I remember a time before the cuts.
I remember that line on the Chicago Public Library’s webpage next to a book that said “Not Checked Out” – I remember when that meant something.
Yesterday, when I entered the library, nothing seemed amiss. The books were…
1. Get Married. Yes, by the end of this year, I will be Victoria C. H. Anderson instead of Victoria C. Hughes. You can thank Dave for that one. But I really want this to go off without a hitch, and planning a real wedding instead of eloping is a lot of…
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1. Graduated from college a year early. Student loans are bad enough without an extra year to pay on them. And plus I have so much more free time.
2. Went to WindyCon for the first time. This reassured me that I wasn’t the only sane-and-yet-insane lover of sci-fi out there, and also that my writing was readable and enjoyable.
3. Reached out to people to talk things out instead of just writing in a journal and fuming. Talking - not yelling - is a much more efficient way of dealing with problems than just hoping that things will change.
4. Reached out to the people that we hired at work. I never would have known what awesome people I was working with if I hadn’t had the courage to make conversation beyond teaching them, and even act a little silly sometimes.
5. Stuck with my job. Even though I’d like to write all day long, a steady paycheck and a job that stays at work is really nice to have. And plus, my bosses do make me feel appreciated.
6. Went to that Behemoth concert with Dave. Even if the fans were a little rough, it was definitely an experience, and Dave obviously loved it. Completely worth every moment that made me think I was going to be trampled to death. :)
7. Went with my gut instinct and bought Dave that Beer & Bacon tasting. And this one isn’t just because Dave was happy, either. That was some super-quality beer and bacon.
8. Re-read the Fountainhead. Reading it as a mature adult released me from a couple of hangups I’d had on it - when I was younger I wanted so badly to be exactly what Ayn Rand’s characters were, and I was always disappointed that I couldn’t seem to be that perfect. Reading it again, I realized that no one can be that perfect, and stopped getting so down when I wasn’t.
9. Kept going with my novel. My progress may have been variable throughout the year, but I never gave up, and that’s a really good feeling. (Sidenote: I’ve been working on this novel for over a year now. Maybe close to two. I haven’t been keeping track. Wow.)
10. Moved in with Dave. Not to be sappy, but it’s so comforting to live with someone who loves you and supports you, and makes home a place you like coming home to. Much better than either an empty apartment, or any roommates that I’ve ever had.
Maybe this is growing up, finally. I’m not sure what else it could be. Yes, I’m almost completely sure that this is growing up.
This is disillusionment. This is realizing that the people you’ve been measuring yourself against aren’t nearly as good, as kind, or as hardworking as you thought they were. This is realizing that there is no happy ending, no end to struggle. This is realizing that you can get used to, and find ways to be disappointed with, anything; and that includes success.
This is realizing that life is no fairy tale. This is watching the Olympics, watching a little girl win Olympic gold, and knowing that the morning after will feel hollow for her. She’s the best in the world - but life goes on. And eventually she’ll forget, for a moment, that she won that gold. And then, what will it really matter?
This is realizing that reaching the goal won’t really feel that much different from the moment before you reached it. Because once you reach it - there’s a higher goal, something else to strive for, something else that needs fixing.
This is realizing that no one can step in and make everything better. This is the same realization you had halfway through highschool - there is no magic. Things are just as they are.
This is not a completely depressing realization. At least you know now. Maybe now you can focus on finding completion in the journey, rather than the destination.
There is no doubt that some places in the world are currently suffering from a water shortage. The implications of a water shortage are many. But is there any end in sight? What can people do to help stop the water shortage problem from growing and becoming much more serious?