Book No. 27 – The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am

16 Feb

Book number 27 is called The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am by Kjersti A. Skomsvold. Getting older is something I personally dread and I’m sure majority of you do too. To think that one day I will look in the mirror and I won’t be able to recognize the tired, wrinkly face looking back at me is just plain scary. The main character in the book, Mathea Martinsen has never been good with people and after a long life her only real accomplishment is that she is still alive. She is consumed with thoughts of death. She often wonders how she will die and when and she knows it is only a matter of time. This woman is terrified of interacting with other human beings so she isolates herself inside her home and only leaves to go to the grocery store. She is terrified of dying but she is equally terrified of living. So basically, she sits and waits for death to take her so she can finally be at peace. She finds her greatest joy in the rare moments where a stranger will ask her for the time. And when she tells them the time, she feels like maybe she just might have a purpose in life. To give people the time. A minuscule purpose, but a purpose she cherishes none-the-less. The character in this book has disappeared so completely that the world won’t even notice her passing. She has made no mark on the world, left no trace of who she is behind and when she dies, nobody will even know she existed. The main character, Mathea, is adorably absurd in her language, thoughts and actions that you can’t help but love and feel sorry for her at the same time. She is a perfect example of the irreparable loneliness of being human. We all feel alone at times. And thats because we are, in a sense, until we die. What this book makes me realize is that some people live their whole entire lives in darkness, like vampires. They are cut off from humanity, caged and cloistered because of fear. Fear will seal your fate.. and it will not be a satisfying or happy one. Mathea is a prime example of this. I often wonder what I will have to look back on when I am 80 years old and on my death bed. Did I ever get married? Did I ever go to Africa? Was I happy? Did I live? Think. When you are 80 years old and waiting to die, what memories will you want to look back on? Will you wish you had taken that family vacation? Will you wish you had quit your job because it makes you so miserable? Make your life your own, and you will have no regrets at the end of your days. We should all share a common goal: to not leave this world without leaving our legacy’s behind, other wise, our lives will be nothing more than a waste. It’s easy to feel small in a world so big, but know that we all have a place here, and when you feel like you are shrinking, fading into oblivion, know that there are things to hold on to. Hope. Faith. Each other. Humans are not meant to go through life alone. Life is complex, and it may very well be the scariest and cruelest thing out there, but the way we get through it is by not doing it alone. We have each other to hold on to, to keep each other going, to keep each other sane. Once you let go of the people that surround you, there is no turning back. So never let go. Ever.

In my Valentines Day card this year my dad wrote, : “Climb every mountain, cross every stream… until you reach your dream.”

It’s not too late to change your life. No matter how old you are, your life is YOURS.

One of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda, said this:

“Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.”

Decide that it will be the happiest hour of your life. Live your life on your own terms and in turn, you will love the life you live and more importantly, you will love yourself.


Taylor Jordan


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