A Millennial and The Boy Who Lived

A day late and a dollar short, that should be my motto in life. Always thinking of a great idea nearly two weeks too late. Or my favorite, thinking up questions to ask for a job interview after the interview is over, that one is always helpful. I’m thinking that’s something I should work on but I’m not sure what that would fall under…inventiveness maybe? Or it could just be to get over that frog in my throat and spit it out. But c’est la vie, I’m hear now and that’s what matters right?

If you’re a book nerd like me I’m sure you know that last week, the famous Harry Potter series celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. 20 years, seven books, eight movies, a youtube puppet show, a cult parody play, and millions of lives changed. I am proud to say that I am one of those million of lives. In fact it’s hard to believe where I would be now with out that daring, bespectacled boy. It’s certainly a world I don’t want to live in.

I was first introduced to Harry Potter when I was in second grade. It was a challenging time for me then, I was just placed into my school’s special education program to address my learning disability. Of course I didn’t know what that meant then, all I knew was that I had to go to a different classroom with all new people for a little bit every day. But that first day, it’s burned into my mind.

When I walked into the classroom, or rather the trailer the class was held in, everyone was sitting on the floor around the teacher. She was reading them a book. I didn’t know what it was called but I did remember her reading about a prison, one in which you can never escape, and I thought to myself how horrible that must have been. I learned later that day that she was reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and she was talking about Sirius Black.

I also vividly remember the part when Harry was at Diagon Alley eating ice cream. Don’t ask me why this particular part is so ingrained in my memories, I don’t have the answer for you. Maybe it’s the way J. K. Rowling described everything, the world she created with a few strokes of her pen, how it turned my own imagination into overdrive. What I do know is after that fateful day, I fell in love. I started writing more, something that was always a challenge for me, and to this day, I haven’t stopped. I even got a college degree for it. I let my imagination wander, putting myself into the shoes of Harry and taking daring adventures right along with him.

I carried Harry with me all the way through middle school, a very tumultuous time in anyone’s life. My elementary school friends were no longer my friends and I didn’t always fit in with my middle school friends. But I always had Harry. Harry was there for me when no one else was. He was my safety net, the one person I could turn to when I was scared or angry or sad, Hogwarts was always there to welcome me home.

To me, the Harry Potter series is more than just a book series. It’s my childhood, my best friend, my home away from home. These books, these characters, they changed my life. They shaped who I am today. I learned how to be brave like Neville, persistent in my chase for knowledge like Herminone, loyal and kind like Ron, unique and self-assured like Luna, fun and carefree like the Weasley twins, and daring like Harry.

I owe so much of who I am today to these books. They helped pave the way for my own creativeness and a plethora of other characters and stories that have influenced my life. It’s safe to say that I would have never started writing if it wasn’t for these books. I would have never introduced myself to things like Star Wars or Marvel comic books if Harry Potter didn’t instill in me this love for fantasy.

So thank you Harry. Thank you for changing my life for the better. Thank you for teaching me how to be brave, for teaching me that it’s okay to make mistakes, for teaching me to love, for teaching me that happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light, and most importantly for teaching me that in the end, all will be well.

Happy 20th Harry!

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A Millennial and Her Loving Earth

When I was little, my Mom use to call me a flower child. I was in no way born in the 70’s or had free loving, hippy feeling parents. None the less, the name stuck – and for good reason. I am a flower child. I am a free loving, peace feeling, hippy power kind of girl.

I love just about everything, including nature. I may be a millennial to the core, rather spend time indoors than out but I do love nature. When I was growing up in the 90’s I didn’t have a computer or a phone to distract me, I had my backyard. I had my sister to play with and oh boy did we come up with some fun games to play (my favorite was Pocahontas – running though the trees pretending I had my faithful sidekicks Meeko and Flick by my side).

I have so many memories from my childhood of being outside. I can still recall the scent of grass on my skin, the way the sky looked when my Mom would call me in for dinner. And if you were to ask me where my happy place is, I would proudly tell you it’s my backyard (or img_2363the beach because really, who doesn’t love the beach?). I’m sitting here right now, looking at it from the sliding glass door, watching the birds gather seeds from the feeder. It calms me, makes me feel at ease. It’s my home.

Having to spend time in the great outdoors as a child gave me such an appreciation for the world that we live on. There is beauty in every turn. Every tree, every flower, every little creature that scampers around – they are so unique and special. They are a huge part of our lives and in many instances, something we can’t live without. We need water to survive, plants and animals to give us food. The Earth is our home, or shelter, our life force.

Which is why all this talk, all this dismissal of climate change, the North Dakota pipeline, img_2088the general disregard of our Earth hurts me. This is our home. This is our water. Should we not do everything in our power to save it? Is commerce and commercialism so important that we are willing to poison the water? Are we so self absorbed that we aren’t willing to fix the problem now so that future generations have an Earth to call home?

Climate change is real and there is scientific evidence and research to support it. Because of this we can not turn a blind eye to the problems that we face. Politics should only have a small part to play in this matter because essentially, the problems that face our world are human problems that must be solve with unity. Yes, money is important. Money is needed to fund the research that will heal our planet. But first we must come to accept that global warming is real and it is a real threat!

We need our leaders to accept this. It’s not a matter of Republican or Democrat, it’s a matter of humanity. Regardless of what side you fall on, we all live on this wonderful planet. We all call this place home. We all need to chip in and do are part to save our home.

We can’t allow a pipeline that will pollute the water that serves the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. We need to find renewable resources so this world will still be a thriving place to live. People’s lives are more important that any business’s bottom line. This world that we live on is more important that any business.

I love this planet and for millions upon millions of years this planet has loved us back. It’s time that we all take a look around us, see the beauty that frames our lives, appreciate the food we are given, and the water that sustains us. It’s time that we fight for our Earth. Protect her and keep her healthy. She is too beautiful to loose, to important to let die.

Embrace your inner flower child and love the Earth.

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A Millennial and Her Family Reunion

The past few days I’ve been out of town for a family reunion, my first time attending since it was affectionately called the Pig Roast. At first, I’ll admit, I wasn’t super thrilled. It was to be held at my Grandmother’s childhood home (now owned by my two aunts), in the middle of nowhere New York. Well water, bugs galore, and facing large crowds of people I haven’t seen since I was a child, not my idea of a party.

But I have to say, I had a wonderful weekend and a truly awesome experience. And what, you might ask, made it such a great time? Taking a break for this computer I’m currently sitting in front of. The farm (that’s what my family calls the house) is nestled in the sleepy mountains of Olean, New York, a small town on the west end of the state. Cell reception at the farm is laughable at best and while there is wifi, I seemed to have left my phone in the car pretty much everyday.

IMG_3769Without those distractions, the things we hardly seem to live without these days, the world opened up in front of me. I could hear the silence of the world, deep and peaceful. I could see the beauty all around, from giant rocks that have been carved by the weather into ancient shapes, to the misty grey fog rolling off the mountain tops, and to the calm bubbling of the creek I use to play in when I was younger. The world became a different place.

But the one thing that will stick with me for the rest of my life was the night sky. Wrapped up in blankets and a warm fire crackling at my feet, the sky above me came to life as the sun set, a whole new universe coming to life as the other went to rest. Thousands upon thousands of stars glittering in the vast sky. Every now and then I would see a shooting star dart across my vision, burning bright and dying out in a flame of glory. I even had the chance to see the Milky Way, cloudy grey sections of the sky filled with so many stars, it was breathtaking.

Another thing that I will remember forever is, seeing my family. There were four generations of my family all gathered in the same place. Sure I wasn’t really sure who everyone was but they are still family. And if you take the time to look you could see the IMG_3755resemblance etched in all of our faces. Four generations all packed together in a house that was built in 1919 and saw my Grandmother and her sisters grow to adulthood, now that is incredible.

To be surrounded by so much history, to be swallowed up by so many stars, it reminds you how beautiful life is, how small we are, and how connected we are to each other and nature.

Not to mention, being able to pull away from the screens of technology and experience nature in it’s raw form has been the most relaxing, peaceful, and recharging thing I have ever done in my life.

So the point of all this is to encourage you to step away from your phones, tablets, and computers and just look at the world around you. See the beauty that surrounds us every day. Get in touch with your roots and find peace in the greatest gift we have, the love of family and the every place we call home, Earth.