It was initially proving to be quite difficult writing a blog post as I usually do, using a single quote or theme, with this book seeing as though almost every other chapter is titled "Profound thought #__", and practically the entire book is thought-provoking and eloquent. I found myself, at times, underlining so much it was ridiculous, and beginning to worry about how I would manage to pull off this entry, practically deciding to simply not write anything at all and to just move on to my next book. In the last five or so pages, however, a single idea hit me harder than anything else had. It was said by Paloma Josse, a bright 12 year old from a wealthy family who comes the the conclusion that life is vain and useless, planning to end her own on the day of her thirteenth birthday. Upon coping with the sudden death of Renee, the concierge of her building whom she had only just begun to grow exceedingly close with, Paloma realises that her own plan was vain in and of itself, and that she did not truly comprehend what it would mean to die, to experience never; "For the first time in my life I understood the meaning of the word never. And it's really awful. You say the word a hundred times a day but you don't really know what you're saying until you're faced with a real 'never again.' Ultimately you always have the illusion that you're in control of what's happening; nothing seems definitive" (page 324).
Technically speaking I am, in ways, quite similar to Paloma; young, privileged, naive and unaware of things that I am so sure I know, dramatic, and quick to draw grand conclusions, plan great events without looking so clearly at the larger picture or the actual implications of what those things may mean, may result in. This is what angsty teenagers do; even the talented and intellectual ones like Paloma, even the startling normal ones like myself. It's hard to pinpoint the precise moment that one grows up or comes of age, and it is most always a series of moments or events that individually shape what the adult you will be, but this, I think, is part of it. To know, realise, fully comprehend the meaning of never. To understand that 'never say never' is a rule often hard to follow, that there are things that happen, that exist, which, by their very definition require never. To see an ultimate and definite end to something, to feel true regret; it's what separates the children from the adults, the free from the burdened. And though I think I'm a marginally more self-aware, I'm still lucky to be able to say that by the end of this book, by the end of this entry, while I have my shallow never's of lost chances that really don't matter and melodramatic exaggerations of what never is, I am still free.