There are some stories that make you feel—more. Greater range of emotions, sure. But also more. Things you wouldn’t otherwise be feeling, at intensities you wouldn’t otherwise be experiencing. That’s why I love stories, and why I write them.
My favorite kind of stories are the ones that make you believe that you could do anything. That you are capable of everything. I love those. When I binge-watch Dollhouse and see the Sierra-Victor romance survive wipe after wipe, or Echo becoming her own self despite all the other minds in her head wanting to speak up. Or when I’ve finished His Dark Materials, either re-reading or listening to the audio books for the hundredth time. If Lyra and Will can do what they do, make their sacrifices and persevere against those odds—it makes me feel like I can, too.
Perhaps it’s hubris, to think that we’re every bit as good and capable as our favorite heroes. But I prefer to think of them as my greatest teachers, and having faith that I will learn from them comes from a seat of humility, not pride. Stories can show us how to be our best selves, if we let them.