To All the Girls Who Fought
Written by
Ilie Ruby
September 2010
Written by
Ilie Ruby
September 2010
All, I feel compelled to say this, based on a letter I received from a teenage girl thanking me for a section in my novel, “The Language of Trees”. So I need to send a message to a certain group of girls. And it is this: To all the girls who ran wild at 17, that let their hair grow long and flung it boldly in the rain, who dyed their hair, who snuck out of windows and stayed out too late, who drank and smoked and danced too much, to those who may have hurt themselves, who may have gone too far with boys they didn’t love, who suffered under judgmental glares praying for invisibility, to those girls who jumped off bridges into cold rivers and swam, who wore too much eye-liner, who fought, who loved, who fell, who made mistakes, and got up again, and ran, untethered, to where and to what they couldn’t have known, to all of you I want to implore you: Take heart, because you have passion, you, who will ultimately prove your place in things, you, who will ultimately bring magic and change to the world.

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  • Michelle McGee

    I LOVE this! It is so true. I used to be one of those girls in several aspects and one thing I can truly say about myself is that I live with passion. I didn't run wild in the same sense, but I did enter into a world of self-abuse because my emotions were too big for me. Now I know those emotions were the beginnings of the parts of me that I love the most now. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Ilie Ruby

    Each day growing more thankful for the wild side.

    In my first book, I wrote like a mother. In my second, I'm writing like a MF.

  • Laura Molina

    Just read Sugar's #48 too and it was great!

  • Ilie Ruby

    Thank you! Sugar rocks. Have to get that t-shirt, too, and wear it when my 3 young hoodlums are not around their writer mamma. :)

  • Beth Lowe

    Ilie, I love this. I wish someone had told my best friend and me this when we were 17. i think we managed, though. Me with my words, she with animals (she rescues the ones who need rescuing). Do you mind if I quote her this message from you? I'm off to get two copies of your book, one for each of us.

    P.S. I'm with Laura Didyk, below: I think you'll love Sugar's piece, too. And the t-shirt is awesome. I just got mine. :-)

  • Laura Didyk

    You DEFINITELY need to go read Sugar's post over at the Rumpus "How You Get Unstuck": You will love it (oh, and the new t-shirts are on sale.. "Write like a motherfucker." Mine is on the way!

  • Kelli Swearingen

    Love it!

  • Tracy Slater

    Happy eve-of-your-birthday, Ilie! I'm going to email you soon about the fall Four Stories lineup. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Laura Molina

    "Applied red lipstick, put on a short skirt, grabbed her guitar and played Rock 'n Roll with the boys!"

  • Marcia Fine

    I loved this! I was one of those girls who looked like 12 at 17 so I watched the "wild girls" from afar. I taught high school English and started another business that marketed self-esteem to teen-age girls. What a vulnerable age! All the bravado and not so much back-up.