The End of Harry Potter (and, coincidentally, the End of my Childhood)

Well, ladies and gents, this weekend I FINALLY got the see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2!

In IMAX, no less. It was my first IMAX experience, additionally, and it was kind of insane.

Just another thing to add to my I’m-a-little-town-girl-in-a-big-city-now feeling!

(In case you didn’t get that, I’m officially living in Denver now!)

The LAST movie was a bittersweet feeling. I’ve been obsessed with the series ever since that fateful day in the library, at around age 10, when I gathered all of books from the “New This Week” section into my weekly reading pile, as was my custom (I was really cool) and among them was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

No one else in my town had really heard of the book, all of my friends thought I was insane when I told them all about this wizard kid named Harry Potter, written by some guy named J.K. something. (Sorry, Ms. Rowling, I have no idea why I thought you were a man…forgive me in my naivete).

Well, now, fifteen years later, it’s a worldwide phenomenon, and while my inner rebel always wanted to eschew the phenom, I never could. As a kid who relied on the characters of books to be her main social life, Harry Potter and his cronies were some of my best buds.

This last movie parallels my life strangely. No, I’m not on an epic quest to save Wizarding kind or  the world, but I have moved away from my hometown and my parent’s house with the intent never to return again. I have left my childhood behind–and this movie is a symbol of that. Harry’s childhood ends too, rather abruptly, and while I held on to mine a little harder–I am 24, but part of the continued living-at-home was forced by the economy and my obsession with international travel–it still is a phase over.

The books and movies themselves were also such a major part of my childhood, that the ending of them also symbolizes a new phase. Every book has been linked with my various ages, and while I can read and watch them again–and believe me, as obsessed as I am, I will–but they are over. Time to say farewell.

Just like the end of a childhood, the end of the book series, while it can be mourned and celebrated, also disappears quickly in the new details, troubles, and joys of the new chapter.

So, no, while my days are not spent on an endless camping trip, hunting Horcruxes, and my childhood is not ending on an epic quest, I am starting a new (very much less epic) quest of my own.

So far, my days are spent going to the movie theatre alone, being a VERY TEMPORARY house-wife for my now live-in boyfriend (a.k.a I get the mail, clean the tub, make dinner and bake a lot…whilst reading and writing as much as I can) and getting lost every time I drive out of our apartment complex.

And I must say, these events are quite epic for me.

Stay tuned for further excitements and trials in the big city! Plus the beginning of my new job on September 1st!

(AND for a review of the final movie!!)

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The Pitfalls of Packing

I am a terrible packer.

this is me every time

You’d think that after several lengthy trips abroad, living in an apartment and the dorms on-and-off, I’d get the hang of it.

But, no.

For example, when packing for my studying abroad in Peru, one would think I had bought the plane ticket the day before: not only was I frantically packing an hour before we were to leave for the airport, but I also assumed that because Peru was south of the equator, it would be warm in Cusco in January (it’s summer, right?), a city set at around 13,000 feet.

Therefore, I had many clothes I couldn’t actually wear, terrible rain gear, and I spent the first several weeks freezing until I gave in and bought some alpaca wool.

I remember my first shower: although my host family did not have central heat, I had assumed they would have hot water, so my first night I dove into that water shivering with cold and excitement.

I almost bit my tongue off holding in the scream as the cold water poured down and left me freezing for days. I eventually learned that flushing the toilet would give me several glorious minutes of lukewarm water, but that was much, much later.

(I’m making myself sound terribly brilliant, I know.)

The school I was going to was also freezing–even when it got slightly warm outside, the walls would emit cold, I swear.

The next time I traveled abroad, you would think I would have been more prepared: this time, I knew more about the climate, and this time I knew to bring more books and less shirts.

But, no.

My pack was bursting constantly, and every time I bought a souvenir I ended up leaving several shirts behind. I also ended up losing my headlamp on the first night (I still think it was stolen, but everyone else seems to think this is a ridiculous claim for some reason).

Strangely, I am no better at packing up everything I own. Part of the reason is that I have to extract it from everything else in the basement (of which there is a lot) and collecting it from all the other rooms in the house. (And convincing my sister that if she hasn’t noticed a shirt missing for the last five years, it’s mine by now…if it ever was hers in the first place).

I also need to decide what I actually need to bring, while piling all of the other stuff, mostly kept out of purely sentimental reasons, into organized boxes in the basement.

I’m not sure how organized they are going to end up, considering I have about two-and-a-half days until I leave!!

AND I’d better get back to it, as I’ve barely started……….

Heralding in a New Year

That’s right, folks, today I am officially 24!!!

I am officially in my mid-twenties…that sounds old.

But at least I am…

You know it!

Today is definitely a strange, adult-feeling birthday. I don’t have to work, but I do have to pack; while my lovely friend Kristin threw me an AMAZING birthday BBQ last night that lasted until the wee hours of the morning, it was also a goodbye party, and most of the people I will not see again until Christmas or possibly Thanksgiving!

Bittersweet.

I was very proud I didn’t cry at all the goodbyes–although I kind of wanted to. Then I was too busy laughing to think about crying–the best kind of send-off, I think! 🙂

It also feels like a very adult birthday because I am not going out and partying and dancing like crazy tonight; I am having a quiet dinner at home (well, it’s rarely that quiet around here, but still), doing some packing, and probably going to bed early…

I also got a pedicure today, and while my nails don’t look particularly sophisticated–they’re bright yellow with a flower that pretty much looks like a jungle on the big toes–the act of getting a pedicure makes me feel like a woman.

Anyway, I was out until four last night, so don’t lose hope in me yet!

As I reflect on this past year, I really feel for the first time that the years do tend to speed up when you get older! It feels like not so long ago I was turning 23…and here I am running right into 24. Sometimes I wonder if I should have accomplished more by this age…I always figured I would…but hey, on FRIDAY I am moving and will soon be starting a new, adult(ish) job and that seems like progress to me!

So, cheers, and sending out all sorts of love! Stay tuned for my continued packing adventures…

🙂

 

Do Good

It’s almost TIME!

ELEVEN days until I leave the lovely mountain town of Bozeman and move to DEEEEEEENVER, Colorado!

it's a colorful state, weee!

Very exciting.

The only part is, I am leaving a life behind. I’m sure there are only good things ahead of me, but goodbyes are hard.  Like I’ve heard many say, a goodbye is a very poorly named ritual…is there really anything good about it? Except the excitement of a new open door?

One good thing, besides all of the wonderful well wishes, is the advice I’ve been getting. Some of it isn’t so good, some of it is weird (although “always floss” is probably something I really should listen to) and one particular piece has really stuck with me, from a most unlikely source.

One of the cooks I work with a lot at the nursing home is in her mid-thirties, with several kids and several divorces under her belt. She’s smart and capable, but as she’s from rural West Virginia, she isn’t very educated. Yet, out of nowhere, she’s quite educated on life: the only thing she said to me by way of goodbye was “Do good in Colorado.”

“Do. Good.”

So simple, and for some reason it really just stuck with me. It’s all I’ve been thinking about.

I guess that, when it comes down to it, that’s what I want to do with my life. Sure, I want to be happy, and see the world, find a career (or careers) that I adore, make a home on the coast, surround myself with those who love and respect me.

But under it all? I want to do good.

I may be stressed about the move (i.e. stressed about the sheer amount of packing I still need to do) and nervous about my job and slightly freaked out by moving in with a boy. I’ve been worried about what I am getting out of my life, what I want out of it, what’s going to happen when I’m older, how short and unpredictable life is.

Among all these worries, I forgot that the root of the human experience is tied to our interactions with humans, all lifeforms, and as a result, it is tied to our relationship with the planet and the entire universe, and our treatment of all of this.

So thanks, Cook A, for reminding me that life really doesn’t have to be as complicated as I make it.

And that if you let yourself listen to the people around you, sometimes the most random sources can make it all startlingly clear.