The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is the story of Nouschka, a wild flower living in Quebec, Canada. With her twin brother Nicholas always close by her side, she lives like a wannabe rebel in a place where everybody knows her name thanks to fifteen minutes of fame during her childhood.
The novel focuses on relationships, mainly that of family, and how bad parenting can create a domino effect. To me, it also describes how we try to live the best life, doing the things that we are supposed to do to become secure, all the while thinking that the grass is greener elsewhere.
Soon after diving into this book I picked it up as much as I could, rooting for things to go well for Nouschka and her family. It wasn’t long also that I had to grab a colouring pencil and underline some awesome quotes as I hungrily read:
“We were only as extraordinary as the next person. Or anyways, we had to do all the things that everybody else does to become something.”
I struggled/continue to struggle with the thought that we all live the same life in the end. We all get educated, we all get jobs, we all settle down eventually. I have realised though that even if I had a wild life, even if I didn’t know where I was going to be the next day (which we could argue is true even if you have a daily routine), wouldn’t I just long for some stability? Wouldn’t I wish for somebody to be with and love everyday? That’s one of life’s great problems I think – curiosity. We like to imagine what our lives might be like if we did something different. I’m all for making your life your own, yet I also find myself longing for the things that everybody else has; groups of friends, a great job, a workout routine, money coming in every month.
“These were all sorts of people who were trying to figure out this world, so that they could have apartments and they could support their families, so that they didn’t have to be afraid, so that they could feel proud of themselves.”
Again, this relates to that stability I was talking about. My SO and I have had a particularly tough year, trying to put roots down in a new city whilst battling with inner demons (I’m looking at you, depression and anxiety). The thing I want most at the moment is a pay cheque that comes in every month without fail. I would like that security. I would like not to worry about rent. I would like to feel part of something and to be proud of that.
“It was terrifying to have the responsibility of living in a world that was filled with so much wonder.”
Early one morning I was worrying to a point of spiralling into terrible thought patterns, and I began thinking about how I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by just how many possibilities there are in this world. It can feel like everyone around you is telling you that you must complete your goals and reach for the stars right now, this very second, or you’re letting yourself (and everybody else) down. I know this isn’t true, and that sometimes we just need to rest and do nothing, and yet when I look at a to-do list that isn’t as completed as I would like, I feel a sense of guilt.
“You feel as if everybody has been given an instruction manual on how to be like-able, but you didn’t get it. And they are all sold out now.”
If I could sum up my time at secondary school with one quote, it would be this! I didn’t understand why all the girls around me were becoming more interested in boys and make-up rather than playing pretend or riding their bikes. It seemed like they had all been briefed about how to be a pre-teen and I had missed the lecture.
“When you are born and put into your crib, the whole world sticks their heads over the tops of the bars. They give you a name and they have all sorts of different ideas about you. These are all just strange fairy tales.”
Basically a statement that says; nobody defines who you are but you.
“You have to know that the life you have is completely yours.”
Each person lives their lives differently. We take our own paths, learn from our mistakes, sometimes repeat those mistakes, discover what we like, change what we like, change ourselves. We can’t be compared because we are all different. The only person that is control of our lives, that can compare it is us.
Step into this coming-of-age brilliance and leave with some philosophical brain food.
Have you read the book? What do you think of these quotes? Got any reading recommendations for me? Let’s have a chat in the comments section below!