Since I’ve always been drawn to memoirs, I decided to let you all know why I like them so much. It’s going to be the first installment of my “Why I Like: [blank]” series of posts.
If you’ve followed my blog or have only read my post: “What It’s Kind of a Funny Story Means to Me”, you know that it was a personal post about a tough time in my life, when depression got the better of me. It was during this time that I learned something very important about myself: that I LOVE to read. What I also learned through this endeavor was that I thoroughly enjoy reading memoirs. Although, I must say, I mostly enjoy reading celebrity memoirs. But I have definitely “dabbled” in the lives of seemingly “normal people”.
I wouldn’t really go as far as to say that I’m anywhere near obsessed with celebrities or Hollywood but I do enjoy it. I love film just as much as I love literature and some celebrities are famous because of film, so they kind of go hand in hand. There’s just something I find fascinating about these peoples lives. Did they catch a lucky break? How hard did they actually work? Is this what they’ve always wanted? And a question that truly resonates with me: are they happy?
It’s just so easy to assume that these rich and famous people that can afford anything in the material world are, in fact, happy. The reason I love reading about celebrity’s lives (memoirs) is because these memoirs are deeply humanizing. A fan can actually relate to these people in very deep ways they never thought possible. And I find that to be a truly beautiful thing.
Celebrities, no matter how rich or famous or how big a smile they wear, can be just as sad and broken as a “normal person”. In the time of my depression, it just helped me realize that, I am truly NOT alone in this crazy thing we all call life. It helped me realize that happiness is not directly attached to money, fame, or materialistic wants.
So in a way, memoirs helped me. They helped my loneliness. They helped me understand the world. I’m not just speaking about celebrity memoirs either. My true love of memoirs and autobiographical tales came directly after reading Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Before this, I had only ever read and heard of one graphic memoir, Maus by Art Spiegelman. These are both accounts of seemingly “normal people” who lived under some excruciating circumstances.
I will always accredit my love for the autobiographical to Art Spiegelman and Marjane Satrapi, as well as my High School English teachers who introduced them to me and introduced the ability to relate to readings on an emotional level.