8 Life and Love Lessons From Lara Jean That Hit Right in the Feels
Young Adult fiction writer Jenny Han has just released the last book of her New York Times best-selling trilogy To All the Boys I've Loved Before. The story, which took off in 2014, revolves around Lara Jean's high school journey when her secret love letters get sent out, following her relationship with her family, friends, and her handsome fake boyfriend Peter Kavinsky. Now that Han has closed the doors on our favorite Korean-American teen, here are a few one-liners from her story that could help us get through life braver.
- "The little things are what make up life."
Celebrating huge successes feel great because it means we've accomplished a chapter of our lives, such as graduating college or landing your dream job. However, it's the small things that make every moment worth it. Without your barkada bondings, spontaneous road trips with your blockmates, and night-outs with besties, we would lose the zest that makes life worth living.
- "It will get easier each time, I think. I hope. I just have to keep trying."
Lara Jean gives us a constant reminder of how nothing starts out easy, but if we keep going at it, we will be able to do these things we deem undoable.
- "So much of love is chance."
If you've read the first book, you'll know that if Kitty, Lara Jean's little sister, hadn't sent her love letters to any of the guys, she wouldn't have to fake-date Peter K. And if that ended up happening, then there would be no real relationship by the end of the second book. Love is not a force to be dealt with, it's something that just happens at the most unexpected time: for LJ, for Peter K., and for everyone else in this world.
- "If we're so guarded, it's not going to be anything."
"It" being anything you would want it to be. To truly live a fulfilling life, you have to be able to take risks—to dive headfirst into the deep end. Of course, we must be wise and test the situation, but if we keep wading in shallow waters, we'll never discover the beauty life has to offer us.
- "I don't want to be loved in half measures. I want it all, and to have it all, you have to risk it all."
We all want to be loved in full; what's the purpose of being loved if it's only in bits and pieces? However, we overlook the fact that if we want to receive love, we have to give it first. Love isn't something that's meant to be kept locked away in a drawer; it's something that's meant to be treasured and given to the people around us.
- "Being vulnerable, letting people in, getting hurt... it's all a part of being in love."
However, being loved and being in love is not and never will be an easy thing. Once we start caring for people, we open ourselves to sensitive feelings; but we shouldn't let it overpower us. To be in love is to go through rough patches, to overcome them, and to still want to give your all to your significant other.
- "Never say no when you want to say yes."
We are offered new chances every day. Whether it's your best friend's mom offering you seconds at the dinner table, or a university offering you a spot for the school year, never let go of chances you really want. Life's too short to play hard to get!
- "Life doesn't have to be so planned. Just roll with it and let it happen."
As teenagers, we're afraid of what the universe will think of pouring over our heads; thus, we plan almost every moment and milestone of our lives. However, as great as it would be to know what would happen every day, life won't live up to your expectations. Great surprises will be thrown your way, and all you can do is go with the flow.
What's the most valuable life lesson you've learned from your fave YA book? Share them with us in the comments below.
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"Today, I Won"
I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.
When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.
For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.
After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.
It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.
To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.
Why our high school barkada is the best?
Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.
Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:
1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.
2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.
3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.
4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.
5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.
6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.
7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.
You're gonna bend and break and then at some point in your life, you feel like you don't want to fall in love again.
Not because you're no longer capable of loving but because you're so afraid to get hurt again that you don't want to take a risk anymore. And you're gonna wake up one day and realize that you're not the same person as you were yesterday. The heart aches, heartbreaks, frustration, you'll see, those will transform your whole being into something better.
Honey, move forward. Let go off all the things that are not meant for you. Let go of all the people who hurt you and take you for granted. Don't be stuck feeling miserable.
And don't turn that love into hate when you resent someone for hurting you or for breaking your heart. Just wish them well and let them go. Welcome the possibility of a beautiful love that will come your way. You're worthy of love that you keep on giving to other people. Keep that in mind.
I wish you well and all the happiness. You deserve it.
Here we are — with rough hands entwined, damned hearts at peace, broken souls resting with ease —savoring each passing moment before we part ways...hoping things will turn out to be okay. Here we are — standing still, keeping our earnest desire and ardent passion for each other at bay — hoping the Universe will finally grant us of the day that we no longer have to pretend... that things will no longer have to end.
Here we are — with crooked smiles, lingering touch that will last for a while -- gathering all the remaining courage to set each other free. Wishing for the day that our hearts will no longer have to worry. Here we are letting each other go. Even though we both know that the future is uncertain. Even though we're unsure if our paths will cross once again.