Well, in less than 12 hours I will be 22 years old. It struck me this morning as I was brushing my teeth that in one year I will be 23 and officially in my ... "mid-twenties!" I know that 23 is still young, and some consider it the prime of life. But there is an undeniable sense of having to act "grown-up" now, whatever that is. For most people in my age group, this means finishing university/college/Master's degrees/starting a career. For me, it means that for the first time in my life I have a kind of freedom I have never explored before.
I have finished my BA in English at the University of Western Ontario and will be graduating in the October Convocation ceremony. For the first time in my life, September will come around and it won't mean starting another year at school. Unlike most of my friends, I opted to not do a Master's or continuing education program right after my BA. When the first day of my fourth year came around, I remember sitting in my Irish Literature and Drama seminar and hating every minute that went by. I thought to myself, "I don't want to be here right now." Every other year, I was eager to begin a fresh year at school: I loved the new notebooks, textbooks, pens, calendars, everything that says "I will be organized and studious this year!" Last year, from the first moment my prof began his lecture, I knew I was done with it. Don't get me wrong, I overall had a fantastic year; but school was no longer the important thing to me. I was finished with lecture/school-based learning. I was craving a new kind of learning experience.
This year promises to be one thing to me: it will be entirely mine. It will not be another year slaving away on essays to get high marks in school. It will not be another year grieving and hurting for an ex-boyfriend. It will not be another year of attempting to fill the expectations of my parents (BA completed: check!). This year is just for me.
(Well, just for me and the government who profits from my OSAP loan repayment - and I plan to repay that as quickly as possible so the bastards don't get a cent more than I can manage.)
I have opted to take (at least) one year for myself to get my shit together. I am currently working at Cafe One (classy restaurant on Richmond Row, management is decent, but we all wish we had a better boss, co-workers are great). I am living with four roommates, all of them very good friends of mine. I am *hoping* to audit a French course to improve upon my knowledge I gained during my 2 month exchange to Trois-Pistoles, Quebec this past summer. I am doing at least 3 fantastic plays: I am acting in The Revenger's Tragedy (my favourite early modern play), directing (my first show!) Goodness in January, and stage managing The Pillowman in March. Cafe One isn't my 'real' job, really; it suppliments my income so I can do what I love ... which, coincidentally, I don't get paid for (yet).
And these are my goals for this year: meet new people; travel to new places; experience new things; read for fun again; see more theatre; do more theatre than I have before; be self-sufficient financially (and take a hell of a lot of pride in providing for myself, all by myself); and above all, LEARN! Learn from everything I do and everyone I meet.
And hopefully tomorrow morning after my night of birthday drinking, I won't have to re-learn the first rule of hangover management: a full glass of water and an Advil before bed.
One more thing ...
For anyone who may come across this blog, I just wanted to comment on the decision to title this blog. After spending 4 years in the analytically critical setting of an English program at University, I have realized that whatever my intentions are behind what I write is of little importance. Obviously, I don't want what I am saying to be mis-interpreted or terribly misconstrued, but that is kind of out of my control. Whoever decides to read this will decide how to interpret what I have written. So ... let this blog be whatever you want it to be. You may find it cleverly philosophical, incredibly boring, mildly amusing, or any other combination of adverb and adjective (I know, how pretensious of me to throw around the names of parts of speech ... fucking English majors). Whatever you think of it, I hope that you at least learn something from it or develop an opinion about something I have written. What's the point of doing anything if you don't think, right?
Hence, "The [insert witty blog title here] Blog."