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!!)

How Not To Do What You Want To Do

When I think about what I want to do…the list is long. When I look at my life and wonder what I’m actually doing and where the time is going…it’s a lot different from what I want to be doing.

How does this happen? Where does the time go? Today is my brother’s 27th birthday (happy birthday, big bro!) and it was an old friend from high school’s bridal shower…a friend I have now known for ten years. That’s a decade. When did I become old enough to have friends for that long?

Well, since I’m almost 24, I guess awhile now.

When I met this friend, during our freshman gym class (we bonded over swimming–we were the good swimmers in a class where the majority of our peers were afraid of the pool) I had visions of where I would be in a decade–sort of.

Who thinks of decades when they’re fourteen? I thought of traveling, having a boyfriend (it was not my most ambitious year), making friends, being pretty, going to college. Maybe making a difference in some vague way.

(On a side note, whenever I think the term “making a difference” an image of Jane Goodall with African kids and chimpanzees comes to mind. Maybe she’s my idol, a little…I bet she thought in decades at fourteen).

Anyway, alone in my room at night–this was the first year I actually had my own room, as it took my father about a decade to finish the basement– I would sit at our old crappy computer and write.

I don’t know that I had much ambition to be a writer, per se, but I just wrote. I carried around a diary and wrote it in during most of my classes, sometimes at lunch, filling the pages with my day.

I found a bunch of these journals in the basement (which, now after several floods, is back to half-finished…thank you, Montana) the other day as I was “packing” for my impending move.

Which leads me to yet another question: when did I stop writing so much? When did I let life get in the way of my writing? I never seemed to let class get in the way of my writing, as evidenced by the number of journals I wrote, and certainly my social life never impeded on my writing time, as evident in the number of stories on my old hard drive. (Proof of this can also be seen in the volume of books I own and in the leftover journals–how could I talk to anyone when all I did was write in those things?)

I suppose I stopped writing so much when I started college, actually got a viable social life–and spent my years of college making up for lost time in the social realm–and started to see some of the world.

Even with these changes, being a real writer has always been a little seed of a dream at the back of my head. I’ve accepted and also forgotten that I’ve always wanted to write–and always figured I would, someday. I’ve given it up at rejection, gotten distracted by other pursuits, been convinced it wasn’t sensible, convinced myself it was too competitive and maybe I wasn’t good enough. But it’s never gone away. I’ve also accepted that I have a million other things I want to do, too. (Like Jane Goodall-ing around the world, perhaps).

However, pursuits and travels aside, an English Lit degree in my hand, and I find myself back where I started–alone, in my room, at night, writing.

Have I come full circle? Is writing a dream I’ll ever make come true, or is it a dream I have just to dream?

I’m confident I’ll find a new dream, another dream–maybe my new job will lead me in new, unknown directions, and open the door to a new dream that never entered my mind. I know I’ll keep my writing dream–maybe even realize it–or maybe I’ll never make money from writing.

But it’s comforting to know I’ll always have writing, even if I only ever write for myself (or this blog, although thanks to my relative silence I’m not sure if anyone reads it). It might be an unrealized dream, it might be a line I never cross, but the true dream, really, is dreaming.

The Last Week in April

Can you believe it’s May?

1. Phish Food Frozen Yogurt. Thank you, Ben & Jerry.

2. My Neti pot. I was really skeptical about this several years ago when a friend showed me a video (why would I voluntarily squirt something up my nose?) but I was so desperate (and it was 3 a.m., so I was also delirious) that I tried it. Now I’m convert and I’m spreadin’ the word! It really works, and gives me such a relief from sinus pressure!

3. My NEW NOOK! Also obsessed with this gift from my awesome boyfriend. I was never particularly interested in these; I’m too obsessed with books, their smell, having them surround me constantly. (Does anyone else need to have a least ten books on their to-read roster? I feel lost and depressed if I don’t have books planned out to read.) However, my Nook is invaluable for travel–I can’t wait to go somewhere even more now! Now I can fit more clothes in my bag instead of lugging ten books…

4. Project Gutenberg. On the same note as a my Nook, Project Gutenberg is full of free, downloadable classics. Yummy.

5. Ditch dip. There’s a little cafe nearby called The Ditch, and they have a dip I’m addicted to now: black beans, low-fat cheese, non-fat sour cream, and salsa.

6. Anywhere There’s An Airport. A new blog I found, check it out! So fun.

7. Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies. Like almost-healthy goldfish…heaven for the snack queen attempting to go healthy.

8. Buy Ireland. Yes, I discovered that you can buy a piece of Ireland for yourself (or a gift). I don’t know why I find it amazing (most seem to find it a waste of money) but you can buy about a square foot of land in the Irish countryside. I’m still enchanted by Ireland after my visit (see here) and now I’m hoping to go back to visit my little piece of it (they give you a map!)…that is, if I can ever save the money…the whole 50 buckaroos. Or if I can convince someone to buy it as a gift! 😉

You are enchanted too, admit it!

9. Settlers of Catan: Seafarers Edition. This probably exposes me as a complete nerd, but I’m obsessed with Catan, and Seafarers Edition does not disappoint!

10. Al Jazeera. A surprisingly (well, to my inexperienced eye) unbiased place for news.