Tag Archives: Welcome to Night Vale

Real Life?

19 May

(Click here for this post’s year-old predecessor)

My current moment of celebration has been brought to us by this fact: I graduated high school last Friday night. 

It follows then, that now I’ve been on the receiving end of a surplus of advice and/or inspiring comments. I’ve been told both that my life has finally begun and that nothing really changes after graduation (Don’t be a motivational speaker, friend). Mm, and yes, my college plans have been questioned seventy-nine times in the past three days.

But even that is not enough to bring me down at the moment. I had a blast graduating, I did so with some terribly cool people, and I am super stoked to no longer be asked what school I go to, or what I’m doing after graduation. (the spirit of the second question will still be present often, but I choose to at least appreciate the change of tense)

I am no longer a high schooler. 

This is joyous news.

But I have a mission in today’s post, one that I must not forget – the geek speech. I mentioned this topic last year, when I got super stoked about putting fandom references in my grad speech and wrote a post (linked above) about how I would let you in on it someday.

That day is here. I have linked every otherwise-unidentified reference for explanation purposes.

 _________________________________________________

*pats microphone*

First off, what a turnout!

How wild is this, huh?

All we did was complete twelve years of schooling. And now look at us. Dressed in glorified trash bags. How far we’ve come.

But where to begin on the list of people we couldn’t have done this without?

I do feel like it would be an injustice not to give a shout-out to my school curriculum, so as much as I’d like to ignore Abeka and Saxon, I do have to say thank you to Adventures in Odyssey and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego for being the thinly-veiled education machines that made up a good chunk of the important things I learned in my school years.

And of course, I have been immeasurably blessed by the people in my life. My friends are the best, most fantastic friends I could ask for, and my family is beyond marvelous. I can not say enough good things about them, and I could not have hoped for anyone better to be raised around. My parents, especially, have been so much better to me than I deserve. I want you all to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are loved. By so many, and so much, and by no one more than me – except maybe One. I thank the Lord for you daily, which leads to the next order of business – thanking the Creator who made every bit of this possible. Thank you for your strength, your wisdom, your unconditional love, and of course, for this moment. For all these bright young men and women who are ready to get down to business to defeat the tons of opposition that we may face.

After all, the protagonist of every story finds herself in a battle at some point.

And we’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one. Cos it is, you know? It’s the best. Remember, all of our stories have already been written by the best author our universe has ever produced – or, actually, the best author that ever produced our universe. And stories are not meant only to entertain, but to teach. There are lessons in stories. The moral of the Three Bears, for instance, is never break into someone else’s house. The moral of Snow White is never eat apples. The moral of WWI is never assassinate the Archduke Ferdinand. What will our stories tell others? That’s up to us. But we really ought to make it interesting, make it inspiring. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. And you know God does not create anything that doesn’t make some sort of glorious difference in the world. After all, no artist can resist signing his work.

The world didn’t come with any extra parts, but it didn’t come with any that were interchangeable either.

We all have something that no one else has, and that thing is exactly what the world needs, and the thing we need to give away.

In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” This place is not our home. But any good houseguest knows that you should leave a place in better condition than when you first arrived in it. It’s no different here – except that you don’t usually find opposition when you try to clean a guesthouse.

The world, however, will do what it does best and tell us to do what everyone else is doing, and to stick to the status quo but the status is not quo. The world is a mess, and we just need to… school it. It is our job to educate the world, to go and make disciples. Be fishermen, be fishers of men. So we’ll beat on, boats against the current. And, I don’t know, fly casual.

Madeleine L’engle once said, fittingly, “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown up, we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

This isn’t my favorite truth to accept, but it’s definitely a pre-requisite. I don’t pretend to be grown-up now, but I know I’m on that road. I mean, all children, except one, grow up, but our pace on that journey, the way we deal with the walk, who we become along the way is all on us. And this milestone we call graduation, it means growing up far, far less than it represents it.

Regardless of age, you have always been important, you have always been something. Age just reveals the facts that always were, and experience uncovers the you that always was. Never let people look down on you because you are young. Set an example.

And if you’re ever discouraged, the world gets on your back, and you find yourself beating yourself up and saying that now would be a really good time for you to grow up – don’t ever allow yourself to be downtrodden. Growing up is an adventure, not a destination – and that’s your secret.

You’re always growing up.

Thanks for sticking with me today and for the past years.

Catch… you… later.

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In closing, I just want to extend the warmest thank you to my excellent friends who used the moment after to yell out,

“No you won’t!”

Career Mapping for the Fictionally Inclined Part 3

15 Sep

In Part 1 and Part 2 of my fictional job search, I covered eleven potential occupations, but there are still more that need to be addressed. The current job economy isn’t exactly promising, and if one of these careers are closed to you or me, then I want us all to be able to have a full arsenal of other choices.

So, seeing as I like to be prepared, here is part three.

Jedi.

Upside:  Jedi are respected, revered, and fight for good. Mind tricks can be learned with time, and last, but not even close to least, light sabers. Light sabers are just given out like candy, you guys.

Downside: Hand injuries are surprisingly common, due to the liberal distribution of light sabers. Love is forbidden. Sure, I could get around this little rule by hauling out the whole

“Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love,”

line, but then I might hate myself. And everyone else would hate me too. I would eventually be so consumed by hate that I would turn into a Sith lord. And that’s a whole different career.

Archaeologist.

Upside: Seeing as actual archaeology (such as going to digs, sifting through shards found at digs, studying history, etc.) tends to be more of a pastime in this occupation than a requirement, there is all the more time for rollicking adventures. These adventures typically involve shooting at bad dudes,  and generally looking fabulous.

Downside: All those normal archaeologist duties have been replaced by being shot at by bad dudes, pushed into pits by bad dudes, and getting trapped in exploding, recurring time loops by bad dudes. It’s also very difficult to ascertain when your adventures should end peacefully – you never know if your next adventure will be your last, or, even worse, a really terrible follow-up adventure with bad CGI and weird aliens that everyone hates.

Auror.

Upside: High status. Dedication to investigating and fighting the dark arts, and making the world a safer place. Aurors are wizarding detectives. And did I mention magic? I mean, come on, son. Magic. I might even get the chance to teach at Hogwarts.

Downside: The thing about investigating and fighting the dark arts is that it attracts people who are involved in and work the dark arts. The thing about those people is that they kill people. And when they’re not killing people, they’re pretending to be people. And when they’re not doing that, they’re probably trying. And even if I did get a chance to teach at Hogwarts, I have noticed that Hogwarts is probably the worst-regulated school ever. Job security, not to mention plain old safety, is a joke there.

Half-blood.

Upside: Half-bloods (offspring of Greek gods and humans) get to stay the summer in an epic summer camp where they learn to use their hereditary, slightly magical skills, make adorable friends, and go on ill-advised suicide missions. I would get to have exciting adventures with my underage friends and dish out as much inappropriately-timed witty banter as I please. That’s an important factor for me.

Downside: As Percy Jackson himself said, “Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.” He then goes on to describe how he thinks that if I am a Half-blood, I should hide from the truth and live a lie. This is less than inviting. Also, to be a Half-blood, I have to be born a certain way. Experts have discovered, after much study, that arranging my own birth after being born is nearly impossible, outside of spiffy DeLoreans and flux capacitors, and even then I’m gonna have issues. This is probably a no-go.

Radio announcer.

Upside: I would be the source of information for all my listeners. Without me, how would people know to avoid the dog park (seriously, don’t go near the dog park)? How would people know to turn down the television when having private conversations that the secret police are trying to listen in on? Who would remind everyone what a jerk Steve Carlsberg is? I’m a mainstay of my community, and too high-profile for the people in station management to effectively snuff out without causing a fuss.

Downside: The people in station management probably don’t care about making a fuss, but I think I’ve said too much already. 

Run. 

Opera ghost.

Upside:  I can sing on the job. Sing loudly, too. Steady job, if I can be dedicated enough, and my workplace is not only enormous and underground, but lit entirely by apparently waterproof candles. Did I mention that singing on the job is literally a requirement? I can’t stress that enough.

Downside: Office morale is low, what with my underlings trying to hunt me down and kill me and all. Although singing is in the job description, most of my songs are doomed to be melancholy and riddled with emotional scars. Also, my face is riddled with scars (non-emotional). Admittedly, a lot of pain and scarring is involved with this occupation.

There are still far more careers to be had, fellow fiction-lovers. Some of these ones were suggested to me by my lovely readers (Thank you to Kayla and secondchanced), so please, feel free to tell me what other storybook job openings I’ve missed!

I wish you all the luck in the world in finding the job that is the right fit for you. Also, if you land one of these before I do, I would really appreciate it if you put in a good word for me with your employers.

As always, happy hunting!