No, this has nothing to do with comics. Sorry.
Often, particularly on good days and during crisp mornings, walking down the sidewalk in my boots snuggled into a coat, or when I’m in the middle of homework that I’m (gasp!) enjoying, or when I think about all the things I want to do and all the languages I want to learn and people I want to learn how to love, I find myself marveling at the incredible variance this world has to offer and how very beautiful it all is. Colors and words and stories and music and concepts and cute hats. Makes my day every time.
So often you hear young angsty intelligent but highly annoying people talking about how they don’t want to do the same old thing as everyone else: graduate high school, go to college, get a degree, get a job, get married, have kids, have a midlife crisis, figure a thing or two out, get old, fat, sick, and finally die. And I get that. But this, going back to my awesome theories about sonnets and journalism and jazz, is not a good representation of what life can be. It is true that this is what most people do, but you’ve grayed it out by saying it this way. You know how many cool things people do along the way and through the cracks and around the edges?
Sure, people follow the blueprint, but they also do pretty interesting things. It’s on every college brochure – the microbiology major who plays virtuoso violin and is active in the student senate, or the art history student who also happens to be on the hockey team, but loves old black and white films. And it’s not just college students. Perhaps your English professor wants to go on a safari one day. Perhaps the woman who sold you a book at Barnes and Noble the other day was born in Greece and has her whole house decorated in memorabilia thereby. Perhaps the CEO of the business in the skyscraper you walk past every day dreams of writing a novel. PEOPLE ARE INTERESTING. THEY DO INTERESTING STUFF THAT YOU WOULDN’T THINK WOULD GO TOGETHER NECESSARILY, YET THERE THEY ARE. I think that’s fascinating. That is what makes PEOPLE so wonderful and human and stuff. They are so wild, so varied, so unblueprinted, and that is so beautiful.
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is why I chose the major I did. I plan to major in accounting, which I realize is weird because I know almost literally nothing about it. (I did sneak a peek at my pledge educator’s accounting homework. It looked doable.) Lots of people have been asking me why, in tones both approving and not, from my fellow Whovian friends to my bitchy seminar teacher, and therefore here is why.
First of all, I watched my parents come home from the high school every day weighted down by their students’ stubbornness and prickliness and et cetera. They brought their jobs home with them and it really wore them down. I didn’t want that. Basically, as one of my new friends said, I hate people and don’t want to have a people-intensive job. Secondly, it’s logical work. There isn’t human factor in there to frustrate me. Numbers never lie. Thirdly, it’s practical. In high demand, can be done from anywhere on almost any schedule, and lucrative enough that I don’t care.
But when I tell people that I did nothing relating to business in high school, they always want to know why the blooming hell are you majoring in it now, and here is what I have to say to that. In high school, I focused on what I’d already committed to by the time I realized accounting would be a great job for me. Journalism, music and foreign language. And that was all great fun. But I didn’t come to college to continue pursuing what I pursued in high school (beyond a certain point – some interests never die). I came to college to learn something new, something brand spanking new. I don’t mind starting at the beginning with accounting (I’m ahead enough as it is). I wanted to tackle something I’d never tackled before and have no idea about.
So there you have it.
I shall conclude this post with a list of the authors I want my personal library to consist of one day – that I know of as of yet, anyway.
Madeleine L’Engle (obviously!)
e. e. cummings
Lucy Maud Montgomery
All three of the Bronte sisters
J. R. R. Tolkien
C. S. Lewis
Louisa May Alcott
Gene Stratton Porter
Laura Ingalls Wilder