I just posted this to my wordpress blog, but I figured it would be most interesting to people here. :)
Yesterday I got to go to a meet and greet with John Green in Amsterdam. It was incredibly awesome to see him in person and to get to interact with him. It felt familiar because he came across just like he does in his videos, and I love his videos so I'm glad it was like that.
There were some lovely observations coming out of the q&a one of which resonated with me quite a bit. It was about how important it is to keep noticing things in your surroundings, other people but also just beautiful amazing things like flowers falling out of the sky (from trees). I remarked (my one question) about how it's easier to notice stuff if you're new to the area, if you live somewhere you get used to how it looks even when it's beautiful or special. John agreed and also challenged me to find something beautiful where he lives (which I'm sure I could albeit on a different scale then the beautifulness of Amsterdam) but that it is important to keep being amazed by our surroundings, which is just easier when you're travelling.
And I'm still thinking of this (maybe that's why I'm awake at 6.30 am on a Saturday, OH GOD WHY, BRAIN?) because it is a very normal human thing to get used to the things you see every day, so that even when they're awesome they're not special anymore. And while I agree with John that it's important to keep being amazed at things (this world man, have you SEEN it? Dude!) I do feel that it's a good thing our brains work in a way that makes us get used to amazing things. If we all were constantly amazed at the world, nobody could ever get anything done. And people need to do stuff like work and take care of other people and make things for future generations for them to be amazed at.
So yes, once in a while, remember to be amazed at the awesomeness of your surroundings, the rest of the time: do stuff that needs to be done. :)
I also sometimes walk around the city centre of Utrecht with it's pretty medieval buildings and I do think about how beautiful it all is in a way that makes me go: "How cool is it that all of this is normal for me!" And then realise that not everybody get to live in a place like this (or would feel at home in it). And that is also something important to realise, that other people have different (yet equally complex) lives. It's easy to forget that sometimes.
I love that meeting with John makes me think all these things. It is often a result from watching his videos as well (Hanks too!) but it has a bigger impact coming from an in person meeting like this.
Also someone else's question about the story of Hazel after TFIOS made me wonder if there are people writing fanfiction about John Greens work (which for some reason strikes me as hilarious, I don't know why).
This was my first nerdfighter gathering, and at first I was kind of nervous about being there on my own (I haven't actually started TFIOS yet and I didn't want to get spoiled), but I easily got to talking with the other nerdfighters there and had a wonderful evening (and didn't really get spoiled). John was very animated despite being awake for two days straight (I would be a cranky mess) and I loved sharing in this fandom. I usually fan over things on my own at home. It is not often something I get to share. He signed two books for me, one for me, the other for a gift I'm going to give and was very nice. Out of regard for how much he always has to sign I didn't bring all his books that I own although I was tempted to do so. That poor man's wrist.