Growing Up

All posts tagged Growing Up

White Stuff in the Air

Published November 30, 2015 by ia84

This is what it looks like as I write this…

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If you can’t tell, those white specks are the dreaded snowflakes.

As I’m watching the snow, it occurs to me that snow doesn’t bring grown-ups joy.  When I was little, every kid I knew lived for snow.  Playing in the snow was the greatest thing ever.  Even if school didn’t get cancelled, snow meant the playground got turned into a magical wonderland.  Once snow days are no longer are a part of people’s reality, suddenly snow becomes this evil, awful thing. 

I get it, I really do.  Most of my years as a grown-up have found me griping and bellyaching every time snow is even mentioned.  “Ugh, not snow.  I don’t wanna have to drive in that.”  Snow is a hassle.  It’s pointless.  It gets dirty and makes everything look awful and bleak.  People who’ve spent their whole lives around snow still haven’t figured out how to drive in it. 

However, as I’m watching the big, fluffy flakes fall this morning, I’m feeling very happy and peaceful.  Sure the roads will be crappy later, and I’ll probably be pretty grumpy after dealing with them, but right now that doesn’t matter.  Right now it looks like the beginnings of a Christmas card outside, and that makes me happy. 

It’s been a few hours since I wrote the above, here’s what it looks like now…

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10 Years?

Published August 25, 2013 by ia84

This weekend was my 10 year high school class reunion.  I didn’t go.  Not for lack of wanting to visit with my classmates; I just had too much else going on.  Plus, it’s a couple hour drive to my old high school.  Didn’t really want to spend the money on gas and food and such.  Still, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the last ten years.  Mostly, the last several years have been a true nightmare that I hope never to have to repeat.  Plus, my life is absolutely nothing like what I expected it would be when I was 18 and super naive.  Back then, I really believed that by now I would be a teacher, a wife, a mother, and a published author.  Out of those things, I’m only close to being a published author.  So, I’m not going to make any guesses about where I’ll be 10 years from now.  I hope that I’ll still be at my job and still be happy there.  I hope that my parent’s health holds and I’ll still have them.

It was mentioned to me today that I haven’t been blogging that much lately.  That’s true.  It’s not that I lack for things to talk about, it’s just that most of the things I have to talk about run along the theme of “Why do people struggle so much to correctly screw the top onto a pee cup.”  I’ve found most people don’t handle that sort of conversation topic terribly well.

I am writing.  As of tonight I’ve reached 30 full pages of single spaced writing on the draft of my novel.  I’m quite pleased.  I’m really struggling as I write, because the subject matter is incredibly dark and messed up.  I’m finding that it really wears on me and tends to make my mood loads darker than it might be.   However, I must finish this, mostly because I need to prove to myself that I can finish something of value.

I’m still collecting geeky t-shirts (a TARDIS blankie and Companion Cube lunch tote have also been collected).  I’ve reached that point where I just don’t really give a flying flip about what anyone thinks about me and what I like.  Is that a sign of maturity?

I’ve also set up what is possibly one of the most boring websites ever.  Check it out at maliareads.com.  It’s something I’ve been brooding on all summer, and I finally decided to just go for it.  The worst that could happen is that it will be an epic failure.

That’s about all the news that is news as of right now.  I start training for a new position at work tomorrow, so that’ll probably provide plenty for me to write about.

Unpacking

Published August 19, 2012 by ia84

Well, I did it.  It was hard.  I started losing it when I said good-bye to my cats this morning, and then it was all I could do to not fall apart when I said good-bye to my parents.  I don’t think people with siblings understand how hard and scary it is to leave your parents when they and you are the closest family each other has.  It’s especially hard leaving knowing how much havoc  it wrecks on mom’s health.  I wish they’d develop teleportation units and make them available for everyone so  I could go home whenever I want.

I survived the 500 mile drive, and had some amazing help getting all my stuff up to my room.  I felt like I brought a lot, and when the van was being unloaded it certainly looked like I did.  However, once I started unpacking, it looked a little less like I’d brought everything and the kitchen sink.  Now I’m sitting in my room that’s 3/4’s unpacked.  I’m really tired, but I’m also loving my room.  It occurred to me tonight, that while this isn’t the first time I’ve been in my own room in a dorm, it’s the first time I intentionally set out to get one.  Always in the past I’ve been open to sharing the room with someone, but after last the fiasco known as last year, I was determined to be on my own this year.  I’ve got a fridge and television (that’s actually my computer monitor).  This year marks a turning point.  I’m kind of on my own.  Does that mean I’m growing up?  Well, let’s not jump to conclusions quite yet, but there are certainly changes in my life and brain that are making me feel that I’m truly beginning to move on from being stuck in high school.

Overall, I’m pleased with the room.  It’s quite spacious, and has loads of shelve and closet space.  The only slightly irritating thing is that the outlet that I wanted to plug my fridge into doesn’t accept three pronged plugs.  Due to the set up of the room, it’s the most ideal place for the fridge, so I think I’ll be venturing to Walmart tomorrow to seek out an extension cord.

I’m really, really glad I’ve got an overabundance of fans.  This dorm has a wonderful heating system (something important in ND), but there’s no air conditioning.  It does get warm in ND (really, I’m not making this up), and the fact that some people’s heaters are broken and won’t shut off adds to the general heat of the building.

I’m slightly weirded out by the fact that I can hear people walking above me.  It’s been many years since I last lived anywhere other than the top floor of a building.  This dorm is pretty solidly built, so I’m not hearing much walking (either that, or people are just not around), but it still kinda makes me jump when I hear someone walking on my ceiling.

All in all I’m excited and very tired.  Sure, I’ve got a few things I need to get, but overall it’s shaping up to be a good year.

You’ll Be An Adult For Forever!

Published August 8, 2012 by ia84

This has been the summer of babies.  As mentioned previously, I became an honorary aunt this summer.  On top of that, this past spring my cousin and his wife had their first child.  Whenever I see either baby, I’m reminded just how quickly childhood passes.

Personally, I wasn’t in a big hurry to become an adult (and some might argue that I’m not an adult).  I wasn’t in a rush to get my driver’s license.  My parents pretty much had to drag me to the DMV.  (Side note: I enjoy driving now, and I’m so glad they made me get my license.)  I never dated, but since no one was really interested in dating me that pretty much that point null.  Mom and dad certainly didn’t do much pushing to make me grow up.  They made sure I knew basic adult things like driving, cooking, cleaning, living on a budget, and being a polite, responsible human being.  Looking back, it’s pretty clear to me that I am so glad that they let me be a kid when I was a kid.  But, I digress, back to the babies.

I’ve been thinking about what I would want to tell kids as they are growing up and facing all that goes along with being an adult.  By no means is what follows a complete list (I’m sure I’ll make additional posts with follow up thoughts), but here’s what I’ve got now.

1.  Have Fun

This probably seems like a no-brainer, but to me it’s important.  Fun is different things to different people.  Some people find running to be fun.  Others find skydiving fun.  I find sitting for hours on end, in a quiet room, alone reading giant books to be fun.  When you are an “adult” it’s incredibly easy to get bogged down in work or personal issues and never come up for air.  This will turn you into a hollow shell of a person.  Make time, even if it’s only a few minutes, to do something you enjoy.

2.  You are NOT the smartest person in the room.

“But wait!” you may be saying, “I’ve got an IQ that’s triple what yours is.  I build rockets and perform brain surgery at the same time!  Sheldon Cooper was based on me!  I don’t watch Jersey Shore.”  Yes, these are all things that are evidence that you are smart.  However, I have always maintained that everyone is smart (keep in mind, I developed this theory years before reality tv became a regular part of daily life), but we’re all smart about different things.  I’ve known people who really struggled with reading and considered themselves dumb, but they knew absolutely everything about raising cattle and were incredibly successful at it.  I’ve also known people who can figure out difficult math problems and with only a pen and a napkin, but when it comes to music, they’re pretty lost.  I’ve got loads more examples, but my point is that you should never look down on someone just because they don’t get what you’re saying.  It doesn’t mean they’re stupid, it just means that your expertise is not their expertise.  I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t excel at something.  Treat everyone with respect, and never consider someone beneath you, just because you don’t think they’re as smart as you.

3.  Life’s not fair.

When I was in high school I was really good at music.  Along with all the school band and choir groups I was involved in, I made it into honor bands and choirs all over the state, and I frequently got to show off.  Towards the end of my high school career (I can’t remember  if it was my junior or senior year, it was a long time ago), I received a letter inviting me to participate in a trip, along with other kids from around the state, doing musical performances.  These performances would be in Europe.  I desperately wanted to go, but I didn’t even get my hopes up because I knew it was financially impossible.  My parents saved all year just so they could send me to music camp and let me take lessons.  I was so busy with music, and other extracurricular activities, there was no way I could’ve even hoped to come close to making enough at a job to make it.  So, I threw away the letter, and when I  got a call from my former band director’s wife (who was in charge of the trip), I was able to hold my ground and tell her it was just impossible.  Was it hard?  You have no idea, but I survived.  I really hope to make it, at least to London and Loch Ness, someday; but if I don’t, it won’t be the end of the world.

Life’s not fair.  There are going to be times when you don’t get what you want.  Don’t believe me?  Watch the Olympics.  Everyone wants the gold medal, but only one person gets it.  If you aren’t into sports, go on a job interview.  There’s always at least one job candidate who doesn’t get hired.  This candidate might be you.  It’s no fun to be rejected.  Sometimes it will make no sense, and even if you fight for yourself, it still may not end in your favor.

4.  Take advantage of travel.

Missing out on Europe brings up the fact that if you do get to travel somewhere, go, even if it’s only within your state.  Visit museums.  Even if it’s just the local historical society’s  county museum.  Historical places are important.  They teach us where we’ve come from.  Attend at least one county or state fair in your life.  All of this will all expand your mind and experience in ways that television and internet can’t.  (Although, if you can’t travel internationally, watch the Rick Steves’ travelogues.  Not only will you get to see many amazing places you might not see otherwise, he’s got loads of travel tips that are useful, even if you never travel the world.)

5.  Write

You may never be a best selling author.  So what?  Just because no one reads what you write, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write.  Write stories.  If they’re terrible, don’t feel obligated to share.  If you can’t write stories, keep a journal.  Even if the best you can do is, “Had tacos for lunch with roomie.  I think I’m going to buy that lamp I saw at Menard’s.”  These things may not seem important now, or even like something you’ll forget, but someday you may forget, and then you’ll be glad you wrote.

6.  Avoid reality television.

I’m not talking about HGTV teaching you how to pick the perfect house.  I’m talking about things like, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, Big Brother,  just to name a few.  I try to avoid reality shows, but the few times they’ve been unavoidable, the behavior shown by the stars makes me cringe.  These “stars” are vain, selfish, rude, and morals get thrown out the window if it means they could do something to increase ratings.  Reality shows don’t show what the real world is like.  What concerns me the most about them is the fact that too often it seems they advertise that this week Person X  gets into a fight Person Y.  What is that teaching a society that does nothing but watch hours and hours of this stuff?   If nothing else, avoid reality shows, because five minutes of a reality show is the most intellectually draining thing I’ve ever encountered.

I do have more to add, but it’s getting late, and I’m getting tired.  So, for now I’ll end here.