Breaking Up, Moving on, and Seeing the Other Doors
When a good thing ends, it’s never easy. If something fills us with happiness, we hope it won’t fade away. We want it to stick around forever. But sometimes, even good things aren’t so great. Sometimes those things can keep us on a single road—and even if it’s an easy, sunny, joyful road, staying there might stop us from going anywhere else. It can keep us from growing and becoming everything we can be.
In Other Words for Love, the main character—Ari—doubts herself. She’s pretty, smart, and a gifted artist…but that isn’t what she sees in the mirror. She only sees her flaws, and she’s afraid of risk. She loves to draw and she’s good at it, and even though her mother is confident that Ari can become a successful artist one day, Ari is afraid to try. She fears being rejected and criticized, and she prefers to keep her art “hidden in my studio like a newborn baby because nobody would ever love it the way I did.”
But Ari doesn’t really know that. Other people might love Ari’s art as much as she does…if she’d only give them a chance.
Ari is also yearning for attention and affection, and she finds it when she meets Blake. He becomes her boyfriend, and she quickly falls into a euphoric, intense relationship that smolders with bliss. A world that seemed gray and empty to Ari is now colorful and beautiful and thrilling, and Ari wants it to stay that way forever.
But it doesn’t. And when Ari loses Blake, everything looks darker than it ever had before. With Blake, Ari had plans and dreams and hopes for a future…and when he’s gone, she can’t see past her heartbreak. She can’t see other possibilities.
But there are other possibilities, and this is a lesson that Ari learns. Through her struggles, she realizes that there isn’t only one path, and that there are many roads to happiness. Breaking up and moving on can be difficult, but it’s not the end of the world. It might be the road to a much brighter one. It could be the thing that helps us to grow and to find out who we really are.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” This is a quote from Helen Keller, and it’s something that Ari finally understands. I think it’s good advice for anyone.
Lorraine Zago Rosenthal is the author of the incredible novel Other Words For Love. To see our review click here
Check out the book trailer below –