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Destined to be an old maid

Welp... it's that time of year again.

By the end of January you know it's coming. It's like you turn your back for one second, and... bam!... it's everywhere! And I mean everywhere. Everything seems to be coated in a nice shade of pink or red, sprinkled with hearts and glitter. Chocolate and other goodies line the shelves of grocery stores.

I know you know what I'm talking about...

Valentine's Day.

It's not like I have a problem with Valentine's Day or anything. It's a nice holiday. I mean, what could be bad about a holiday dedicated to love and chocolate (emphasis on the chocolate)? Well, nothing really in my opinion... but at the same time, I'm not finding myself entirely excited about it this year.

Not that it is ever a terribly exciting thing in my house. We usually just decorate the kitchen/dining room in pretty pink streamers, and stay at home all day, eating sweets until we puke (last year, my sisters made Nutella french toast... very rich... very sugary... need I say more?).

I'm just kind of in the middle when it comes to Velentine's Day (if you know what I mean). I neither love, nor hate it. I guess I'm just in the middle when it comes to love in general.

I have kind of totally convinced myself that I am just destined to be an old maid (and I don't care if that is considered an 'old fashioned' term, I still use it).

It's not that I think I'm a compleatly annoying and unlikeable person (or, maybe I am, I don't know...), it's just that when I dig deep, and think really hard about it. I can't really imagine any guy ever being interested enough in me to actually date me, let alone marry me. I mean, really, who would want a girl who only wants to be able to curl up in a snuggie with a book in one hand, and an ipad (with internet access) in the other. And a cup of tea wouldn't hurt either...

My sister is reading a book right now about dating, and courtship, and all that jazz, and in the book they said to stop trying to look for a 'Mr. Darcy'. Basically, they were saying to stop comparing every guy in the world to the supposedly perfect guys in books who were created by the minds of female authors.

When my sister told me this little piece of advise, I couldn't help but laugh. That is my whole problem, becaue I am a female author (er...writer). Well, I guess that's not my only problem...the fact that I believe I have been cursed at birth by some evil fairy to never have a boy cast loving eyes upon me might help my helplessness a bit...

So, yep, I am really a hopeless romantic.

But you know what? I am fine with it. Of course, being a girl, I get depressed when I really think about never having a significant other, but I have decided that if this is truly my fate, I'm going to live my single life epicly. And, if I won't be a mother, I am determined to be the best aunt ever! (because, when you have six younger siblings, you know it's going to happen someday.)

I'm going to live somewhere awesome, like England, France, Ireland, or Scotland (I can't decide), and I'm going to write big, thick novels. Epic. :)

Don't worry, I'm not going all feminist on you, telling you that "you don't need a man to be happy!", this is just a soliloquy of sorts, because I know that all girls are different.

Despite what my sisters and close friends might think (I tend to joke about my singleness a lot), I am completely okay with being single. But I do have friends who really do care about having a guy to crush on and love. And that's completely great, if a girl wants to show affection...

You see why Valentine's Day is tricky for me? I have a hard time talking, and describing it. How am I suppose to feel on this holiday?

Oh, well, see you all tomorrow for singles' appreciation day. Half priced chocolate! Oh yeah! (just joking, I'm going to be at a winter retreat with my church tomorrow, so don't look for me.)

What a messy post. #apologies

There goes my childhood.

When I was three years old (I might even have been younger than three, I don't know) my great aunt gave me three video tapes. They were in this pink box-set type thing (and I do believe we still have the box somewhere, even though the movies no longer live in it), sqeezed in tight next to each other. Their titles, written in a big, blocky font across their video tape cases' spins were: Curly Top, Hiedi, and Baby Take a Bow. These were my first ever Shirley Temple movies.

Some of my earliest memories were waking up in the morning, popping Curly Top into our VCR, and watching Shirley sing and tap-dance across our little television screen.

Of course my Shirley Temple video tape collection didn't stop there. My great aunt fed my Shirley obsession well, and I now have neary the whole collection of tapes lined nice and neatly in our video tape drawer.

I knew every song, every dance (this may have been helped by the sing along tape my parents got me), almost every line of all the movies.

It didn't matter that these movies were made more than fifty years before I was born. I didn't care. All I wanted was to be Shirley Temple. I remember that I would sing and tap-dance everywhere (though, now I realise that what I was doing didn't resemble tap-dancing in the slightest. What I called 'tap-dancing' was more like stomping around, in a very messy, non-dancey way), and for my special present for Christmas one year, my parents got me these fancy grown-up hair curlers. And, in the home video of me opening the present, my mom even said that they would make my hair "look like Shirley Temple's" (even though she should've known that to get my head of frizz to look anything like Shirley Temple's, we would've needed waaay more than those curlers).

I think it's safe to say that Shirley Temple was my #1 childhood hero.

Yesterday morning, when I woke up, and sat at the computer to make my early rounds through the social media, like I do every morning. My parent's were watching TV in the next room, and it was then that I heard, coming from the television speakers, a song that I hadn't heard in years, and I knew exacty what movie it was from. The song was The Good Ship Lollypop, from Bright Eyes, a Shirley Temple movie that I had watched many, many times. Shirley was the one singing, of course. But here was the kicker: they were playing it on the news!

Uh, oh! No! There is always somthing up when the news plays an old, classic song like that.

It wasn't until I heard them play it a second time after the commercial break that I finally decided to see what was up, and sure enough, it was what I feared, Shirley Temple had died that night.

"She was 85 years old, and died surrounded by her family," the chipper news lady said... That's it!? That's all you have to say about my childhood idol!?

Even though I haven't watched the Shirley movies in years, and didn't really for sure know that she was even still alive until yesterday, it's still a blow. Here was someone who had been as much a part of my life as if she was my sister, and now she was gone. Another piece of my childhood ripped away.

I didn't freak out as much as I should have (the stuff that I said up there^ was merely just casually thought in my mind. But it's okay to exagerate when your hero dies), surprisingly. It's just kind of a hollow sort of feeling, you know.

I am being reminded again and again that I am not a child anymore.

In a couple of months, on my birthday, I'm turning a scarey number, and I kind of really don't want to be that number. I'm not ready to take on the expectations of being an 'older one'. When I'm young, and childish, I can get away with stuff, it doesn't matter if I do something stupid, because most everyone will forgive me.

But not anymore. I'm an 'older one' now.

Which brings me back to Shirley.

You see, it might be overlooked (because, usually, when a movie star actually turns out alright, it's usually overlooked), but once Shirley grew out of her cutesy, child stardom age, she turned out to be a pretty incredible 'older one'. She got into politics, and became a US ambassador. She was married for over fifty years, had three children, and several grand children and great-grand children. She beat breat-cancer, and, in my opinion, was an all out awesome person.

Shirley is definitely one of the stars to admire. And is still a great roll-model for me as I enter into the scary new world of being an 'older one'. And I hope someday that I can be as much an inspiration to a little girl as she was to me.

I still regret that I never got to see her in person, but, I suppose I'll still get to meet her someday in heaven. :)

Shirley Temple Black

On Greatness and Gatsby

I am a slug.

On a scale from one to ten, my motivation and sense of wanting to get stuff done is somewhere below zero. One of those negative numbers that have been haunting and confusing my math lately (true story... or horror story (for that is what algebra is)). I just don't want to do anything!

I wake up each morning with a pile of over-due school work hanging over my head (stressing me out more than you can imagine), a book that hasn't been writing itself (much to my disappointment), and to top it off, this blog that I have somewhat abandoned in my frantic procrastinating.

Really, the only thing that is kind of going good for me lately is my reading. Most (okay, not most, but some... a minimal few) of my school days lately have consisted only of my reading, and lying in bed (For Christmas I got a huge, beautiful stock-pile of books, which seriously doesn't help with my problem... ), and wandering the house (or sometimes, the freezing backyard) aimlessly, wondering what to do with my life.

(Seriously, isn't that not always the #1 thing on my mind?)

I know you are tired of hearing me rant about my lack of not knowing where I'm going. So I'll try to stop, but since that has been what's kept me from writing to you, I should give you one more big rank and be done...

So we are going to talk about The Great Gatsby.
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther ... And one fine morning ---”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Okay, okay, I know that this post is already super-duper long already, but just stick with me. I am determinded to find some sort of conection with my life struggles and The Great Gatsby, to actually make this interesting for you. Plus, I'm suffering from a headache and lack of sleep (seriously, I'm starting to fall asleep on top of my keyboard) so I get to choose what I post about.

Anywho. I read The Great Gatsby at the beginning of the year, and even after a month, it's still sitting on my mind, just waiting for my ideas about it to explode out of me.

After the first chapter or so,  this turned out to be the fiercest little book on my shelf. It's only about 150 pages long, yet it's so packed full of thought and questions, you just can't stop thinking about it.

I have trouble really thinking about things that books have to teach. They are quiet, and patient teachers, and sometimes I wish that they would simply knock me over the head with a frying pan, screaming, this is what you are suppose to get out of me! Now, go change your life! But, no, they just sit there, giving you little lessons as you go, like sneaking you little cookies. But with The Great Gatsby, it did kind of scream to me.

I guess it's no big secret around the world that we all, in a way, strive for greatness, and, in a way, that is the root of my whole what-am-I-goting-to-do-with-my-life thing.

I have believed, from the time when I was very little, that everybody in the whole world has one thing that they are positively great at. No one else around them can be as great at that one thing besides that person, and, in my mind, they tend to go out and do said great thing for the rest of their lives, and are happy about it.

I have friends who do seem to fit this to me... friends who can sing extremely beautifully, or who can speak fluent Spanish or French with their eyes closed. So, of course, seeing these (really bad) examples, I spent my childhood trying to find my greatness. The thing I can do better than any one else in the whole of the universe... but that's my problem. I can't find my greatness.

It's a horrible goal really, to be better than everyone else.

There were a few things in life that I did really enjoy, like acting and writing. So I would strive to be the best that I could possibly be. I took writing classes, and auditioned for plays. Trying to grow my greatness, and make it flourish.

In my fantasies, I would be noticed as an extrodinary writer by my writing teachers, and called to read my work in front of the class. And when I would audition for plays, I would get a standing ovation, and be begged by the directors to play the leading lady (even though I was eight).

But it's not fun to get cocky, let me tell you.

What would really happen in those writing classes was me, sitting all alone, listening to the teacher talk, she would critique my work (which was extremely hard sometimes), but the worst was when we had to read the other students' work. It seemed as if everyone was better than me. Whenever I would read another aspiring writer's book, it would just make me want to burn my awful manyscript.

The auditions didn't go much better at all, in fact they went worse, but let's not talk about those. *painful memories*

It's hard, but sometimes, you have to be humbled to understand. I look back at these instances, and hate myself.

So, yes, I was a horrible kid, but what in the world does this have to do with The Great Gatsby?

The whole theme of this book is basically greatness (I guess that's kind of obvious) and the price of it.

(Please correct me if I get this wrong, because I'm new at analizing and trying to see the lessons in literature, so I might not hit the bullseye on this, but, anyway...)

Jay Gatsby is a man who has spent the past five years of his life trying to acheive greatness. Set in the roaring 1920s New York, greatness seems to be everywhere. And everyone seems to think that being great will make them happy. But, as the book so prominently shows, greatness isn't always so great.

Sometimes it can corrupt people. Turn them into something wrong and not themselves.  It makes me wonder sometimes... what it would be like for me to be truly a great. Like a movie star, or something. What would I be like? Would I really and truly stick to my values and who I am? I'd like to say yes, but honestly, I don't know.

Greatness is a disease. It infects our minds, and makes us do things that we never thought we would ever do. This happens frequently in the book too (for  those who have read the book: might I mention that certain incident with a certain yellow car. *wink*wink*).

So... maybe I'll never be a great. I'll never see my name framed by glittering sparkles. And, even though I'm still working through all of that a bit, I'm okay with it. I know that no matter what, God has my life story all planned out, and, even though I worry about it immensely, I don't have to. 

Okay, I know my book analysis is awful, and this post is over 1,000 words long (and full of spelling errors, no doubt), but, thank you, I needed to get that off of my brain. I shall try to think of better post topics other than: "I can't think of what to do with my life. meh!"