Of A Certain Age

Of A Certain Age

On July 16th, I will be turning 20.
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In less than two weeks, I’ll be passing my teen years by. What a ride it’s been. The ages of 13 through 19 drug me through my last year of middle school, the four years of high school, and two years of college. I’ve accomplished both so much and so little in that time. There have been days that I have wasted, and there have been days on which I’ve used my God-given talents for good.

I wanted to sell more stories before I hit 20. And I wanted to write more in general. But, alas, I got the better of myself. My control over getting paid is slim, but I could have written more, and I could have improved at a greater clip. Far too many days have passed by with me dancing around what I wanted to accomplish without making enough of those working hours writing hours and without spending enough hours on important work.

Not too long ago, I thought I knew what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” Even at 20-minus-several-days, I don’t think that I’m “grown up” in the same sense that the common phrase carries. Perhaps I’ve been left behind by some of my peers in important ways. I’ve never held an official job. I can kind of do laundry and cook, but I don’t have a lot of experience with the activities. My skills are scattered, and while many of them may be useful, they don’t necessarily sum to sufficiency. Alliteration, for instance, can only bring you so far.

That job I had envisioned myself having? I wanted to be an editor for a major fantasy and science-fiction imprint. Virtually all such jobs, at least at the lower levels, require one to live in New York City. I didn’t think it would be a bad prospect then, living in NYC, but I’ve since disillusioned myself. I don’t want to live in New York City. I’m not even sure if I’d like to live in any city. My home, where I have lived for almost 15 years, lies three-quarters of a mile back a dirt road from a U.S. route, upon which one travels about a mile to get to a borough of around 400 people. Stoystown, PA is my kind of borough, not Manhattan.

In certain ways, I scattered myself for about two and a half years, up until sometime this May. Even now, I’m not quite as together and productive as I could be, but I’ve seen good improvement. Don’t get me wrong, I did well when I needed to on many things throughout that period of slack. Yet it had always seemed that I was dropping more stones than I was keeping in the air.

Since Memorial Day, give or take a day, I’ve written around 11,000 words to a novel. I haven’t had a novel draft of that length since my original try at a novel back in middle school. Writing for The Odyssey Online has gotten me back into some sort of rhythm with blogging, a rhythm I’ve had infrequently since October of 2014. My practice on the mandolin has suffered for multiple reasons over the past year, but a week or so ago I finally tuned it up after leaving it sit for two months, playing it only a few times in that duration, untuned. Coming back fully will take some work. I also have a uke and an electric guitar, and it has been these instruments, though mainly the uke, that has held me together when I wasn’t playing my mando. I’d like to get into a good rhythm with all three of them in the coming days. With reading, my summers have been faring better than the school year every time around, but this year, I’m making decent headway. At the very least, I think I’ve been reading and listening to audiobooks at a better speed than was the case last summer. While I’m far from the paradigm of productivity in the modern day, I’ve been improving as I watch the clock tick closer to my 21st year of life.

I’m coming up on a certain age in a certain age of the world. Concepts of productivity, work, and careers are a little different now than in prior times. We are expected to do much and to do much less-neat fitting activity. My responsibilities are growing ever upward with time right now, and I’m trying to keep up with them. Maybe I haven’t been trying my very best. But I must. “With great power comes great responsibility.” I must be the 20-year-old man I ought to be.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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23 Things That Defined Your Childhood If You Were A Late 90s/Early 00s Baby

Own that pony tail. Work that up-do!
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If you were born in the late 90s or early 00s then you grew up in the age of youtube, computer games, and Disney Channel. As we become adults, we are coming to the time what we love to reminisce on everything we played, watched, and listened to while we were growing up. We went through many stages of computer games: from Freddi Fish to PhotoBooth. If you are a millennial, you will know these 23 things as a huge part of your childhood.

1. FRED Youtube Videos

The annoyingly funny, fast-talking, youtube star, Fred, began the youtube craze that has yet to end.

2. Disney Channel Computer Games

Disney Channel's website had a plethora of games that we played for hours. Recently, BuzzFeed found links to the best of the best to let us relive our childhood.

3. The Amanda Show

Everyone's favorite show!


4. The Disney Channel Games

Our first (and best) version of the Olympics!

5. Webkinz

Let's face it. Most of us had 20+ Webkinz and spun the Wheel of WOW every day!

6. Space Jam

Classic movie turned frat theme.

7. Bon Qui Qui

"SECURITY. THIS MAN HAS GOTS TO GO."

You can follow Bon Qui Qui on Instagram @bonquiqui.

8. That’s So Sweet Life of Hannah Montanna


The crossover episode of a lifetime!

9. Razor phones

Everyone's dream phone.

10. Lizzie McGuire Movie

What could be better than Lizzie McGuire singing to Lizzie McGuire?

11. Can I Have Your Number

"The back of your head is ridiculous."

12. Neopets

Before Webkinz came around.

13. Tamagotchi

From keychain to Wii game, we had it all.

14. Bratz

The cool kids had Bratz dolls.

15. Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise

"Ron... Ron... Ron... Ron WEASLEY."

16. Charlie The Unicorn

This youtube video was oddly entertaining.

17. Club Penguin

When we weren't on Webkinz, we were on Club Penguin.

18. Guitar Hero/Rock Band

We were basically all rockstars.

19. Steve Irwin

RIP

20. Life With Derek

A forgotten treasure.

21. The Potential Breakup Song

Aly and AJ rocked it when they weren't busy working in a dairy factory.

22. The Clique

These book-turned-movies were epic.

23. Charlie Bit My Finger

OUCH CHARLIE.

Although the youtube craze hasn't ended, it sure has changed!

Cover Image Credit: @alyandaj

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I Don't Miss High School, And I'm Not Sorry About It

The yearbook was closed and has been closed since I received my diploma.
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High school: It's said to be the best four years of your life. However, I discovered that they had been the worst four of mine. I don't miss high school, not even for a split second. Why would I miss a place where everyone pretended to be my friend? Why would I miss a place where everyone knew everyone's business? Why would I miss a place where people had no better way to spend their time besides talking about each other and subtweeting each other? (Yes, I'm guilty of that, too.)

When I first walked through the halls of my high school, I was that lost, ugly freshman girl who thought it was necessary to look good every single day of the week. As the years went on, I was still a little ugly but had some type of "glo-up" each new school year.

I was never the student to be picked for anything. I ran for student council my freshman year and lost because it was a popularity contest, so I didn't run again. I played softball, but my talents were underappreciated, so I didn't come back my sophomore year. I tried almost everything offered at the school and could not find out where I fit in. Now that I look back, I'm different than everyone else I went to school with and I really don't fit in with who they are.

In high school, there was never anything to do. You couldn't drive until junior year, so bumming rides off of the older kids or walking everywhere was the most common form of transportation (because no one wants their mommy and daddy dropping them off). When the older kids finally got their licenses, it was a cool thing to jam out in the car five nights a week. Just driving around and wasting gas — why did we think it was fun?

The rumors and the pettiness in high school were overall ridiculous. No one can be themselves in high school without feeling uncomfortable about it. Everyone will judge you for whatever they can. I don't miss high school at all: Not the sports, not the students, not the place, not the food. Nothing is missed or worth looking back on. The worst four years of my life are over.

One year in college has been better and filled with more memories than four years in high school.

High school sucks. Point blank. Yearbook closed.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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