Friday, July 15, 2011

The Harry Potter Generation

Today, the final Harry Potter film was released, making it the final installment of any kind to the Harry Potter series. There is nothing more. No new stories will appear. No more chances for redemption will be provided. Forever cemented into our memories is the story of the brave little trio who survived everything to save the world. This was the story of my generation. This was our story. It found us at the ripe ages of eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve and thirteen. It kept us anxiously waiting for more stories- for more information. We watched Harry, Ron and Hermione grow and, as we grew, we began to understand their problems. Forever changing alongside us, they became best friends. Refuges. Escapes.

We are a lost generation. Born under the prodigious baby boomers, who have created a war far beyond our understanding; with strong opinions of right or wrong that, when filtered through the ears of the Harry Potter Generation, sound more like subjective interpretations than any kind of youth. The generation behind us is the Technology Generation. The children who grew up in a digitized world, choosing to abandon the sanctuaries of the written word. Children who are unaware of the quiet comfort that comes from turning a page. In between these two distinct groups, we are lost.

I won’t argue for or against JK Rowling’s writing abilities. Maybe you hate it, maybe you don’t. But the truth is, for ten years, she provided a place for us. A place where right and wrong were clear. Where moral ambiguity could be turned into right with a crafty blend of courage and faith. There were adventures, families, love and friendships that were always reliable- even if life failed to provide them for us. Hogwarts was our education. We learned of our mortality. We cried at the hands of typeface. We learned about loss and abandonment. Hopeless and destruction. We learned about rebirth. About the strength of human relationships and of the human spirit. We internalized these lessons so, when faced with a world not of our own creation but one we are inheriting, we know how to approach it hoping that we can muster the same quiet dignity and strength of our friends in the book bindings.

Today, our lessons end. Our teachers leave us to the world and, as we reach the age of action, hope that we have learned enough to effect the change we want to see in the world. They watch us, ever-guiding, as we forge a pass. Fight wars not of our making. Differentiate right from wrong despite muddled explanations and definitions. And we, graduating today, cross our fingers and hope that we have learned enough. Fully conscious that today marks the end of a certain kind of childhood and abruptly launches us into the adulthood we have been so carefully prepared for.

Whether we choose to carry these lessons out in our own reality has yet to be determined but because of Harry, billions of children, adults now, know the decisions that await us. And, when the inevitable hardships come for us, we will always be able to retreat, if just for a moment, to the teachers who helped raise us. The teachers who eternally wait on our shelves, ready with a helping word, even if only words we’ve heard and will continue to hear time and time again. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Play on words. Clever, huh? Anyway, I know it's the second post in a few minutes but something about Sex and the City inspires me to write. The same with Degrassi even though I know that one doesn't make any sense. At all.

To begin, i want to apologize for that 4 month break back there. Not only was I failing to keep up with blog writing but my book fell by the wayside. I spend about two months moping about it, wishing that school would give me more time to do what I actually enjoyed and then the other two months trying to figure out, really, why I wasn't writing. And, the good news is, I found an answer! Up until I finished the first draft of my first book (coming in at a whopping 100,000 words), I wrote to get things off my chest. I wrote to give myself the ability to live life in alternate realities. I wrote to figure out my own reality. Then, I started querying agents and got 13 straight rejections. Never got past the query letter and this took a severe toll on my self-esteem.

I could read and re-read what I had written and knew that I could do better. I saw so much potential in a complete re-writing of the story but I sincerely doubted my abilities to produce it. I decided that there was a disconnect between my brain and my fingers, preventing me from every writing what I truly wanted to say. But then I realized: I had stopped writing for myself. My blogs, my books and even my journal had become endeavors with which to impress other people. I wanted people to like what I was writing. I wanted to write something worth being liked. And bringing in that third party into the intimate act that is writing, I began to flounder.

So if this blog bores you or if this post already has you drooling on your keyboard, I'm going to have to be fine with that. I can suggest a margarita or something equally as exciting but just like Stella, I've got to get my groove back.

IN OTHER NEWS, things with the university friends have possibly started to get better? While of course I'm not a bridesmaid in the wedding, at least we're hanging out again, which is nice. I chose to stay in my college town for the summer and though it's not quite giving me the summer I'd hoped for, it has brought me closer to J and M and I've even tried making new friends (I don't usually get along with girls well, so it didn't go spectacularly).

My best friend from high school, T, got engaged a few months ago and I am so excited for her! I just CANNOT believe that she is going to get married next summer. That she's going to start her own family while I'm just a leaf in the wind. But it's good that way for now. She's always been more of a family starter and I've always been more of a leaf. I hope to get married one day but that day is not in the immediate future :)

Now, the bad news (because every silver lining has a cloud): I was diagnosed with vaginismus which is basically a condition where my vagina won't open. It just won't. Turns out I've had it for about six months so along with the physical condition, I freak out at the thought of really anything going near there (tampons included). Needless to say, it's been the cause of more than a few fights between J and I but things might be getting better soon, so fingers crossed! And for those of you who might have blanched at the last few sentences: yes, I've decided to make this blog a place where I can talk about it. If you find it something you don't want to read, I completely understand. I doubt I would want to read about it if our roles were reversed but this condition has been such a huge source of stress for me lately, I need some sort of outlet. I need to understand.

But I think that wraps up all the important things :) See you kids soon.

Carrie Bradshaw

I remember during the fall of my senior year, I caught a Sex and the City marathon on TV. I had never seen it before and one episode turned into a whole season. It was safe to say I was obsessed. I carried the lessons with me and tried to internalize what I had perceived as truths about men. I didn’t become alarmed until one very distinct day when I realized that Sarah Jessica Parker was narrating my life. In my head. And what was most alarming to me at the time wasn’t the fact that a I could hear a fictional character in my head but instead, that one of the most dramatic women to have ever graced television could find something to say about my life. My life that was happy and peachy and sunshines and rainbows. Just a few days before, I had been waltzing around in a happiness-induced daze.

But I remember walking out onto the marching field, flute and water jug in hand, looking over at the trumpet section, seeing Aron and the narration began. That’s when I realized that something was amiss among my world of smiles. If there was narration going on, then the relationship wasn’t working.

It did for a while. For a while, our relationship actually produced happiness within both parties. For a while, we just couldn’t contain our witty banter and flirty texts. Then came the waiting. The very lonely nights of watching E! reality shows, staring at the phone, as if my undivided attention and longing could cause it to ring. And it did ring. It just wasn’t Aron. It was never Aron anymore. Not a text nor a call came from my boy of the moment.

Angry and jaded, I would reach out to other boys who I knew would contact me if they only had the means. I gave them my number and even ended up with a new boyfriend (who, coincidentally, was Aron’s best friend but that’s for another day) but I was never satisfied with the phone ringing. It just wasn’t the right person.

For those of you who want to know how the story ended- it would never ring again. The few times he did contact me, well, again, those are stories for another day. But it was never the same. Despite everything we had gone through together and the secrets we had divulged to each other, it was something replaceable to him. He wasn’t waiting by the phone.

It seems that, for a good portion of my life, I’m waiting by the phone. I’m waiting to hear from the right person- waiting for them to say the right thing. Now, going into my second senior year (don’t worry, it’s of college) I feel like most moments are moments of anxious waiting. Waiting for the text message icon or for the all-out glory of a call, bringing across the airwaves just the voice that I need to hear.

I need to hear from law schools, I need to hear from literary agents but most importantly, I need to hear from my boyfriend right now but he’s out with the guys so that probably won’t happen. It just makes me wonder- when did life become the waiting game? When did it become rapid successions of moments instead of one continuous wave? And why isn’t that smiley face text icon flashing on my phone?