Friday, 10 June 2016

Life Experiences

I was having a conversation with someone about attending book events, and I started thinking about how I started going out more and becoming more social.

Last February, I won screening tickets to the New York City red carpet premier for the film, Fifty Shades of Grey. (Yes, I had a fifty phase.) At first I was SO EXCITED. I mean, the cast would be there- Jamie Dornan *swoons*, Dakota Johnson, Aaron Johnson (Sam Taylor Johnson’s husband, also Quicksilver in the Avengers) would be there, and so many more! I’d also be able to meet up with a Fifty Shades group I follow on Facebook! But it was in New York City, and I live on Long Island (1 ½ train ride). I moved here from Florida YEARS ago, but I had never gone to the city by myself. How would I know where to go? What subway do I take? Why are there so many letters and numbers? Ultimately, I was too afraid to travel by myself and I didn’t go. The next day the Fifty Shades group posted so many photos of the premiere, photos with the cast, and an awesome dinner afterwards. I was so angry with myself for bailing. I didn’t go because I was afraid.

I swear that was the day I decided I wouldn’t let my fear hold me back. There is difference between feeling fear and letting that fear hold you back.

The next month at Ziegfeld Theatre, The Divergent Series: Insurgent premiere was held, and I learned about it in class a few hours before. I left class early, grabbed my Divergent DVD (I was dorming, and my books were at home) and hopped on the next train to NYC. That night I saw Theo James  *doubly swoon* in person, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller and I ended up getting Veronica Roth’s autograph on my DVD.

(one of the photos I took of VRoth)
     That summer, I met EL James, and went to The Hunger Games Exhibition by myself (on three separate occasions). I met Danielle Paige author of the Dorothy Must Die Series, booktuber Sasha Alsberg, Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Trilogy), Heather Demetrios, and so many more amazing people. My biggest achievement was staying at a hotel BY MYSELF, in Times Square for Book Riot LIVE, a small booklovers convention held over the weekend! I have even made friends at these events that I keep in contact with still.

     I want to express that I totally understand not everyone has the money to hop on a train and go see an author or celebrity or whoever. For the Insurgent premier, I called my mom, and she deposited a few extra dollars into my account to make sure I had enough. I also understand you may not be old enough to get up and GO. I’ve been independent since I was 16, so I come and go as I please, so I know not everyone is the same. (Actually, I don’t encourage being so independent so young lol). But if you THINK, for one moment you can do something but you’re afraid, TRY. ASK. I say, check out author/ signing events in advance and plan! Maybe talk with your parents and try to work something out. If you are old enough to do these things on your own, please don’t let your fear hold you back. There are so many great life experiences that you’ll miss if you let your fear conquer you. Like I said, plan in advance. Google train routes, and bus schedules, even prices on a taxi or Uber.

    I also want to make it clear that if you have a bad feeling about something, then don’t do it. I’d never tell anyone to ignore their gut instincts.

    This summer I’ve decided to dedicate my time off to going to as many book signings and author events as possible. I don’t want my summer to be just about WORK. I want to have life experiences! I don’t want to go on Twitter and Instagram and see what an amazing time other people had, that I didn’t because I was afraid. My main point for this blog post is: don’t let your fear hold you back from doing something you want to do!

    I really wanted to share this with you all because for some reason, I think it’s very important to get that out there. I wasn’t always so adventurous. Sometimes I’m still afraid to do things by myself. I’m such a nervous nelly, and I always think someone is out to get me but I refuse to let that hold me back! I don't want to look back on something and think "Wow! I should've done that." Anyway, to continue my summer of book touring I will be attending Barnes and Noble National Teen Book Festival BFEST this entire weekend! Can't wait to meet Danielle Paige again, and meet some new readers and make new friends!

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