"All Salinger's characters are emotional cripples to some extent..."

Anyone we know? Or care to name one?

Duckys here said...

The whole Glass family, Imp.

Seems to me to be the salient quality of his characters, unable to emotionally commit to the world.

Bob said...

I have not read Catcher In The Rye. I just bought the Kindle version from Amazon for $3.50 and will probably read it on my Samsung Galaxy Note smart phone.

Life is good.

Z said...

"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."....from Catcher In the Rye "If a body catch a body..."

Makes sense to me now.

Talk about an inability to commit.

You're right, Ducky.

Z said...

But, of course, my piece is less about the book and more about a 16/17 yr old who knew what was missing in Holden's life and knew she couldn't live like that.


She went from institutionalization to dancing two solos lately (and let's just say she doesn't have a dancer's body by about 50 pounds) and did them gracefully and, let's remember ENglish isn't her first language and then read the piece again. And the way she tied the beginning up with the end, and that sentence "be a Holden or be happy" will never leave me. It shouldn't anybody

Z said...

By the way, a friend emailed that more than one leftwing blogger is blogging about how awful Christians are because they want to put religion into Christmas?

Can someone tell me what other place CHRISTMAS started out than religion?

Do people think?

Z said...

Jen, sadly, your name doesn't link to your photography site. Could you please link it here or via email to me? I accidentally deleted my whole blog roll the other day!! Thanks. xxx

Jen Nifer said...

I read The Catcher In The Rye when I was 16, and it depressed me. I haven't read anything else by Salinger.

Z said...

not exactly right for my blog, let alone today's post, but can anybody hazard a guess when Yahoo might find it a good idea to remove the picture of Santa giving it to Miley Cyrus from behind on stage two days ago? It's been on their home page ever since.
Ya, I'm THAT disgusted that I had to write this here..THAT disgusted.
Glad there's no 'war on Christmas,' aren't you?

Ed Bonderenka said...

Z: There are other websites to make your home page.
Try and easily configure your own.

Duckys here said...

It's still there but it's running below the story of Paris Hilton being steamed at the guy who gave her brother a beat down.

Mariah Carey is also up to something vulgar.

Standard stuff.

Z said...

Ducky, and we wonder why we have problems in this country?

Duckys here said...

It could be worse, z.

I attended a student production of A Christmas Carol recently.

Solid job all around but it can't compete with Lady Gaga entering a music award show on a mechanical horse.