Christmas was nice, I got some nice new boots and a jacket to replace my tattered old one which I'm still going to wear because it's near and dear to me.
I finished all my secret santas on time except for one which I'm now overdue on. I think I'm just gonna drop it because I never felt too attached or inspired by the prompt anyway.
Anywho, I finished my college essay, and I'm sending it off later tonight, hopefully...
Once upon a time, there was a girl who didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. She'd spent her early childhood watching The Price is Right and Star Trek: The Next Generation. She managed to skip the whole wanting to be a princess phase. Like most girls, though, she liked animals, so it made sense when her first career choice was to be a veterinarian. This dream died fairly quickly when she realized that being a vet meant seeing animals that were terribly sick and in a great deal of pain: dogs with choke chains embedded in their necks or that had been hit by cars, cats that had had irons accidentally dropped on them, rabbits with twisted feet. She liked animals but didn't want to see them suffer. The world was a small place then; it didn't go far beyond her little town.
The next few years were spent watching improvisational comedy shows and shaping a fine sense of humor. She liked books and science and learning which somehow didn't make her the most popular girl in elementary school. All of her “friends” said that she was the smartest person they knew, but once she got to a regional middle school, she never talked to these people again. It wasn't that they were dumb, no; it was that she wanted friends who weren't going to make her go to the mall every weekend. She needed a mellower kind of company, relaxed, low maintenance people like herself. In this time, she decided that she wanted to be an astrophysicist. Half her reasoning was that she really liked stars and space and the other half was “how cool would that be to tell people?” This dream also perished under the grim light of reality when she realized how much math was involved in astrophysics, and she really hated math.
The girl made another huge jump in her career choice once she started acting. This was fun; she was funny, just like so many actors she's grown up watching. She'd be an American John Cleese, a female Colin Mochrie. She wanted to go to school in New York City and study theater and be huge on Broadway. This dream received a long, painful death over six years as she realized how foolish such an aspiration was. First it came with her distaste for people's whining over small parts. Everyone she met in theater, both in school and out, did it to some extent. If it wasn't the title role, it was nothing; if it wasn't leading lady, the role was nothing. Perhaps there were other spellings possible, but she was pretty sure that, like the word 'team,' there was no I in 'cast'. One couldn't even shuffle the letters around to make 'me.' Theater was a communal action; it was about an ensemble, and no one really seemed to recognize that. She went to Shakespeare Camp in the summer after freshman year. Here, her life changed. This was the place where all those friends she'd wanted for so long came. She learned the wonders of performing outside, the magic of simplicity in acting and theater, and the value of relying on herself and her text. Perhaps, disillusion wasn't for her; maybe, life could actually be fun. Then summer ended, sophomore year began, and she returned to school plays, theater classes, and the concept that a bunch of I's and Me's spelled cast. The next step in the death of her dream was the hatred of putting on make up and wearing costumes. This was an easy problem to fix; she'd simply hide behind a microphone and do voice over acting. Since she was now in high school and still watched a lot of cartoons, this seemed like a great alternative. The plan didn't have a lot of details, like what kind of character she could play exactly, but it was still the best idea she'd had so far.
Over that year's April break, she went to England. It was beautiful there, but there was an underlying feeling that she didn't belong there, that the Brits didn't want her there. She crashed into everyone while she stared at everything around her. Trying to get on the tube her first day in London was exceedingly stressful; her feet hurt, and she struggled with clunky baggage. Getting on the subway with over a dozen other teens and their luggage she'd arrived with was slow and the train was delayed. Sure, it was only about a minute, but she could still feel the looks they received from everyone else in the compartment. Once they'd all managed to cram inside, the train shot off to make up for lost time. Not having anything to hold onto or steady herself on, the girl almost fell to the floor. It seemed strangely like London didn't like her, no matter how much she adored it. A clumsy, loud tourist was not one of the things the girl wanted to be. She felt like she was a big foreign boulder in the middle of a river, and the water was increasingly inconvenienced as it vehemently had to flow past her. Just like water to a boulder, the experience wore her down, and she realized she had a lot of growing up to do before she could go back.
That summer, she found herself in Germany as an exchange student. The experience was much the same as in England; only now, she didn't speak the language or at least not well enough to really flourish or even function. Her host family was too good to her as they spoke English, and once she left them, she spoke the absolutely limited amount of German. A woman in München had asked her for the time, and she had pretended not to hear. The concept of “Rechts Stehen, Links Gehen” was lost on her, and caused angry Germans to push past her because she stood on the left side of escalators rather than the right because the left was for people who were walking, not oblivious Americans. After this second European embarrassment, she applied herself to improving her German, so this could never happen again. She returned to America with the realization that the world was very big, and she was very, very small. It was a place that had so much to teach her, a million things to see, billions upon billions of different people for her to meet. She wanted to go out there and experience everything she could.
Then it was junior year, the time was fast approaching to pick a final goal for the rest of her life and find a college that would get her there. Enter the final stage of the death of acting for this girl: acting stopped being fun; it was work now. What was her motivation? It was hard to be real, hard to do what she'd always enjoyed when everyone else kept making it serious and turning it into some kind of task. What were her tactics when her character said that? No, no, she'd gotten the blocking wrong, now they had to go back and do the whole scene all over again. Okay, now try this. No, go back to the way it was before. All the fussing over details, all the over thinking of everything. What was so hard about putting on a simple production? Something that didn't make her want to tear her script to shreds and leave. She made an honest attempt to be serious, but it just wasn't worth her time. Empathizing with anyone's petty problems just wasn't her strong suit. She ended her acting career before it began with Twelfth Night; it hadn't been terrible, but it gave her nothing she was willing to stick around for. When she got back to school in senior year, she quit theater classes. Simply quit them. Better things awaited her; she was tired of pretending to be other people. She just wanted to be herself for a while.
The girl realized that she didn't really want to do anything. She just wanted to learn for the sake of discovering things about the world. One couldn't get paid for that though. Sitting around being smart was not a profession.
What could she do? What did she care about enough that she would be willing to spend the rest of her life doing it? There wasn't a lot. She wanted to be a writer for about twenty seconds before an overwhelming sense of creative inadequacy walked into the billiards room and whacked that dream over the head with a wrench. What now? Everyone else thought she was funny and had potential to be a good leader if she just had some blasted confidence. Virtually her sole marketable skill was her recent great proficiency in German. So, with that and a desire to gain a little insight into the world, she resolved to be a translator.
Career choice made; now, to find a suitable college. Everyone suggested only colleges with German programs for her. It was slightly aggravating that they couldn't read her mind and didn't know she wanted to study more than just German. She wanted to be a true citizen of the world; she wanted to be able to traverse everywhere and converse with everyone. A citizen of the world didn't step off a plane and call attention to himself; he was subtle and modest, and could cross a border and change in a snap, blending into the native language and culture like a chameleon. However, her high school guidance counselor informed her that one could not “major in world languages” and she had to pick one. Picking a single language was out of the question for her. She had great aspirations, high hopes; she'd learn the major languages of the world one way or another.
She found a few schools, about three, which seemed like far too few. Her guidance counselor had said applying to something like five or six was more usual. Her father reminded her constantly, though, that she was going into a small career field, so there shouldn't be too many schools applicable for her. With her choices in hand, she began her essay: “Once upon a time, there was a girl who didn't know what she wanted to do with her life….”
Hmm, so yeah, I get to go dog and house sit over New Year's that'll be fun XDD