Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Waste

The following is a passage from the novel The Wanderer by Sharon Creech. She writes some of the most profound children's literature on the market, in my opinion. I am sharing this because I see so much of myself in Creech's young character, Sophie.  Dear Sophie, I hope I don't do that either. 
Uncle Mo sat on the aft deck, sketching. I like his drawings. He showed me how the seals that are farther away should appear smaller in the drawing than the ones closer up. I tried to draw them, too, but my drawing wasn't as good as Uncle Mo's.

"Are you an artist?" I asked him.

"Me?" he said. "No."

"But you look like an artist to me," I said. "You draw really good stuff."

"Nah," he said. "This isn't so hot. I'm pretty rusty."

I asked him what his job was, what he did for a living. He frowned. "I'm a number-cruncher. I sit at a computer all day and mess around with numbers."

"But did you want to be an artist?" I asked. "Before you were a number-cruncher?"

"Sure," he said.

"So why didn't you?"

"Why didn't I what?" Mo said. He was putting whiskers on the seals in his drawing.

"Be an artist. Why didn't you become an artist instead of a number-cruncher?"

He used his finger to smudge the water line in his drawing, making it look soft and fuzzy and more like water. I thought maybe he hadn't heard me, but finally he said, "I dunno. Why does anybody become anything?"

"Isn't it because you want to?" I asked. "Don't you become what you want to become?"

He looked at me. His mouth was partly open and it seemed like there were words in there but they couldn't come out. He closed his mouth and tried again. "Not usually, Sophie. That's not the way it usually works."

"But why not? Why wouldn't a person do what he was good at and what he wanted to do?"

Now Uncle Mo was drawing ripples around the seals. "Because sometimes, Sophie, a person just needs a job. And sometimes the job he can get is not the one he most wants."

"Well, I hope that I don't do that," I said. "I hope I don't get a job I don't want. It seems like such a waste."

"Ah," Uncle Mo said, putting away his drawing. "Youth."

--Sharon Creech, The Wanderer, pages 114-116 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


You know what I think is a huge problem with young girls today? Some of them don't understand the importance of boundaries. Often I will hear stories about girls ages 14-20 (and sometimes older, unfortunately) who call and text their boyfriends constantly. And when I say constantly, I mean incessant "lol"s and "haha"s and "so wat you doin"s and "i'm bored" just never stops, and you can't blame the poor guys for feeling smothered. And as if that weren't bad enough, these text message terrorizing girls are also the type who will often beg their boyfriends to see them everyday and then have the audacity to get all huffy when he says "no, I have other plans" or if--God forbid--he steps back and tries to take a breather. I hear all these things and I'm over here like: "Are you freaking kidding me?" If someone did that to me I would end up lashing out at them eventually. Why? Because I need me time, damn it! I love Eric, but if he tried to get me to spend hours with him everyday I would say no, absolutely not. You need time to do your thing and I need time to do mine. Yes, we are in solid, committed relationship (one that I am certain will last the rest of our lives) but being someone's significant other does not mean that you need to spend every moment of your life with them. It doesn't mean that you need to have all the same interests and do all the same activities. Being someone's "other half" does not mean that you should become that person. In fact, I strongly advise that you don't. You need to be you whether you are single or in a relationship. Having the ability to do this, I think, is the unmistakable mark of an emotionally mature woman.   

Sunday, June 2, 2013

On Knowing Yourself

One of the most important things in life, I think, is to know yourself. I say this because over the years people are going to have lots of opinions about you. Some of those opinions you will hear upfront, while others you will hear whispered behind your back, and I hate to break it to you, but not all of those opinions are going to be favorable. Obviously some people will speak well of you, but others are going to say cruel, terrible and sometimes completely false things about you and your character. This is something that we all go through, and the fact is that we cannot control what other people think. We just...can't. I'm sorry, but it’s impossible, and if you try to do so you will only drive yourself mad. Therefore, I feel it is important that we attempt to control not so much what we hear, but how we handle what we hear. Knowing who you are will enable you to have a much clearer idea as to who you ought to take seriously and who you ought to dismiss.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Haters? Oh, They Be Hatin'.

"Haters don't really hate you. They hate themselves because you're a reflection of what they wish they could be."

PAUSE. Can I just take a moment to say that this quote is some bullshit?

I hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but the fact of the matter is that some people just don't like you. They're not jealous of your looks or your style, nor do they see a trait or characteristic in you that they wish they could possess; they simply hate your freaking guts. I'm sorry that that's so hard for you to accept, and even more so, I'm sorry that you had to create a lame inspirational quote about it in order to make yourself feel better.

This isn't directed at anyone in particular, by the way. I just hate that stupid quote. Do yourself a favor and look up universal rejection theory. It's very real and it's something that everyone on this planet over the age of 14 has to deal with at some point or another. My advice? Give people permission to dislike you. Once you do you'll be amazed at how much easier your life becomes.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Doggie Love

The other day I was flipping through a dog book at Barnes and Noble. As I was doing this my boyfriend suddenly came up behind me. "What are you doing?" he said. "You are a dog book!" I had to laugh, because it's so true. I am a walking dog book. In fact, I will confess that I am capable of identifying just about every dog breed that is currently recognized by the AKC (and also some breeds that aren't). I will never forget the look of surprise on that woman's face in Boston when I walked up to her and said: "Excuse me, is that a Miniature Australian Shepherd?" Ha. Priceless.

Like every dog lover, though, I have my favorites.
  • Papillon
  • Siberian Husky
  • Shiba Inu
  • Shih Tzu
  • Austrailian Shepherd
  • German Shepherd
  • Shetland Sheepdog

Okay, now here's the part where I start to get to the point.

Lately I've been dreaming (and writing) about things that I'd like to do in the future--or rather, things that I'd like to accomplish within the next ten years. That might not strike you as necessarily weird, but for me it kind of is. I've always been a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of person. This means that I don't really think that far ahead. (About anything.) Recently, though, I've been thinking a lot about where I want to end up in the next decade or so, and--more importantly--who I want to be. This will probably sound silly, but one thing I know for certain is that I want to have a Papillon dog. I've wanted to be a Papillon owner ever since I was a little girl, but couldn't because of my mother's allergies. I still continued to beg her for a dog, however, and so eventually she caved and we got a hypoallergenic dog instead--a Shih Tzu! Her name is Bridgette. She's ten now, and she's a great dog, but I still want to fulfill my dream of owning a Papillon someday. So in the next five years I hope to have one of these little guys following me around the house. (Or apartment, or wherever I may be.)

Someday (and this one is more of a long shot) I would also like to own a Siberian Husky.

And this is how I would like my Papillon and Siberian Husky to get along.

Don't worry, I plan to do more with my life than become a dog owner. This was just a fun little thought that I simply couldn't go without sharing, mostly inspired by my discovery of the above video.