​Sarah Dessen’s “Infinity” and the Daunting Task of Making a Decision

Before names like Rainbow Rowell and John Green became big in the Contemporary Teen Fiction genre, I was already head over heels in love with Sarah Dessen.

She was the first YA author I’ve read that veered slightly off the romance focus. Her novels weren’t the typical “girl protag deals with school drama and gets the dream guy” stories in her genre. She concentrated on the things teenagers deal with at that point in their lives. That includes love, of course, but it’s more than romance, as we teens and the once-teens all know.

the daunting task of making a decision

Family, friends, school, the transition from child to adult. Sarah Dessen covers these and more with profound subtlety in her novels. And that’s why I like her books more than Green’s or even Rowell’s. (Also, well, she’s my YA Contemporary first love.)

Infinity isn’t different, in that sense. It’s about a sixteen-year-old girl who was conflicted by two big decisions she had to make. One was whether she would go through the roundabout in her town or whiz through shortcuts like her mother, who avoided it like the plague. The other was whether she wants to go all the way with her boyfriend Anthony.

Reading that, you’d probably be like, “Whaa?! That’s kinda trivial” or something. But then you’d have to read the book to understand, yo.

So I may not be a sixteen-year-old girl anymore, but I can still relate to what the main character was going through. It’s not just about roundabouts and having your first time.

It’s about fear of what was to come.

It’s about indecisions and the uncertainty you have when choosing.

As teenagers, we’re bound to make many decisions and choices. It could be daunting, especially since we just transitioned from childhood when everything was much simpler. Uncertainties and indecisiveness could make us feel like we’re stuck when everyone else seems to know where they want to go, which path to take.

Well well, look at me, talking like I know something.

Oh wait I actually do.

Here’s a confession: I am uncertain about what path my life would take. I don’t have specific goals or ambitions. No “I will be working in a corporate with my own cubicle!” kind of ambition

Actually, that was my goal back in high school. Now, it doesn’t feel right. There’s only one thing that I really want right now: I want to finish school. After that…well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

The thing is, when you admit to having nothing planned out for your future, people get the impression that you’re not serious about your life. You’re wasting it. You’re setting yourself up for complete failure. You’ll never achieve success if you don’t forge head on fast.

I would know, because I was one of those people.

That moment in college when my perspective totally changed and the colorful aspirations that I have for myself turned black and white was, I’m telling you, a hell lot awful.

It’s like being in a marathon and you just stop dead in your tracks, suddenly realizing, “What in the world am I doing?” while you watch the rest of your fellow runners move forward.

Sarah Dessen quotes

I felt embarrassed of myself and less confident with how I’m leading my life. Because I wouldn’t be on time if I don’t get this over with.

Because I wasn’t leading my life the way everyone else was.

But then I realize there is no race. “On time” doesn’t exist. There is no pace to keep except my own. And that’s the refresher I got from this short story.

Sarah Dessen quotes 2

Do you have goals planned out? Are you unsure of what you want to do in the future? Share a bit of your story in the comments or email me if you want someone to pour your heart out to! 🙂

Have an awesome day, awesome peeps!💃


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