My Hunger for the Games

Spoiler alert: If you have not read the Hunger Games and plan to, don’t read this post. I don’t want to hint toward anything that will ruin your personal discovery of what happens during the three-book page-turning series.

I finished reading the Hunger Games series this morning and found that it had a surprising impact on me, catapulting me onto an emotional roller coaster with every page I turned.

I resisted reading the books until now, trying to hold out and withstand the urge to read them only because everyone else was. But I found a copy of the Hunger Games in my sister’s bedroom a few weeks ago and dove right in. It took less than 50 pages to hook me.

I had to know what happened to Katniss, to Peeta, to their happily ever after. It really tore at my own heartstrings. Because with my son’s death last year came the solemn, desperate feeling that even though I married the man of my dreams, who despite my many weaknesses and daily drama loves me like Peeta first loves Kat, we are not immune from heartache and misfortunes.

I related completely to Katniss from the beginning. I shared a lot of her emotions portrayed in the book. Sometimes I’m scared to think that life is going good…because I’m worried that something will snatch me from my happiness.  Sometimes I worry I inflict suffering and pain upon those I love because I’m a selfish, rotten person. Sometimes I feel completely focused and resolved, yet other times confused and disoriented.

The beginning of book three is when I felt the most like Katniss. When she is transformed into the Monckingjay- a symbol of strength and power despite her inner grief and weaknesses.

It reminded me of the people who have told me that my attitude through my recent trials has given them strength through their own personal tragedies.

I’m taken back by their perception of me. Because sometimes I don’t feel strong. I feel like Katniss – lost and out of control and literally like I don’t want to do anything.

Luckily my moral compass and my religious views keep me from turning to drugs and shutting the world out completely, but I feel like I can relate completely to Katniss when she crumbles up in an empty bathtub in a broken-down building to escape from it all – the pain, the memories, the sorrow.

I have to give Suzanne Collins credit for accurately portraying raw, true emotion. I don’t know much about her personal life, but you can tell she knows what sorrow feels like. I thoroughly loved the series.

My favorite part of her storyline was how Kat and Peeta were forever changed by what happened to them. They couldn’t go back to the way they were before.

So they learned how to cope and adapt.

Unfortunately I think that’s exactly how real life is. Our personal trials and triumphs forever leave an impression on our hearts and minds. Good or bad.

Now I know that my death isn’t being targeted by government-made killing machines and I have yet to see a human killed before my eyes, but deep down I feel like I have witnessed some personal tragedies that will forever change me.

Luckily I am not alone. I have good friends and family to help me through my trials. I have my own “Peeta” who wraps his arms around me and tells me it’s going to be all right. And I have my religion that brings me hope that this life is really kind of like a game. A game that if I can figure out and play out well, will only lead me to a better prize. A prize filled with a lifetime of true immunity for all of its victors

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