Small World

I often find that when I try to be deep and philosophical, I start out with good intentions, but then I end up nonchalant, careless, and, to be quite honest, eager to get done.  Something that comes with being a writer is passion, and to write passionately, you have to feel passionately.  I’ve got to tell you, it can be exhausting trying to put your most emotional thoughts and feelings into words.  You want so much to convey what you are feeling, because you feel that if you do, then your readers will somehow begin to feel the way you do.

This isn’t really going to be one of those posts.  I’m not even sure how that paragraph evolved to be honest.  Yeah, what I’ve been thinking about recently is sort of deep, but it’s nothing like I’m-going-to-crawl-into-the-street-drop-to-my-knees-and-invoke-the-Heavens passion.

It all started the other day when I overheard the familiar phrase, “Oh, what a small world!”

Of course, we use that phrase to make note of shared acquaintances, coincidences, and similar ideas and experiences.  However, it got me thinking about the notion of a “small world.”

Naturally, one of the first things to come to mind when you hear the phrase “small world” is the Disney ride.  It’s actually one of the few attractions I did not get to experience.  But of course, we all know the song.

I understand the point that the lyricist is trying to make.  It means even though we all live different places and we all have different lives, we are all part of the same world, we are all family members in the human race, we are all the same.  Speaking in a matter of humanity, it’s true.  We are more alike than we are different.  We all deserve to be valued as equals and treated with respect.  Location doesn’t matter.

However, I also believe that when we say the world is small, we are inadvertently limiting ourselves and our perception of what’s going on around us.  When I was younger, I was so aware of how many new and exciting things were waiting for me out in the world.  I thought all the time about everything I wanted to do and see and experience.  As I’ve gotten older and more aware of the world around me, however, I’ve begun to suspect that life and experience tends to have the opposite effect.  There are times that, because of everything going on around me, I find my point of view narrowing considerably.  Whenever I become aware of this, I go back to songs and memories I loved as a child, trying my hardest to hold on to that sense of awe and excitement, but it can be difficult at times.

Just the other day, I found myself disappointed over something very small and trivial.  I sat around moping, drank a glass of wine, and just felt sorry for myself.  The next morning, I was still a little down.  However, on my way to work, I listened to a song that reminded me of the path that I’m on, namely my books and my ultimate goal, and I realized that that little disappointment was nothing.  It didn’t effect my longterm goals in the slightest.  I know what I want out of life, and I can’t let anything stop me from going after it.

It’s so easy to get distracted, to let the little things get you down.  It’s easy to be seduced by everything society tells you you need in order to be happy.  It’s easy to compare yourself to everyone around you and feel like a failure or a loser.  I know.  It happens to me all the time.  It’s times like that when I need reminding that the world is so much bigger than my piddly little problems.  

I think our problem as a society is that we have become so absorbed in our own little worlds that we forget what else is out there.  We become blind to possibility, to learning, to experiencing.  I love how it feels to get out of my own mind, to go beyond my own world, and to experience someone else’s.  It’s something I need to do more often.  I’m trapped in my own mind 24 hours a day, and let me tell you, it’s hectic in here.

I’m not sure if this post has made any sense at all.  I try to be articulate and eloquent and all that good stuff, but it is very likely that I just come across and rambly and crazy.  Oh well.  It wouldn’t be the first time.

As for Cemetery Tours, it sold very well in this first week!  I’m so thrilled!  I had, of course, hoped it would do well, but I’m not sure I was expecting this!

Extraordinary

Today is a big day in my household.  It’s the day my little sister goes off to college and moves into her new dorm.  I know it’s not like she’s leaving forever, but it’s still weird and, I’m not going to lie, sad.  She’s my best friend in the world and I’m going to miss her like crazy.  Sure, she’s close enough that we’ll be able to see her at least once a month, but it’s still a big change.

While I’ve mostly been preoccupied with the fact that I’m going to miss her, I have to admit, I’ve also been a little envious.  See, I never had the full college experience.  When I was in middle school, my family suffered a tremendous financial blow, the effects of which still linger to this day.  Things have gotten better, but my mom still says that they’ll probably never fully recover from that period in our lives.  Because of everything that happened, I couldn’t afford to go away to college, so throughout my four years of undergrad and two years of grad school, I lived at home.  Even though several kids do that to save a little money, it’s something I’ve always been insecure about. 

However, everything I’ve gone through in the past year has inspired me to stop dwelling on the experience I didn’t get the opportunity to have, and all the amazing and wonderful experiences that I have had, and that I hopefully will have in the future. 

This post isn’t really about my book or my work as a writer, although seeing that through has given me more confidence and self-respect than I think I’ve ever had in my life.  It is a little self-centered, but I think it’s good for everyone to take a minute and think about everything extraordinary about their lives.  The shooting stars, if you will.  Here are a few of mine.

I’ve hiked to the top of a mountain.

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I’ve seen the Red Woods of the West Coast.

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I’ve visited Heaven on Earth.

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I’ve danced with a beluga whale.

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I’ve worked an amazing job as a summer camp counselor.

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I’ve seen my favorite band live in concert.

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I’ve earned my Master’s Degree.

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I’ve enjoyed a sunset picnic on the beach.

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I’ve been inside a fairy tale castle.

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I’ve eaten Haggis.

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I have not one, but two of the best friends in the world; two people I trust completely and know will be there for me no matter what.  And that’s a rare find even one time around.

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I’ve played in the mud for absolutely no reason other than that I could.

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And I’ve started my own business and written a novel that will be in print and an eBook in exactly one month!

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I can’t wait for whatever happens next!