My Last Day as a Kid

“Fifteen, there’s still time for you,

Twenty-two, I feel her too

Thirty-three, you’re on your way

Every day’s a new day.”

–  Five For Fighting, “100 Years”

 

With every post in the past, I’ve had a clear idea of what I’m going to write about. But, tonight, I have no clue what I’m going to talk about in the next six or seven hundred words. I’m just going to kind of ramble and revise until I have something worth putting on my blog.

Let’s get something out of the way first: I’m not like most teenagers. In a lot of ways, but especially how I feel about getting older and growing up.

At first, I felt the same as most people. When I was ten, I wanted to be twelve. When I was twelve, I couldn’t wait to be fourteen. When my fifteenth birthday hit, I decided I was comfortable with that age for a while.

My sixteenth birthday came at the end of 10th grade, and for the first time, I wasn’t completely comfortable with it. I loved being right between ten and twenty, old enough to have my permit and hang out with my friends on my own but not so old that I had to worry about applying to college or getting a job. Sixteen, to me, felt old.

Seventeen was worse. Don’t get me wrong, my birthday was great. All of mine have been, in fact. But that just felt old, even more than last year. I was in my upper teens now, long past eighth grade and starting high school. I was getting towards the end.

And tomorrow, on April 11, 2013, I become a legal adult.

I don’t know how my eighteenth birthday will be. Maybe I’ll blog about it! I’m sure it’ll be fun…a few close friends are coming over this coming weekend to celebrate with movies, pizza and a Nerf gun fight. I’m not sure if we’re trying to be ironic since I’ll be an adult, or maybe we just really like Nerf guns.

But, my birthday isn’t here yet. Right now it’s very late the night before my birthday, and I’m sitting here trying to take in the fact that these are my last few hours as a kid.

Here’s the thing. There’s no such thing as a definitive goodbye anymore. When you say bye to someone who’s leaving, you’re still going to stay connected on Facebook, and Twitter, and maybe they’ll even visit occasionally.

Stick with me.

To use an example: when you say goodbye to your friends before going off to college, it isn’t a definitive goodbye. You’ll still see them during the holidays, and you’ll text them, etc. Let’s agree that the reason we say goodbye is because the way we see them is about to change. Instead of hanging out every day, you’ll hang out a few times a year. Less and less as time goes by, and eventually, you’ll stop.

But you won’t say anything then, because you’ll already have moved on. Saying goodbye to someone is really saying farewell to your current friendship situation, a way to preemptively let go so you’re okay when it actually happens.

Same thing here. I’m saying goodbye to my current life situation, which is being a child, but I’m not really letting go yet. I’ll still watch the same movies, act like my same old self; I’ll even hang out with the same people, at least until I leave for college (but that’ll be a completely separate emotional post).

So yeah, this is more of my excuse to say goodbye to childhood rather than an actual farewell. It’s not like I’ll wake up tomorrow in a suit with slicked back hair and a briefcase full of mortgage bills. But I’ll start acting like a kid less and less, the same as you see your friends less and less after saying goodbye. Then, one day, you realize you don’t really miss those things anymore. And you wonder what even happened when you weren’t looking.

My favorite kinds of books are the ones with kids as heroes. That’s the kind I write, incidentally. Whenever I would read the ones about the socially awkward guys, the fourteen year olds just starting high school who are cool but shy or whatever, I’d always think, “That’s me.” But I’m not a fourteen year old kid just starting high school anymore. I’m almost done. When I was going in, I just wanted more than anything to find a solid group of friends, figure out exactly what I want to do, get good enough at doing that, and more than anything, get to the point where every day I live is life at its fullest.

I’m there, guys. It took a while, but I’m finally at the exact right point in life. I have the best group of friends I could ever ask for, I know without a doubt that I want to write (not professionally, though; even my ambition has a limit), and I think I’m finally at the point where I’m good at it. It used to be that I couldn’t wait for the day to end, but now, the days never seem long enough for me.

But, I digress. The point is that when I was younger, all I wanted to do was ride out the roller coaster and hope it took me to a good place. And now that it has, I’m a little sad to get off the ride.

But! I’m not really getting off. Just changing rides. I know that a lot of people reading this, especially adults, are slapping their keyboards and crying out, “You silly teenager, your life is just getting started!”

See, I get where you’re coming from. But I also think that people don’t emphasize enough just how awesome of a thing childhood is. Two of my brightest friends (my Ideal Readers, in case you were wondering) aren’t even in high school yet.

So yeah, I’m sad to be finished with this ride. But I have no clue where this next one will take me, and this time, I’m not in a hurry to get to the end. I’m just excited to see where it goes before it gets there.

Because there are so many things out there worse than growing up. There are plenty of emotions worse than missing something fun that happened. After all, I’d rather hurt a thousand times over because of good memories than hurt once because of bad ones. And whenever I think, this is the time of my life, I remind myself that I can never really be sure until I live the rest.

Wish me luck, everyone. Here comes the rest of my life.

(Some Of) The Most Ridiculous Things I’ve Seen on the Internet

“The underlying problem with information found on the internet is that it is difficult to verify its authenticity.”

 –  Abraham Lincoln

 

“Local singles in my area are INTERESTED in me? It must be because of all the free iPads I’ve won!”

Okay. The primary reason I wanted to blog about this tonight—other than the fact that you’re probably getting sick of all my reviews—is because the internet has some strange things floating around on it. I just wanted to share the few I’ve come across recently, purely for your enjoyment.

So enjoy.

 

Yahoo! Answers:

Ah, this little fun site. We’ve all seen some horrifically ignorant questions thrown out here. My personal favorite, logged under the “automotive repair” section of the site, reads as follows:

(Property of Yahoo Answers. Seriously, I claim no credit for this. I promise.)

After quelling my fits of considerable laughter, I took a gander at the top responses. And oh, they did not disappoint. The top few were comments such as:

  • Pour water on the keys…it worked for me!!
  • Well, maybe we would give you a straight answer if you stopped yelling, geez 
  • THIS HAPPENED TO ME LAST YEAR IT IS FOREVER IRREVERSIBLE!!!!

 

And that, kids, is why books are the best resource.

 

Facebook:

I addressed the topic of Facebook a few weeks ago, mentioning some of the insanely strange pages I’ve encountered on there. Which reminds me, I would like to add one more to the list:

Its profile picture depicts two fingers next to each other, crossed. The one behind has a robber mask drawn on it, along with a knife in its “hand.” The other finger has a terrified look drawn on his face.

The name of the page?

“Click on LIKE or the finger DIES.”

Additionally, while we’re on the subject…there are quite a few Facebookers across the web who recently have  updated with statuses such as: “Like if you brush your teeth!” “Like if you enjoy breathing!” “Like if you enjoy Oreos…ignore if you want to be cast into the fiery depths of Satan’s lair for the rest of eternity while people who enjoy Oreos pelt you with sharp stones!”

To those Facebookers…

Please stop.

 

Amazon:

The “Fifty Shades of Gray” trilogy was listed under the bestselling books…

In the “education” section.

Need I say more?

 

News Stories:

As I’ve paroozed various article sites for school projects, I’ve come across some strange, strange news clips that actually happened. Here are the most interesting headlines I’ve seen.

  • Man Buys Gift For His Wife Who Attacked Him With a Kitchen Blade (the gift was a hot pink revolver)
  • Man arrested, charged with arson on his own house
  • Armless Woman Refused Service At McDonald’s (Apparently a woman was driving through the McDonald’s drive-thru using her feet, pulled up to the window, and upon asking for her food was told—and I quote—“Girl, you ain’t got no arms.”)

 

Google:

Oh, Google…it’s probably the most used site in the world, and yet it still has flub-ups such as a recent incident in which someone spotted a body on the “Google Maps” street view. Yes, a body, as in a human corpse. (Luckily, this was later discovered to merely be a girl who happened to be lying in the street when the cameras snapped the image).

This is exactly why the internet is only as good as the people who run it. For all of our technology, we can only trust it as much as those who operate it.

Speaking of which…has everyone heard of those Google glasses?

If you haven’t, they’re essentially Iron Man’s mask compacted down into transparent glasses. Google is with you all the time, so you can voice commands for it to perform to give you information on the spot.

As several people on the internet have already suggested, every time I see someone with Google Glasses, I’m going to run up to them and yell: “Google Glasses, image search diarrhea. Safe search…off! Open first fifty results in new tabs!”

Then I’ll run.

Facebook vs. Twitter

“Let’s see if this diseased lung can get more likes than Miley Cyrus!”

   –  An actual “local business” page on Facebook

 

Almost everyone says the same thing: Facebook is on its deathbed, and Twitter is rising from the ashes to smash it to pieces and reclaim the world of social networking.

I don’t exactly agree. Don’t get me wrong…on a scale of one to ten, Twitter’s stalker score is a solid eight. When in the hands of people who Tweet every single thing they’re doing every day of their lives, it admittedly is a formidable opponent to Facebook in terms of creeping power.

(Don’t worry, Facebook. You’re well on the way to your stalking comeback with the now-mandated Timeline.)

But in terms of usefulness, I’d say Facebook wins hands down. No other network lets you join groups, like statuses, or create pages much like the one I mentioned above (which, by the way, is not only real but is complete with a profile picture). Other actual pages I’ve encountered include “If this gets 100 likes I’ll name my dog Voldemort” and “I will name my son Batman if this page gets to 500,000.” It currently has 770,000.

I know; Twitter lets you follow celebrities. I admit that’s cool. But unless they follow you back—which, more often than not, they don’t—then it’s similar to liking a celebrity page on Facebook. You still stream pictures of their hourly activities either way.

Now, let’s get hypothetical. Facebook is like McDonald’s and Twitter is Burger King: both have the same stuff that goes by different names, they’re equally famous, and they leave you wishing you had more interesting things to get to in your life. In addition, both cost virtually no money, are run by invisible CEO’s in secret locations, and are terrible places to ask your girlfriend to marry you.

To continue the metaphor, Google+ would be the internet’s Sonic…good, but really the same old stuff in disguise and liked by fewer people. Which means that MySpace is Waffle House.

“But wait!” the less mainstream people might be saying. “What about Tumblr? What about Skype, and LinkedIn, and (how could we forget) INSTAGRAM???”

Maybe I’ll address those in the future. I personally don’t use any of them, with my reason more than anything being I don’t like devoting very much time to letting the world know my thoughts (that’s what this is for, right?)

As I said, Twitter is probably nice for updating frequently, but Facebook seems like a better way to connect. It groups you with your peers all while suggesting “people you may know” with disturbing accuracy.

Plus, if you’re feeling especially bored, you can change your username to “no one” and like peoples’ annoying statuses.