If she told me to jump off a bridge, I just might do it. She was the only friend who would tell me anything, and I would do anything for her.
I think I love her.
Growing up, I wanted to know everything—sex, bullying, whether I was normal or not.
I was curious—confused really. Kids were mean and girls were pretty.
Judy Blume was the only one who would answer my questions.
I was asking, “What is it all for?” And she told me. I thought, maybe this is what finding God feels like.
She’s a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author with more than 85 million books sold. Successful? Yes. But it’s more than that.
“I represent childhood,” she says, “I think when somebody represents your childhood, that’s special. I’m lucky people tell me that.”
Her book, “Forever,” taught me about sex. “Blubber” explained bullying. I read Judy Blume’s books because I had questions and she had answers.
So where did she come from?
At age 25, a man took her on a date. He stayed the night and never left.
They got married, had two little babies, but Judy realized she had stories but no other outlets. “I wouldn’t say I had exactly grown up when I started to write, but I was in a grown-up situation.”
Sometimes, as grown-ups, we stop taking care of ourselves. We neglect our needs, health, relationships, and friendships. But if you’re open to living a better life, you’ll learn something from Judy Blume.
She used to feel stuck, too. Stuck and lonely. “I understand now how important friendship is in a life, no matter how happy you are with your family,” she says.
Do you feel a void, too? What’s missing here?
Judy realized she needed to take care of herself. “Before I started to write, I was sick all the time. I was always sick. I had one exotic illness after another, but once I started writing I was letting that bad stuff out and it didn’t have to make me sick anymore,” she says.
Writing helped her and it helped us, but we’re still wondering, “What is it all for?”
Uncertainty and darkness. “Would you say that’s the overriding theme of the book,” I asked.
“You’re interesting,” Judy says. “I’m a person who never knows the theme of her book.”
Her new book, “In The Unlikely Event,” is an opportunity for me, for you, for everyone “to be taken out of our own lives, to get insight into other people’s lives, as well as our own lives, and to learn new things.”
Listen now to Judy Blume. No bridge necessary.