My Old Typewriter is So Dear to My Heart Because It Shows Me Infinite Possibilities

My Old Typewriter is So Dear to My Heart Because It Shows Me Infinite Possibilities

Creativity flows best for me when I am given a challenge and what better challenge is there than typing without a backspace key?
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The keys sometimes stick on the best birthday gift I have ever received: a little turquoise typewriter. It was the early 1970s when my mother originally bought it, she wanted to be able to write letters from the bus she was living in. For how heavy it is compared to my laptop, it is difficult to imagine that back then it was considered travel-sized.

Running my fingers across elevated keys, I feel an energy. The smooth, plastic, white block letters radiate the words my mother used to write to friends, letters home and journal entries. There is life in this thing, more than I will ever come to know.

Watching as the keys trigger hammering motions that stamp each letter onto paper, I think about the incredible strides the world of communication has made since this device was no more than materials poured into molds. From a time when the margin of error was much greater for each letter punched to now with our inability to exist sans autocorrect.

The little-antiquated machine is a visual representation of humanity’s need for communication. While the world of communication has changed drastically, so too has the importance of it. In the Twitter age and a time of instantaneous messaging, as a writer, it is more important than ever to ensure that the information I put out there is powerful and factual.

I remember as a young girl standing behind my mother, leaning with small hands clasped around the back of her chair as she typed on the computer. I watched in limitless curiosity and fascination. Like watching her put on eyeliner, it was something I needed to understand and something I was completely memorized by.

On my 24th birthday, I was handed the dusty case that housed this piece of history. I was instantly filled with excitement for a new tool to write with. Creativity flows best for me when I am given a challenge and what better challenge is there than typing without a backspace key?

Whether it is from the mouth of Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King Jr. or taken from pages of Ayn Rand’s mind, words, written or spoken, have the power to incite wars, silence a nation, save a person’s life.

It is because of words that societies form and ideas are shared.

It is with great confidence that I contribute everything I am today to my love for words. Whether it is the recitation of Shakespeare, an inspiring TED talk, the writings of Maya Angelou and of course Tina Fey, inspiration is everywhere, often found in places commonly overlooked and in this little turquoise typewriter, I find infinite possibilities.

Cover Image Credit: Hillary Sundell

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15 Things You Realize As Your Baby Brother Grows Up

No matter how old he gets, he will always be your baby brother.
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Despite the fistfights and days of locking each other out of the house, a little brother is one of the biggest blessings you can receive. Most sisters can agree that they probably bossed their brothers around a lot when they were younger (and probably still do). Most sisters have also most likely forced their brothers to participate in many games that were only enjoyable for one party (baby dolls, house, dress up, etc.)

As a little brother grows up, you start to realize a lot of things as they become your lifelong best friend. Here are 15 of them:

1. He will outgrow you

Even though you were once able to beat him in a wrestling match, and have a fair game of tag, as you get older, he begins to pass you up in size and you realize it probably isn't in your best interest to pick a fight.

2. Teenage boy sass is a real thing

So many times, girls get a bad rep for the teenage phase, but let me tell you, teenage boys have just as much sass if not more than the average hormonal girl. But you also realize that you will get through it, and he is still your sweet brother somewhere deep, deep down.

3. He will go through a phase when he is too cool for you

Your whole life you have been used to your little brother looking up to you and wanting to be just like you and do all the things you do. This probably really annoyed you at some point too and I know I found the words "stop copying me" coming out of my mouth a lot. Don't wish it away, enjoy these times because there hits a point where he will want to do their own thing for a while.

4. He will begin to form his own opinions, and he is actually really smart

He still looks up to you, but there comes a time when he actually starts to contradict and challenge your opinions, and his arguments are surprisingly really good. You learn a lot from your little brother, so start listening to what they have to say sometimes.

5. No girl will ever be good enough for him

When he brings a girl home, you can't help but judge everything about her (no pressure) because to you, no girl will match up to his awesomeness. You know you are annoying, over-controlling, and overly judgmental, but you can't help it, he is your baby brother after all.

6. Regardless of how old or big he gets, if anyone messes with him, you will "beat them up"

I am not a fighter, but somehow anytime someone messes with my little brother, I get the ego of Muhammed Ali and believe that I can beat anyone up. Even now that he has outgrown me by about six inches and 50 pounds and is definitely a lot stronger than me, I still threaten to protect him because for some reason I feel like I can defend him better than he can himself. If anyone shoves him on the soccer field or says something mean to him at school, all of the sudden the big sister is the most intimidating and feisty little 5'4" girl there is out there.

7. He has your back

The once quiet and shy boy you outspoke as a child is not afraid to stand up for you. Even if he knows you're wrong, he is just as protective of you as you are of him and he will always be there for you whether you need a shoulder to cry on, you've had a fight with your friends and need someone to talk to, or a guy blows you off and you just need dairy queen and a movie night.

8. People will think he is your boyfriend and vice versa

As little kids, you were obviously the big sister, but now that he has outgrown you, hit puberty and matured, people mistake him as your boyfriend all the time. When you go to dinner and get the "you are such a cute couple" comment, you can't help but laugh.

9. All of his academic success is obviously all thanks to you

All the days you forced him to play "school" with you and tried to teach him everything you knew paid off because he actually knows what he is doing now. You're welcome.

10. Every year he turns another year older, you freak out because you remember how old you felt when you were his age, and it is not possible for him to be that old

No, no, no. He is little. He cannot drive just because he is 16. That is scary. [Only you were mature enough and ready to drive at 16.] There is no way that he is already 18 and can vote. You will never get used to the fact that he is growing up at the same pace as you are.

11. He is the one person who defies your theory that you are never wrong

He always has your best interests in mind, so if he disapproves of a guy, or questions a choice you are making, he is most likely right, just listen to him. Seriously, it will save you time in the future.

12. You will always worry about him

Yes, you are annoying and you know he can handle himself, but the thought of him ever getting hurt kills you. Every time he goes out or takes a risk, you worry about him. However, you also know and trust that he is smart and makes good choices, and if he ever doesn't, you will always be here to save the day, duh!

13. You are his biggest fan

And you are absolutely obnoxious at sporting games and other events. You are the first person to yell at the referee when he gets fouled and the loudest person screaming when he scores a goal. You also find yourself bragging about him to your friends because you are just so proud, and you taught him everything he knows (duh again).

14. He is your best friend

You can tell him anything and he can tell you anything. You guys have a pact and he won't tell your secrets. He's your person, and you have come to find out that he actually gives great advice when you give him the chance to talk.

15. No matter how old he gets, he will always be your baby brother

No matter how old my brother gets, we still say "I love you" every night and he will always be my little baby brother who I watch over and protect, always. I know I have a lifelong best friend who I can lean on during hard times, and celebrate with when the times are good. Bless up.

Special shoutout to my baby brother, Luke, for teaching me so much about myself and always being there for me.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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I Grew Up In Colorado, Moved My Senior Year, And Found The Place I Truly Loved In Cleveland

I moved from Colorado to Ohio my senior year not expecting much but getting everything in return.

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So I grew up in Colorado. Yes, that means that the mountains were my primary source of entertainment, and yes that means I spent a lot of time outdoors. However no that does not mean I am a mile "higher" than everyone else, and no it doesn't mean I spend all of my time skiing and snowboarding. I grew up in Colorado, and yes I loved it, but no it wasn't for me.

I moved my senior year — yes that very pivotal year when kids find out where they are spending the next four years of their lives — and it was for the best. I moved out of the state that I called home and loved with a burning passion to a state that was as foreign and as different as a foreign country. Yet I moved. I moved to get away from the drama, from the past, and to move forward — or at least that's what I like to tell myself.

It was a year ago I set sail for the state I now call home: Ohio. It took us 26 hours and one traffic cone to get us to the new place called home. I was apprehensive at first, maybe even a little scared — I mean all I had known was Colorado. Yet as much apprehension as I held there was another thing growing deep within me... excitement. I was ready to face any challenge thrown at me in this new, exciting, and slightly cold state.

I set out on a mission to figure out if this was MY place, the place I was meant to be. I took long drives, and got lost on backroads, and walked around towns that were nowhere close to where I lived. I went with family, to places far and wide all around the state. I went to the beach with my roommates, and I even stood in Lake Erie as the sun set around us. I fell in love with a state I never knew could be so beautiful.

I love it even when it gets scary. I love it, even more, when I wake up at 5 a.m. and go for a run just as the city is rising. This state that for me held nothing more than some of my fondest childhood memories was becoming a state I loved and wanted to hold dear, and close. It was as if the move I feared became the one of my most significant achievements.

I knew that when I got out of high school, this is where I would be staying. I knew that no matter how wanderlust I got that this was always where I would come back. And so it began, my search to find the school that would keep me close to this new home I loved. I took me less time than I thought to find that exact place. I found it in Cleveland and at Cleveland State. In April I was accepted into the school I wanted.

I have spent the past 3 months getting to know more about the city I chose in the state I love. Each day I seem to fall more in love with the city, from walking down Euclid Ave. to get a coffee in Playhouse Square, or just bumbling my way to work. I find the people who I pass always have an exciting story. I find the way the sunrises over the pier in the morning to be like a piece of art. The way the colors drip their way across the lake and start to ascend across the rock and roll hall of fame.

I love the way that there is always something going on downtown, no matter where you are. I love how you can get anywhere on foot, and have no idea where you are going but still get exactly where you want to get.

I moved my senior year, and yes at the time it sucked, but no I do not regret it. I didn't lose anything by moving. In fact, I gained everything I needed, and could ever want. I gained comfort and knowledge in where I was and what I was doing. By moving I found the state where I belong and the city which I love.

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