I noticed something after writing my previous post, in which I detailed inspirational characters, and I think it's time to rectify that. I missed out one of the more recent inspirations in my life, which came in a lovely graphic novel by the name of Anya's Ghost, by Vera Brosgol. Those who follow my antics on the interwebs might be well aware that I use various pictures of Anya on various websites, such as this very blog and Goodreads.
Anya is a slightly atypical teen. She's in high school, she's self-conscious about her body, she smokes, but unlike most of her peers, she's Russian and a bit of a loner. She has her best friend, Siobhan, but she's more of a rebel and I got the feeling Anya only goes along with her as much as she does out of a lack of friends, although that's not to say they're not friends. The only other Russian kid in her school is Dima, who is basically the bullied nerd. Sounds a bit familiar.
I'm not sure why she's such an inspiration. Perhaps it's just the fact I identify with her, and she realises at the end that being herself is much more important that doing what she feels should be done. I mean, yeah, I would absolutely kill to have her figure, but as a character she's one I feel a lot for. We were both bullied, although I never knew the reason for my own. We have very few friends (I think I border on the number zero, actually), we both wanted to be accepted as normal. Typical teen stuff, I guess, but the way Vera wrote and presented her inspired me a fair amount.
I suppose it's partially a case of part of me wanted to be Anya, to live her life and all that. I will admit to that. On the other hand, I sympathised for her on levels that I rarely feel with other characters. I knew aspects of what she'd gone through, I know what it's like to be alienated in a school and to not have many, if any, friends. Most of all, I know what it's like to struggle with myself, and that's what she does.
N.B. Image taken from the preview for Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol, as seen on tor.com