Thursday, August 14, 2014

Oh Captain, My Captain

Dear Mr. Williams,

I didn't know you, and as such, I feel somewhat presumptuous to be writing to you, but somehow, I don't think you would mind.

I watched Good Will Hunting for the first time a couple days before hearing of your passing, and I'm pretty sure it will forever be one of my favorites.  Dead Poets Society is playing on my laptop in the background as I type this.  Aladdin was one of the movies of my childhood, and the Genie was always my favorite.  If you need me, I'll be watching these movies on loop and sobbing until I feel better.

Mr. Williams, I wanted so badly to believe that you were happy.  You certainly made me laugh, along with the rest of America, and the world.  Your words in your more dramatic roles both broke my heart and put it back together.  Thank you for that.

Sir, I am aware that the Bostonian psychiatrist who whispered "It's not your fault," to a distraught teenager was not truly you.  However, as my high school acting teacher used to tell us, "when creating a role, we start with ourselves".  So while I know that wasn't you, teaching me that life can't be lived by reading books and that sometimes you just have to go see about a girl, I like to think that some of that compassion and fire actually were yours, coupled with the depression which I now realize certainly was.

I know that you weren't actually a free thinking English teacher at a strict prep school, reminding young men to live life to the fullest and to use language to woo women, but I like to believe that some of that passionate, carpe diem spirit was a part of your life.

I hope you had the Genie's humor and love.

I am sorry beyond words to learn about the demons which haunted you and finally brought you home.  But I know you helped people.  Thanks for making me think.  Thanks for brightening the lives of troops in Afghanistan, Koko the gorilla, the sweet children in St. Jude's Hospital, and countless others.

God bless your soul.  Sleep well.

Genie, you're free.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

On Getting Engaged

SIGH.

So.  I'm in this phase of my life where like everyone is getting engaged.  It started slowly, with one couple, then a few months later another, and suddenly, in the last few weeks, three couples I know have gotten engaged.  And so, I say again, SIGH.

I knew this phase was coming.  It's a natural phase of life.  One day, your friends are single and going on dates with different people each weekend.  Then, later, they find someone.  They date awhile.  And suddenly, one day, you wake up and all your friends are engaged.  Well.  I knew it was coming, but I didn't think it would start so soon.  I just finished my first year of undergrad, and in a lot of ways, I still feel really young.  Way too young to get engaged.

The Boyfriend and I have been together for some time now.  We're very happy and we love each other a lot.  But we aren't about to get married.  Have we talked about it?  Sure.  But in the "someday" way, not in the "soon" way.  And I'm happy that way.  I don't want to get engaged.  Not anytime soon.

Because here's the thing I think people forget about getting engaged: it's a precursor to GETTING MARRIED.  And GETTING MARRIED is a huge deal.  Getting engaged is cute.  You get a cute little ring and you get to post cute pictures of you and your new fiancĂ© on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook....everywhere.  You ask your girls to be bridesmaids with cute little gifts.  You pick out a cute dress, plan a cute ceremony.  All that is fun.  Cutesy.  Pretty.  People are congratulating you, practically choking on the cutesy-ness of it all.  But then comes REALITY.  You GET MARRIED.  When you GET MARRIED, you're an adult.  It's a new phase of your life.  You're committed to one person for the rest of your life.  The two of you are a team.  You live life together.  And all that sounds great.  You're forever in love, right?  Yeah.  But it's also a lot of work.  And at least in my mind, all that stuff belongs separate from undergrad.  The two don't go hand-in-hand.  They go in separate boxes.  I can see getting engaged in college.  But GETTING MARRIED while in college?  Slow down.  What's the rush?  I mean, I understand that when you've been together forever you just want to start life with that person.  But calm down.  It's not a race.

Monday, June 2, 2014

For the Graduates

I know there have been a lot of graduations lately, and many to come.  To those of you graduating, whether it be high school, college, grad school, etc., congratulations!

Now, I want to speak to everyone who recently will graduate or has graduate high school.  Here's everything I wish someone had told me (some things will be clichĂ©):

  • STAY. IN. THE DORMS.  It's how I made all of my friends in the first year.
  • Don't eat unless you're actually hungry.  It'll save you money and you won't get fat.
  • Don't be married to your major.  Maybe you'll love the one you came in with, maybe you won't.  Either way, it's okay.  Don't be afraid to switch.
  • College is NOT high school.  Classes are much harder, so STUDY.
  • College is NOT high school.  It's 812509 times better.  Get excited!
  • High school wasn't real life.  This is.  It's fun and amazing and you're finally in charge of your life.  The things you're doing actually matter now.
  • Join some organizations that actually matter to you.  It's not worth your time to put energy into stuff you don't care about.
  • Get really involved in the organizations you're in.
  • Try to make time to sleep.  Your brain, body, and mood WILL thank you.
  • That being said, have some fun too.  Watch movies with your floormates.  Get dinner off campus.  Try something new.
  • Talk to your roomie.  Like, actually try to get to know them.  Maybe you won't be BFFs, but maybe you will.  Or maybe you guys can just be pals.  Either way, it's better than being strangers.
  • But you should also have ground rules with your roomie.  And if you make any offers (such as, "sure, we can share food"), make sure you can stick to them.
Bottom line is this: have a blast.  College is fantastic.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

#YesAllWomen

This post will make someone mad.  But you know what?  I don't really care.

So.  The hashtag "YesAllWomen" has been trending ever since the murders at UCSB.  It's all over my Facebook feed, and while I have no issue with the stories posted and understand all of the rage and pain expressed by the women tweeting such things, I have some major issues with the idea of "YesAllWomen", and, if we're all being honest here, feminism in general.
To start this airing of grievances, let's look at the hashtag itself.  "YesAllWomen"?  Does this not imply that every woman on the planet agrees with your statements and thinks such things?  To me it does, and that's a problem for me.  I don't want your thoughts and ideas tied to me; I have my own, thanks.

Let's look at some of the other stuff I've had thrown at me via Facebook lately, shall we?  We have all of these articles talking about how the California murders were due to the fact that the killer felt he was entitled to sex from these women.  Let me be the first to say that I in no way agree with or support his view.  However, here's the issue that's been bothering me.  The majority of the comments on such articles tend to generalize this viewpoint, saying that it's one that all men have in common.  Kittens, this simply is not true.  There are so many gentlemen in our world, albeit the creepy ones tend to get more attention.  And furthermore, don't women do the same thing?  While they may not have the same sense of entitlement, I think we all have that one attractive female friend who is frustrated when men don't ask her for a date.  I think the same idea of entitlement applies.

So, to keep this brief, I'm going to stop here.  There will be more posts with my further thoughts on feminism in the future.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Victoria Has Returned!

Hi kittens!  I must apologize for my lack of posts during the last three months.  School took a turn for the challenging, and I needed all of my energy to be put into that.  But now, thank goodness, it's summer and I'm in one piece and have time to post.

Some new obsessions: the Myers Briggs Personality Test: I'll be doing a post on this beautiful thing ASAP.  It's so interesting and I love it.
The Fault in Our Stars: the movie is coming out and I have a few things to say before it hits the screen, inevitably disappointing the book fans.
All things Disney: this isn't a new one, but I have some new stuff to say.
Rock climbing: by this I mean climbing the rock walls and nets and wires at my local Y's ropes course.  It's the only time the "how's the weather up there?" joke ever has been or ever will be funny to me.
How I Met Your Mother: also not a new one, but I haven't ranted about it on here yet.

Disenchantments: my home town: since coming home from college, my town is boring as ever.  I love being surrounded by family and high school friends, but there are some major drawbacks to it.
Comedy and basically every movie I've seen lately: Victoria is not impressed.  That is all.

Miscellaneous: I may have some stuff to say on religion, relationships, society, and just life in general.  Buckle your seatbelts, kitties!

Anyway, to anyone still reading this, thanks.  Hopefully there are some of you out there still.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Long Distance and John Green

“Here’s to all the places we went. And all the places we’ll go. And here’s to me, whispering again and again and again and again: I love you.”--John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

The above quote may be typical melodramatic teenage girl of me, and for that I apologize, but I adore it so much.  It is one of many John Green quotes which I carry in my heart.  Read his books.  All of them.  I hope they melt your heart like they melt mine.
I've been in a very John Green mood as of late, likely due to my recent obsession with vlogbrothers and Mental Floss (look them up on YouTube. You won't regret it).  His writing is amazing and as seen in his videos, he is a genuine, intelligent, down to earth guy, which is fantastic to see.  So yeah.  Check him out.  He's amazing.  To my fellow nerdfighters, DFTBA! (just watch the videos)

Okay.  Now that my fangirling is over, let's talk.  As previously discussed, I am a college freshman.  I am dating my high school boyfriend, despite us going to separate colleges.  We see each other about once a month, and while I understand that this might not seem like such a hardship to some, let me tell you something about long distance: it's not easy.  And it never. Gets. Easier.
The Boyfriend is the first guy I've ever dated.  We've been together just under a year, and it's been an amazing ride.  We got together in February of our senior year of high school, and while I did have a few concerns about getting involved with someone so close to college, I decided to go for it.  Throughout the remainder of the school year, people (classmates, family friends, etc.) constantly asked if we would continue the relationship in college.  I never had an answer for those people, but we did end up continuing the relationship, and I am so thankful for the way it's worked out.  Long distance is worth it.
When people found out The Boyfriend and I would be doing long distance, they were all overflowing with advice.  Adults tended to give me the "remember, there are plenty of fish in the sea" line.  My peers thought it was romantic.  My grandma couldn't understand why I'd be willing to be tied to one boy.  My mom seemed to have a little faith in the notion, but reminded me to be open minded.  But in the never ending sea of advice, here's the thing everyone forgets to tell you about long distance: it's so freaking hard.  And it never stops being hard.  It never gets easier to drive away from The Boyfriend after a visit or watch him drive away.  It never gets easier to say goodbye.  I find myself clinging to him, not wanting to let go.
You can text constantly, talking about everything from class to bad puns to music.  You can have a Skype date once a week.  You can talk on the phone as you walk to your dorm from the gym at night.  You can do all these things, but they will never make up for having that person there.  Hearing their laugh through the phone is not the same as seeing them beside you, eyes crinkling and gasping for air as they struggle to gain control of their euphoria.  Talking about a movie is not even close to watching the movie together, feeling the other person's warmth next to you.  Being apart, no matter how hard you try to bridge the gap, will never be the same as having the person there.
If I'm being completely honest, taking a mature perspective on this issue, it's probably a good thing The Boyfriend and I aren't at the same school.  We would spend too much time together, and we would never get anything done.  We are both doing well in school, much better than we would have if we were together and constantly around each other.  But long distance sucks.  That's my not-so-eloquent, blunt conclusion.  Long distance is awful.  Sure, it allows you to explore and define yourself without the other person and see if they still fit you.  It allows you to learn and grow and meet people.  But nothing will ever compare to having that one person who knows you at your core with you.

To finish this post, I have one more John Green quote and the link to the Tedx talk he did.
“You can love someone so much...But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”

And the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mUDw0sRZV0

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year, New Beginning

It's New Year's Eve and the air is abuzz with resolutions, toasts to the 2013 that was, and cheers to the 2014 that will be.  Everyone vows to change for the better somehow, being fitter, friendlier, and more frugal.  People swear they'll live in the moment and love those around them.  And while all of these vows are good and fine, people forget that the only thing which will be happening at midnight is a change on the calendar.  You aren't suddenly going to get the motivation to go to the gym every day or the money to travel around the world.  Life is not suddenly going to get better or easier tonight at midnight.
Resolutions themselves are not bad things.  They remind us to focus on the things that are important, and that is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.  The problem arises when we forget that goals and resolutions require a little work every day, not just a promise on the first day of a new year.  So, if it makes you happy, make resolutions.  Make them attainable and measurable THEN WORK TOWARD THEM.  All year, not just for a week or so.

This time of year, we also hear a lot of things along the lines of "2013 was great, but 2014 will be the best year yet!".  Maybe.  But here's the thing: if you're living your life to the fullest, every year will be the best year yet.  Each year will bring new highs, making you happier than you ever thought to be possible.  You will travel to new places, meet new people, make new friends.  You will try new things, find new obsessions.  You'll probably find a new favorite song, favorite movie, favorite book in the upcoming year.  The new year will bring new victories and joys and excitements.  You'll finish the year and think "wow, that was fun."
On the flip side, every year brings new lows.  You'll probably cry in the next year.  You'll be mad and confused and upset and lost to new degrees.  But these experiences are so important to the year.  These are the things that will make you stronger and will hopefully make you a better person.  When you look back on the year, you'll remember the pain, but hopefully the joy will match it, if not eclipse it.

So, Happy New Year, everybody.  I hope it's a great one.