It's November 2016, I graduated almost a year and a half ago. If you think time flies when you're in school, try not to blink once you're out.
I've never been one to look too far into the future, choosing to focus on whats in front of me or the near future like tomorrow or next week rather than a year or five ahead. So when I was in high school I worried about high school, vaguely paying mind to the thought of what comes next aka college. Then when I was in college, it was more about passing my classes and paying my tuition than "what's my end goal?," or "what happens once I graduate?"
My name is Maire, I'm 22 and an aspiring YA author. Growing up I always loved to read. I read in the car on the way to dance, I read at my desk at school while I was supposed to be doing schoolwork, I stayed up late into the early hours of the morning with the inability to sleep until I finished. In a nutshell, wherever I was you'd probably find a book in my possession.I was the binge reader. It didn't take long after I picked a book up that I was closing it to start another.
If there's one thing I hate more than love triangles and cliffhangers it's unrealistic expectations. Life isn't like the movies, the perfect guy isn't going to magically fall head over heels for you. The media loves to play the fairy tale card because guess what? We're all suckers. We fall for it every time. Our hearts melt and the tears fall as two people, who are so desperately meant for each other finally figure it out. But as we go about the mundane of the every day after living through the high of a fictional romance we realize it's happened again. We've fallen for the Hollywood ideal of the perfect guy, and just like clockwork we feel like Cinderella: post ballgown. The magic is gone and suddenly we're back where we started: Single and ordinary.
Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved to read. In middle school when I discovered the YA section, the novels that drew me in, the ones that I went back to every time I made a trip to the library, were the romances. The teen "chick lit" as it's generally known, aka my go-to genre. The one where the girl meets the guy and maybe they don't get along right away, or maybe he's not who she ever thought she'd see herself with. By the end, both the girl and her love interest realize the mutual feelings and finally have that kiss we've all spent waiting, the hundred or so pages of waiting, for. I'm not sure what it is about this genre but it's always been the one I've gravitated towards the most. I don't stop there: books, movies, music (heck my favorite artist is Taylor Swift, I think that says a lot),was, and is, the genre that appeals to me the most.
There seems to be a developing general consensus about makeup:
"Why don't you go back to school?" "Good luck with that, that's not going to be easy." "Why don't you go into publishing?" "Are you still going to do the writing thing?"
Every single day I'm surrounded by people who settled. People who graduated from college and had dreams or plans for themselves, but they got comfortable. Things got hard or they fell into the routine of decent money and they simply never moved on.
When you enter a dance studio, the first position they place you in is in front of a mirror at the ballet barre. Your fingers, just barely brushing the round surface of the wood, it's job being merely to remind you of your inner strength and keep you in place when your center is unhinged. It's the place you check your balance, watch your posture and hone your attitude. Its the place you learn new techniques, master combinations and correct minor errors in steps. It's your starting line for the rest of your career as a dancer. The barre is like your safe place, where your family is, where your support system dwells, the place you grew up.
"No." At one point or another we all get that instinctual feeling. The one where you can physically feel your stomach plummet to the concrete ground at your feet. The one where it actually feels like time has stopped. It's that moment where it seems control is no longer in your hands. The next step you take could end in disaster, and you're terrified. So, the first thing that comes out of your mouth is "no." Without hesitation, you automatically decline the invitation, shut yourself down and try to change the subject. As soon as you feel the anxiety creep in, you do everything in your power to rid yourself of it. To avoid facing something that makes your hands shake and your stomach knot so intensely you feel physically sick, you say no. You stop yourself from living because you're afraid. You're afraid what could happen. You're afraid of what's behind closed doors and the inevitable, like failure, rejection, change, the unknown.
Every time the new year rolls around I notice two types of people: those screaming NEW YEAR NEW ME, and those proclaiming that you don't need the clock to strike midnight on a new year to make a change. While I agree that starting over, changing directions and taking on a new perspective doesn't need permission from a new year, I enjoy the endless possibilities of starting fresh in a new year.
2015 was one the most challenging, adventurous, life changing years I have ever experienced. It brought some great people into my life and it taught me that not everyone is meant to stay. I learned people aren’t always going to be there for you. You can’t depend on someone to lift you up every time you fall; you have to learn to stand on your own.