So…What Now? (A Summertime Conundrum)

Being on vacation is great, especially right after you take your last final. You wake up in the morning, and you realize that, guess what? you don’t have any homework! It’s the BEST feeling. And that nagging sensation that you’ve got schoolwork to catch up on, assignments to prepare? Kiss that sucker goodbye. School is out, and you’re off the hook. There is no greater relief.

Unfortunately, it only took a few days for me to get to the point where sleeping in became kind of tiresome (ironic, yeah?), my most frequented activities (internet surfing, Twitter-loitering) started giving me a headache, and staying at home all day wasn’t as attractive as it might have been on Vacation Day 1. I feel like the March sisters from Little Women, when they decided to spend a week without doing any kind of work that they didn’t like, and only do activities that they WANTED to do. In the classic lessons-learned fashion, they ended up rather grouchy and thoroughly exhausted from “all play and no work.”

It’s when you’ve been on vacation for awhile, then, that you start to ask yourself, “So…what now?”

Fortunately, I have somewhat of an advantage in answering this question, because I am only on vacation from school until June 9th, when my online summer classes start. I also have a class in July, so really, I am only getting about 5-6 weeks of vacation this summer. But again, after a few days, the slowness of it all starts to sink in and I’m left feeling like I NEED to find something more productive to do then sleep in and sit around.

So, here is a list of things that I hope to accomplish this summer, before, after, and in-between classes.

1) WRITE ON THIS BLOG MORE OFTEN. Seriously, though. Anyone who’s been keeping up with this blog MUST have noticed that it’s been a while since my last post, something to the tune of several weeks. Turns out inspiration can be rather elusive. Therefore, I am determining to search for it in the future, earnestly, instead of just waiting for it to come to me.

2) Sign up for Fall classes. I know, I just got out of the Spring semester and I’m already thinking ahead. But really, I think this is the best approach to college. Looking at class schedules for future semesters, getting signed up, buying books, etc. are all things that are best done as early as possible. This gives you an opportunity to plan ahead, and to save seats in your preferred classes.

3) Read. It’s amazing how much time school takes up. At the beginning of the Spring semester, and even towards the middle, I thought that I wasn’t that busy with schoolwork. Later on, though, I realized just how much of my time was spent doing homework, working on essays, studying, all that jazz. And it was a lot of time. Consequently, reading for pleasure (something that I did a lot when I was in high school) went by the wayside. Now that I have some time off, though, I plan to get back to this hobby. Some books that I hope to finish by the end of the summer are: The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson; The World Without Princes, by Soman Chainani; and Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves, by James S. A. Corey (the first two are fantasy, and the latter…well, I don’t really have to explain that one ;).

4) WRITE. I don’t think I’ve really gone into detail on this blog about the fantasy story I want to write someday. I won’t explain the plot of it here, as that’s not the point of this particular post. Instead, let me point you to the key word in the last sentence, which was “someday.” For some reason, I haven’t been able to really sit down and write my story in a way that I really like. It may be partly because I haven’t gotten all the details fleshed out properly yet, but still…details and stories don’t write themselves. That’s why I’ve listed WRITE as one of my goals, because I want to get this story written down, and I know that getting frustrated and discouraged (and consequently, not writing ANYTHING) is not going to get me the results I want. Fortunately, I’ve already taken a step in the right direction toward author-dom, by getting involved in a writers’ support group. Some people that I follow on Twitter (all nice folks, and Star Wars fans to boot), along with myself, got together and formed this group, called Rogue Writers (you know, Rogue Squadron? Anyone?…). The purpose of our getting together over the internet is to support, encourage, and give feedback to each other so that hopefully, we’ll reach our writing goals. It’s a pretty cool setup. There’s nothing like having people who are in the same boat as you (that boat being, not writing, for one reason or another) around with whom you can share your work, and also share in their work, as well.

Last one, because this post is getting rather lengthy.

5) EXERCISE! YAY!!!! *crazy laugh*

Pray for me on that last one.

So, those be my goals. Okay, quite a few of them involve sitting down, and some of them involve being on a computer, but the point is that this list gives me DIRECTION. Instead of wandering around aimlessly on the internet, I’ll have some purposes for getting on there (blogging and writing). Instead of moping around the house and wondering what I could be doing besides irritating the cat, I can do something productive, something that will me feel as though I have actually accomplished something, by the end of the day. And that, right there, is truly the BEST feeling, whether you’re in school or on vacation. Contrarily, to look back at every day of the past week and realize that you succeeded in doing almost NOTHING of significant value, is like getting slapped in the face. A slap in the face stings, but there’s nothing you do to erase it. You just have to do better today.

Have a great summer, everybody! And stay tuned to Edited Lives for more edge-of-your-seat action! This is where the fun begins!

 

 

 

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Experience Is The Key…

When trying to decide what to major and minor in at Texas Tech University and discover what steps would lead me to the career of my fondest choice (editing books for a publishing house), I quickly became somewhat frustrated, because there really aren’t any clear guidelines on how to go about it. I looked at different career sites, and they all said the same thing: get a BA in technical communications, English, or journalism. That’s pretty much it; not much advice on what to minor in (if you were going to major in technical communications, it was suggested that you minor in whatever field you’re interested in technically writing for, so I guess it’s just based upon interests?); nothing about what kind of English or journalism classes to take that would work best for a career in editing. Because let me tell you: I don’t know about journalism classes, but there are MANY different kinds of English classes. The English degree at Texas Tech has multiple areas of specialization, like creative writing, literature, and teaching. And even if you just minor in English, you still have to decide what classes you’re most interested in. Do you want to learn to write better (creative writing) or read better (literature) or teach?

I was more than a little confused. But perhaps it would be easier for you,the reader, to understand my confusion by doing a brief rewind. Before doing all this research, I had settled on majoring in Technical Communications and minoring in English. But for some reason, I decided to turn my decision on its head for awhile and consider other options. Hence the more in-depth research into editors’ education, after which this chaotic conundrum ensued, along with the inevitable queries:

Why is college so confusing?

Why isn’t there a clear set of steps that I can follow to get me where I want to go?

Should I revamp my university plans entirely?

And then, it happened. I came across this blog post: http://crazyindustry.blogspot.com/2005/03/becoming-editor.html It was written by a woman who went through her own struggles to find a clear path to becoming an editor, a way through the twists and turns of the maze that is college and education. Before she goes into her own personal tips and tricks about how to get into this sought-after career, she quotes a friend who summed up the essence of a would-be editor’s journey quite profoundly: There’s no way a person becomes an editor. One simply decides that one is, and sets about doing it.

The rest of the article is very interesting and contains some helpful guidelines, but what I found that really stuck in my brain was in the comments section. First of all, one commenter, whom I assume by the authoritative way she conveyed her information is an editor or someone of that ilk, stated “‘Get connected, keep your ears open, and tell EVERYONE that you’re looking for a job in publishing,” after which she goes on to describe how to get connected to the publishing industry, like working in a bookstore, moving to NYC (the hub of the publishing world), etc. The author of the blog post references this comment later on in a reply to another commenter, saying: “get connected in the field in which you want to work….” Whether you want to edit books for a publishing company, or “edit a magazine for guitarists” (the author’s example), you have to get out there and really dive into whatever it is you’re interested in. The rest just kind of follows.

To put all of this in a nutshell, the two biggest points that came across to me from this blog post were: experience and learning are key. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you have an English major or not, or even what you major in, really. Just so long as you have received an education in whatever field it is you want to be editing in. The editor blogger also mentioned that she had known some editors who had studied science, and others still didn’t have a degree at all (they just “read widely”). The main thing is to read a lot, have “excellent” writing skills, and seek knowledge concerning whatever industry or part of an industry you want to work in.

This blog post gave me clarity; a direction, you might say. And guess what? I ended up going back to my original plan of majoring in Technical Communications and minoring in English. But, throughout this whole process, I have spawned some new goals.

Firstly, I want more experience. I would like to work in a bookstore, and I want to have read a LOT of books by the time I’m through at Texas Tech! I want to intern with a publishing company, but not just any publishing company: a company like Tor, which publishes sci fi and fantasy novels, or Random House, which publishes anything and everything (and also owns Del Rey, which *cough cough* may or may not produce *cough cough* Star Wars books). Heck, I’d even like to dip my toes in journalism a bit and work for a newspaper or a magazine or something, just to get that experience. Experience really is key, it would seem. And, even though it’s not in my major or minor, I’d like to learn more about astronomy, and do star gazing and stuff like that because, believe it or not, I really do like astronomy. A LOT (in fact, I wanted to be an astronomer at one time, but nuance). That would even help my career aspirations by familiarizing myself with more space-y terms that might be present in books I might edit (or books I might write ;). You get my drift; if I want to make something a part of my career, I need to learn more about it.

Secondly…I want to get into writing and publishing. Even if I don’t become a professional editor, I can still do freelance work. Or maybe I’ll become a world-famous author and let other people edit MY stuff. The sky’s the limit, really. All I have to do is decide that THIS is what I want to do, that THIS is what I’m going to shoot for. And I think that that kind of thinking applies to every career, every choice in life, not just editing. It’s all up to us, I guess. “All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us,” as a certain grey wizard would say.

And now that I have bored you to tears with career woes and philosophical meanderings, I only have one more thing to say: I’m getting a computer-screen-glare headache from all this writing, so you better have read the whole…stinkin’…thing. Thank you.

Rock Swagger On The Way To Math Class

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iPods really are marvelous devices. How delightful to be able to take music with you wherever you go! I have an iPod Nano, the newest model, pictured above with my lovely self. Ain’t she a beaut (the iPod, I mean, but I understand your confusion)? You should see all of its contents, though. You know, music really does tell a lot about a person. I have all kinds of music genres for different moods and feelings, and they all speak to what kind of person I am: rock for despair (not my despair, my fantasy characters’ despair, I’m kind of writing a book or rather trying to, and anyway, point is, my music describes my characters, too), electronic and Celtic for dance and jumping around, soundtrack for feelings of monumental epicness and sweet adventures (FICTIONAL adventures, usually), and (an oft-listened to genre in between college classes) classic rock, for swagger and attitude and just feeling ALIVE!

Here’s a list of what I’ve listened to on my way to math class:

  • Livin’ On A Prayer- Bon Jovi
  • Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’-Journey
  • Highway To Hell- AC/DC
  • Halo Theme (Mjolnir Mix)
  • Tornado- Little Big Town

That fourth one, Halo Theme (the theme to the popular video game Halo, for those of you who don’t know/have never known any teenage boys within the last decade) is more for the aforementioned thoughts of epicness and wild finger motions for the electric guitar riffs, but the others are really interesting in a different way. When I’ve got a beat plugged into my ears, it kind of moves into my butt and my legs and I walk with a longer stride and I’m struggling with self-consciousness  because I’m afraid I might be swaggering across the campus but it’s all just so good and I have to turn up the volume and wear sunglasses and appear totally cool, even though I’m the only one who can hear the far-out tunes coming out of my amazing Apple earbuds.

It’s great. It’s more than great, it’s EMPOWERING. If there is ever an invasion of zombies on campus, just give me Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (how appropo, I’m telling you) and a lightsaber or a sword that I can lift and I’ll be out there kicking zombie butt with the rest of ’em. Play that creepy crooning song from the credits of The Two Towers, and I’ll probably sprint away with all speed for my former criminology teacher’s class (my former criminology teacher is tall and wears a black trench coat and cowboy hat, so he’s already halfway ready for a rollickin’ zombie-slaying battle).

Point is, music is just awesome. Ain’t nothin’ like it to draw up the feelings from your soul, givin’ them a beat or a melody so that you can express those feelings in some small way, even if nobody else really understands. *cue the mysterious Force theme from Star Wars, cuz it’s just that kind of conversation*

Hey, I had to throw Star Wars in there somewhere, right?

 

The Constancy of Change

What is it about life that frightens people? Why do we find it so hard to do something different, or change our perspective, or let go of something we’ve been holding on to for years? What IS it??

I guess what brought these questions on was the thought of death. I was pondering the subject of death earlier today, and I realized: the hardest thing about death is, it represents change. Think about it: yes, we’re sad that the person who died is no longer with us, but most of our sadness is for ourselves. We’ve lost a presence that was a precious part of our lives. We’re being forced to pick up and move on with the rest of the world, even though we’re in agony. And more than anything, we want things to go back to the way they used to be, before things changed.

Change. I think that is what frightens human beings, more than anything else. Change is a threat to the normalcy and the seemingly unshakeable patterns we’ve created in our daily lives. But it’s more than just change that we fear. It’s the thought that something could be different. It’s the unknown.

With this new philosophy in mind, I can explain my reactions to different incidents that have happened throughout my life. Most recently, there was my trip to Mexico to visit my co-blogger, Rebekah, and her family. It was the first time that I had taken a vacation of some length (ten days) to a place far from any of my family members. I was fairly confident that I would do well without the people I was most familiar with at my side, where I had been accustomed to having them up to now. Therefore, it was a bit of an uncomfortable surprise when I arrived at my friend’s house, where I burst into tears and suddenly found myself wanting to run back to my family in the States and turn my ten-day trip into a five-day trip.

What happened to my fortitude, my self-assurance about this trip? Well, let’s apply the fear of change to my situation: I was in a foreign country, without any of the people that I had been around every day of my life near me. There were a lot of new things happening to me that I wasn’t exactly prepared to deal with. Fortunately, I stuck it out and stayed the whole ten days, and I had a really good time.  But the trip was still a bit tainted by that explosion of emotion upon realizing how different this adventure was from any I had ever had before.

Do you see what I mean? Doesn’t the fear of change and things being different explain SO much about ourselves? Now, I believe that there are different kinds of changes, and that they vary in their degrees of terror and discomfort according to the person experiencing them. For example, Rebekah is now in Israel for a ten-month stay; the only person around that she is really familiar with is her sister. Ten months is a lot longer than ten days, and yet… I think she is handling her trip better than I did mine. But, that just goes to show you how everyone’s perspective on change is different. What I might have found to be traumatic, she finds fresh and exciting.

But, there are also some changes that no one deals with very easily, like death and tragedy. And in a world in which we never know what kind of changes we will face and what new things are coming up to meet us each and every day…how are we to deal with it all? For there will always be change. As Shmi Skywalker from Star Wars said, “You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.”

So, again, I ask: how are we to deal with it all?

Well, I don’t know about any of you who are reading this post, but… I believe in a God. And you know what? There are so many different religions in the world, and they are always changing. Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, you name it, it’s probably different than what it was a hundred years ago, or maybe even ten years ago. But what’s the one thing that has remained the same in all the religions I just listed, and probably in most of the ones I didn’t?

The belief that there is a Creator Who made the world and everything in it.

I hope I don’t come off as being preachy, because I myself don’t like to be preached to. I am simply stating what I believe, and it’s a belief that is very comforting to me. And it just makes sense to me, that the reason why change is so constant in our lives is that it moves us to cling to the One Who never changes. Because that, I believe, is what He wants: for us to be close to Him.

I can’t explain this sort of faith to anyone who doesn’t have it. But if you do believe in God, then you probably get where I’m coming from. Regardless, I hope that this post gives you, the readers, something to think about.

By the way…did you notice how cleverly I worked Star Wars into this post? Like a boss, oh yeaahhhhh…..

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It’s Every Man For Himself Out Here…

In this post, I actually have a tale to tell. It is a tale that is somewhat somber, and yet, like most somber stories, it carries a valuable moral, which I hope any college-goers (or high school-goers, for that matter) consider with care.

My tale takes place, in part, in my Business Computer Applications class. On this particular day, the last day of school for the week for me, me and each of the other twenty-six or so students in class were given the same assignment: to edit a document in Microsoft Word using a step-by-step guideline. The resulting document would, for the most part, look exactly the same for each of us, give or take the time (which is rounded to the second), our names, and the border for the document, which we were free to personalize.

Yes, it does get better (or worse, depending on your point of view), so keep reading.

Anyway, by the end of class, I had turned in my assignment and was preparing to shut Microsoft Word down. That’s when trouble came a’knockin…. A student a couple of desks away from me had shut down his computer and was about to leave, when he realized that he had neglected to print off or save the assignment we were all supposed to turn in. Distressed, and upon seeing that my assignment was still open on my computer, he came toward me and asked me to put HIS NAME on MY ASSIGNMENT so that he could go ahead and turn the assignment in.

And what did I say? Why, I said “Sure.” Why not, after all? The documents were all supposed to turn out looking pretty much identical, anyway. What harm could there be? Here, I’ll put YOUR NAME on the work that I DID, so that YOU can turn it in.

Listen closely, children: this little “switching of names” maneuver is called CHEATING.

Unfortunately, I did not think of my heinous crime of cheating as a heinous crime of cheating until several hours later, after the deed hopelessly irreversible. Once I came to my senses, however, and realized that what I had done could, indeed, be construed as CHEATING, I was in a bit of a panic. What, oh what to do! Should I email my teacher right away, explain the situation, and respectfully beg for mercy?? Or, should I let it slide? She might not discover the deception, after all, even though my document and that of the other student have the EXACT SAME TIME (rounded to the second) and the EXACT SAME BORDERS on them! And what are the odds of that?

Sigh. It was indeed a conundrum.

In the end, I did what I believe to have been the right thing. It was something I recommend for every student to do, whenever they make a mistake in school and want/need to make it right. What I did was, I emailed my teacher, in which said email I outlined the situation for her and expressed my humblest apologies.

To my relief, my teacher’s response was very positive. She said she was proud of me for being honest, and that she wouldn’t hold it against me. I assume she only meant this personally, however, as her policy dictates that when someone cheats, and they are helped, that someone and their cohort(s) are given failing grades on the assignment that was cheated on. I am at peace with this outcome, however. At least my teacher knows that I didn’t mean to do anything wrong. A teacher’s respect and good favor means more to me than helping someone I barely know to cheat, whether it feels like cheating or not at the time.

I learned two important things from this experience:

1) Teachers are there to help and teach you, and they will understand if you make a mistake…but only if you TELL THEM about it. Always be honest with your teachers, because you want them on your side more than you want the kid two seats down from you. If you ever cheat, by accident or no, never just let it slide. Always…be…honest.

And, 2) As callous as it may sound, it’s every man (or woman) for himself in college. Yes, it’s all well and good to help someone. In fact, you should help other people; doing this will help you learn and solidify information in your memory, as well as providing you with someone to turn to in case YOU ever need help with something, academically. But when “helping” someone is interfering with your own schoolwork and jeopardizing your education…. Swallow your pity and compassion, ’cause it’s time to take a step back. When you’re paying for your education, you want to make sure you get the best experience possible. Call me crazy, but getting F’s for something as stupid as duplicating your document and putting someone else’s name on it is not my idea of the best experience possible.

These were lessons I had to learn the “hard way.” I hope that this post serves others as the “easy way.”

 

Let The 75th Annual Hunger- Uh, I Mean, I Went To The Big College

I find it intriguing, and utterly inexplicable, save by the Hand of God, that on the very same day, my co-blogger and I have begun separate, but significant adventures.

As I write, Rebekah is… on her way… to ISRAEL, for TEN…WHOLE… MONTHS.

And this morning, I attended… a real college campus… for the VERY… FIRST… TIME….

Okay, the latter was a little bit anticlimactic, but anyone who has been to college or high school understands me. Now, keep in mind that I have never attended public school, not ever. So, going into a campus, however small, for the first time was a little bit frightening.

My biggest takeaways from the 2 hours and forty five minutes-long experience?

A. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and panic, and think that every class’s homework is going to take five hours a day. That’s because, on the first day, the teachers talk about what you’re going to be doing for the WHOLE SEMESTER. Therefore, it seems like a lot of coursework. In reality, though, each class shouldn’t take more than an hour or so of your time each day for homework, and even THAT might be pushing it to the extreme. I think that this is true for basics, at least, which are what my classes consist of this semester.

And, B. Other young people can be really odd eggs.

I don’t think that I really have to explain that last item.

I guess that, as a homeschooled student, I have lived a sheltered life. Well, I KNOW I have. For most of my life, I’ve only had one friend. And I didn’t watch Revenge of the Sith until I turned thirteen. Yeah, I know. The point is, I’m BOUND to be nervous. I believe that I’ll get the hang of things, eventually. But, if I’m being honest, I’ll admit that I was quite relieved to get back to the little building in the town I live just outside of, where my history class takes place. There, I actually KNOW people, and walls, and rooms, and teachers, and bathrooms….

But it’s an adventure. Perhaps it’s not as romantic or thrilling as, say, going to a foreign country for TEN MONTHS! *Gus, from Psych, voice* WHAT! But, one step at a time.

I am like Bilbo Baggins, I think, from The Hobbit. I am part skeptical and part adventurous, part Baggins and part Took.

And though right now, I feel more like a Baggins, I wonder if the other side will win out more than once, in the future….

What NOT To Do When You’re On Vacation

Okay, so most people have lists of things that they’re going to do while they’re on vacation from school (or work, or anything tedious). For example: take a trip, hang out with friends and family, have movie and television show marathons. These are all good things, and if anybody reading this blog post happens to have made a list like that and stuck to it, I heartily commend you.

What does my list look like for my winter break from college, you may ask? Um, well, it doesn’t really look like the one I just congratulated some random person for making. And my break is half over now, so it might be a little late to do anything truly stupendous, like go to Disneyland or visit faraway relatives. So, instead of giving you a list of what to do on your vacation, I’m going to give you a list of What NOT To Do, because I relate to that so much better.

1. Do NOT stare at the computer, television, tablet, or a picture of your favorite The Hobbit character all day. You don’t have to be a health specialist to acknowledge the fact that staying motionless with your eyes fixed on a screen or someone’s handsome face all day is decidedly NOT GOOD FOR YOU. It’s not good for your eyes, or your weight, or your self-esteem, or anything. The act of staring is sometimes necessary, and can be a good thing IN MODERATION. Try to limit yourself to a few hours for this activity (unless you’re staring at the sun), and use the rest of your free time to walk around, take deep breaths, maybe talk to some of those people you’ve been neglecting during your time as a screen hog.

2. Do NOT let people know that you are bored. If people think you’re bored, then they think they have to help relieve this malady. Quick, make like you’re having the time of your life doing whatever it is you’re doing! Otherwise, you might get stuck cleaning the bathroom, or making your bed, or doing the dishes…. And who wants to do THOSE things on vacation? In short: don’t just sit around, DO STUFF. You will save yourself from having to do unpleasant activities when you don’t want to do them. Note I said, WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO. But, we all know that we sometimes have to do things that we don’t want to do, because they NEED to be done. Say, for instance, your kitchen counter is overflowing with dirty dishes, or a strange and unearthly odor is emanating from your toilet in the form of greenish fumes…it may be time to make with the elbow grease.

And finally, 3. If you are in school, do NOT leave all of your school preparations for the last minute. The sooner you can order textbooks, purchase pencils and paper and other supplies, and figure out where all your classes are, and where your campus even IS (don’t judge me, my college is spread out between three different towns), the better. Yes, this probably seems like a boring addition to the list, but it is well worth paying attention to. More early prep=less stress.

Now, let’s be clear on this. This list that I have compiled is largely due, not to my success in keeping to it, but in NOT keeping to it. Take item 1: I get on the computer, like, six or seven times a day. And I have some computer wallpaper from The Hobbit on my desktop, one particular picture of which I have been known to stare at until the slide show moves on to the next picture in line. Sigh, yes, yes, I am an odd egg. For item 2: that’s mainly just common sense, for anybody who has lived with a mother. And for item 3: so far, I haven’t been last-minute-Charlie for the spring semester, but I’ve still got a few weeks of vacation left in which to procrastinate. In other words, please pray for me. : o

Therefore, in light of MY lack of adherence to What NOT To Do, I leave you with this sappy, but true call-to-action: whatever you do on your vacation, whether it’s a break from school (like me), or work, or your weird family, DON’T sit around and do nothing all the time. If you find some worthwhile things to do, I think you’ll also find that your vacation was not just time well earned, but time well spent as well.

You Can Have Your Fountain Of Youth, & Drink It, Too

You know, sometimes I think we’re too scared of growing up.

I mean, we place so much emphasis on BECOMING ADULTS and HURRY UP AND  APPLY FOR COLLEGE OR THEY’LL CLOSE IT DOWN BEFORE YOU GET THERE, and all that paraphernalia. But the truth is, moving into the stage of adulthood is not THAT dramatic. It really isn’t. In fact, I think that, a lot of the time, growing up occurs so suddenly that you don’t always even notice it.

Of course, there are times when growing up happens very obviously. For instance, in August I began my first semester of college. That was a pretty big step, right there. Now, though, it’s December, and school has taken a hiatus until January. Here in the in-between place, I find myself realizing: I am one step closer to getting a bachelor’s degree and possibly having a career in editing and writing. *cue music reminiscent of an impending doom*

I guess what I’m trying to say is: becoming an adult is not always something that happens overnight. It can happen slowly, with every new day, every new experience. It’s a part of life, and it should be embraced, not shunned like last week’s goulash. For the truth is, the only fear that exists in this budding time of my life is that which I bring with me (there’s a little Gandalf-esque-ism for you).

Besides, who said growing up couldn’t be fun? Heck, I have a checking account now! Helloooooo, online shopping and paying my own bills (okay, maybe that last one isn’t so much of a cause for rejoicing)! I get to go places by myself, make my own decisions, watch R-rated movies (haven’t quite tested that last one out yet, but it’s nice to have the option)…. And last summer, I took a trip to Mexico to visit my blogging cohort, Rebekah. That was the biggest (and longest) journey I have ever experienced, without any of my family with me. In short, it’s been a very eventful year for me. And a great deal of it has come about because I graduated from high school and turned eighteen. Turns out that this “adult” gig is indeed rife with perks.

But then, there are some parts of my child-self that I never want to lose, no matter how many checking accounts I have or how many international trips I take. Like: my love of cartoons and comic books, LEGO’s and stuffed cats, Star Wars and more Star Wars, my long-running crush on Obi Wan Kenobi/Ewan McGregor (ah, be still, my beating heart!). Those are all things that I can take with me, though. They help keep me vital, fun, joyful, goofy, crazy, psychotic…(I think I should stop now).

All in all, I’m rambling. If you haven’t already wandered off elsewhere, however, then let me ease your mind by telling you that this post is nearly finished.

Growing up is not an easy path. But it is possible, yes it truly is POSSIBLE to grow up and stay young at the same time. THAT is my goal.

My name is Elaine, and yes, I AM awesome. Thanks for agreeing with me.