I'm very excited to have author Kadee Carder on the blog today talking about her teenage crush!
Posters overlapped each other, the corners stapled up in a collage on my yellow-painted walls. I spent a lot of hours on my bed in there, dreaming about “what was to come,” and who I’d do those great big things with. I wanted to see the world, stand on strange new landscapes, overlook bridges and towers, by the side of someone who adored them as much as I did and who gripped my hand just as heartily in return. The posters were filled mainly with one face—a steely grin, perfect pearly teeth, blue eyes that guaranteed reckless quests, and, as the magazines described, “a mop of floppy blond hair.” Devon Sawa. I’ve always had a weakness for blond hair and blue eyes. I am still not sure why my parents allowed me to cover my entire wall, waist to ceiling, with pictures of him. The obsession began. The movies he starred in made me giggle and thrummed my heartstrings. He tackled the odds in The Little Giants. A renegade, friendly resident of his family’s unfortunate mansion, he haunted the likes of Christina Ricci in Casper. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the last ten minutes of that movie in order to watch them twirl around the dance floor and lock lips. Under wraps I followed his performance in Now and Then, the irksome love interest of one of the four girls in that memoir, and gripped my fists, white-knuckling through many performances in Night of the Twisters. Never before had I so wanted to be in a tornado with a certain someone. Ah, youth.
But you know what I think now, some twenty years later? During all those hours I spent ogling someone else doing things that seemed incredible to me…who would I be today if I had wandered out on my own bicycle and made some dreams come alive for myself? If instead of looking outward for someone else to fulfill my longing and cravings, what if I had followed Michael Jackson’s advice and looked in the mirror? If I could go back and tell my teenage self something, I’d tell her three things:
One: Be the hero. Instead of waiting for someone to ask, instead of watching everyone else from the sidelines, instead of wishing and hoping, go take action and do the things your heart longs to do. Go stand on those landscapes and bridges and towers and take in the scenery. Go build the life you crave, because your life depends on it.
Two: Do your best and have fun. Don’t be afraid of the people watching or the people saying things are impossible. Put in your best efforts, dig in, and try, try, try again and again and again. And throw a smile on those lips. Everything’s better when it’s done with joy.
Three: I’m going to quote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson here: “Always be kind, always be humble, and always be the hardest worker in the room.” Persevere. Use grit. Be the rock in the storm, the one capable and confident, even when the thunderstorms roll in. Dig in and glory in it.
Devon Sawa’s career took some interesting turns and honestly after my early teenage years I didn’t watch most of his films because they were *dark* and I don’t dig the dark. I love sunshine. What I loved about the characters he played in those earlier films, especially Junior from The Little Giants and Casper and Dan from Night of the Twisters, were that he was something of an underdog, carrying his team toward the win. He was the helper. He was the steady hand. He was the ready smile. In reality, I was crushing on the idea of a ghost, but a ghost I wanted to be. Do our crushes lead us to who we want to be? Maybe so. Maybe that’s one great element of admiration and passion—they give us heroes and shape us into the voyagers we want to be. Floppy blond hair and all.
Bio: Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, and non-fiction inspirational IGNITE roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.