Tina Kakadelis
YA Author


Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Guest Post: Finding the Great in the Perhaps


So, I know this is a cheesy little vintage John Green quote, but as a confused 14/15-year-old it changed my life for the better. Venturing upon some rougher times in my mid-twenties, I can’t help but be reminded of its wonderfulness. As of late, it seems like life literally cannot stop dumping on me. It’s that endless cycle…one thing after another after another. One major life change followed by devastation and more life change. On top of that, in the past three years I've lived in three states and moved vast distances every 11 months. Which, to me, has been kind of disconcerting because I absolutely love having a home base. I need my little nested area to ground me. My mom said something about this the other day when I called her in the middle of a truly larger-than-life Hannah-style meltdown. She said, "For a person who loves adventure and change, you sure do seem to hate uncertainty."

Bless this woman for:

  1. Putting up with me snotty dry-heaving as I try to gasp out on the phone "I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING."
  2. Giving solid life advice every single time I need it. A saint, truly a saint. My dramatic ass does not deserve this woman as a mother.

I started to think about this, because MAN I really do love change and trying new things and bettering myself through that struggle, but I’m a massive control freak who absolutely hates when things don’t go her way. So, as this person who grounds herself through stability yet refuses to give it to herself, how am I supposed to flippin’ proceed? Why am I some manic pixie dream girl walking contradiction? How do I find that life balance of thrills and life solidity? All of the sudden there I was, sitting criss cross applesauce in my hotel room that I currently call home, (yeah, I currently live in a hotel, part of that whole throwing myself into new things thing) and I remembered it.

"I go to seek a Great Perhaps."

I really have been going for that my whole life, seeking the great perhaps. In the book that it’s from, Looking for Alaska, this quote is mostly centered around death and the afterlife. I’m obviously taking this in a bit more lively direction. This was sort of a ‘seeing the forest for the trees' moment for me. I spend so much of my life adventuring out into the unknown and then lashing out at life for giving me a little more ‘perhaps’ than ‘great’. Part of choosing the path less traveled is that it’s gonna be just a little more shitty than you thought, right? So I’m gonna work on that, accepting my perhapses as they come, and keep hoping for a little taste of great to keep me going.

(And since Queer Stick It Lover is too long of a name, ya’ll can call me Hannah.)

(Hi, Tina here. As always, if you've got something you'd like to contribute, my inbox is always open. HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU, DINO NUGGET.)