It was more than a month ago since I’ve met Jennifer Niven, the author of one of my favorite books, All The Bright Places. It was a remarkable time – meeting her. I was absolutely ecstatic and overwhelmed by the fact that I got to meet the person I’ve been meaning to see since I opened the ATBP book.
Why then is it my favorite book? I cannot exactly tell. Like The Fault in our Stars by John Green, ATBP has touched me in so many ways leaving me speechless and rethinking my life after reading it. Jennifer’s writing is so genuine and the story has never become boring and flat for me. The characters, Finch and Violet, were very relatable and it seemed like they were speaking the words I’d love to tell the world. Basically, they gave voice to me. They gave voice in how depression feels like and even if I am not diagnosed with it, in random nights and moments, I feel the voices in my head. Finch and Violet made me realize that I’m not alone. And most especially, the book is as heartbreaking and tearjerking as it is creative and beautiful. Niven’s novel truly has a special place in my heart.
So that day, it felt like I’m in cloud nine, especially because I came with my best friends who traveled for eight hours just to see Jen (and also to travel with me, click here for my post). Although my book buddy came early in the event and we were kind of late because we still had to ride the train going to SM Megamall, it was fine; nothing can tear my smile. I knew I was meeting her. I knew I would speak with her. I knew she would sign my book. Those, themselves, are the very reasons I felt invincible that day – perhaps, like how Finch and Violet were, too.
And then the moment came. Jen came out from backstage and talked about things. It was quite disappointing because we couldn’t hear her in our part; the mic’s kind of messed up. Anyhow, after six hours of waiting, it came our turn to meet her. I had her signed my book and I was almost in my tears. However, I knew I had to contain myself in order for me to tell her all the things I’d like to say. I wish we had more time. I only had the chance to tell how thankful I am for her book and how happy I am to see her. But after a minute or two, I had to go. My turn was done. I had to just take a picture with her and leave.
But because I felt invincible, I took a few seconds and told her the most important thing I hoped to say to her. While she’s holding my hand and looking straight into my teary eyes, I said, “Jen, I have one more thing to say. You are all the colors in one at full brightness.” It might have come to the point where I was overwhelmed with all the emotions so my hearing just kind of stopped. I forgot what she told me back but I believed it was something like I or her readers, in general, are brightest places as well.
After that, I hugged her tight (even though it was not allowed lol i dont know what came to me) and took a picture with her. I also had a chat with her fiancée, who is as adorable as her, after about the delicious mangoes and how he admired Philippines and the Filipinos as well. I walked away with a heart filled with joy, dreams, and inspiration, because someday, I’d love to be like Jen – doing the thing I love the most, writing, and touching people’s lives.
Dear Jen, I don’t know if this would get to you but I pray it will. Thank you so much for inspiring me. You have made a mark in my life and that’s quite an achievement as a person, right? I’d love that. I would like to make a lasting mark in this world, too. So thank you, thank you for pushing me to that dream and path. For that, I am forever grateful. It was nice meeting you! Come back soon!
Thanks for reading, loves!