I read a line in a book today that had an impactful and possibly long lasting effect on me. I finally picked up the book Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Lots of kids have been reading it, and have said it’s amazing. I’ve been waiting for my chance to fold back it’s cover, and turn through it’s pages. I got no less than twenty pages in when I read a line that hit me full force. It said “It smelled like Chanel No. 5 and pencil shavings.” Simple, short and to the point. It literally made me stop reading and put the book down in my lap.
I sat with a blank stare on my face for a good solid five minutes. At one point, a kid asked me if I was ok. It was silent reading time in the library. I sit in the same seat every week, and kids like to talk about books with me. It’s my favorite day of the week.
I digress. At that particular moment, the beauty of those words was flooding my brain. I thought to myself, that’s exactly how I want to be described someday. I know there are twists and turns in my outlook on life everyday, but there are a few things that are constant. I love to read. I love to write, and I want to do something meaningful and important with my life. And at the end of the day, I want someone to describe me that way. Like Chanel No. 5 and pencil shavings.
I’m a hard worker. I make mistakes, and I’ve had to start over so many times. I’m not afraid to sharpen my pencil and get back to it. Yes, sometimes I whine a little longer than I should, but I always get back up. And I always find a way to put my pencil back to the paper and find a way to start again. I want that to be how people remember me. As resilient. As hard working. As relentless.
And I want to write. I want to find ways to get all these thoughts down in my brain in a meaningful, important way. There’s a lot swimming up here. It’s going to take lots and lots of pencils, and paper. I can’t get them organized. I can’t always straighten them out. But there is nothing more beautiful in the world to me than a blank piece of paper and something to write with in your hand.
And Chanel represents everything classy about women. Whatever it is I do, I want to do it with poise, and grace, and class. I want people to think of me as a good person, a kind person, and someone who was worthy of wearing Chanel No. 5 (for goodness sake).
Anyway, it was a prominent, loud sentence when I read it. I haven’t read anything in a while that’s stuck to my soul the way this line did today. There are few moments when I read something that buries itself in my skin like that. I’m excited to keep reading. I’m hopeful I figure myself out. I’m excited about the future, and I think that, finally, things are starting to straighten themselves out.
I think today I found the line for my gravestone.
Here lies Jenni
She smelled like Chanel No. 5 and pencil shavings