Upon reaching my 18th birthday, I thought it fitting to write down 18 things I have learned about myself, people, the world and life in general in the past 18 years and put them all down here. I hope you enjoy reading my insights!
- I am a writer. Since that pivotal moment when I was 9 years old, I have known that no matter what else I doubt about myself, I am and always will be a writer. However, being a writer doesn’t just mean that I love to write novels. It means I love to write anything–short stories, essays, reports, just plain paragraphs! But it also goes beyond that–I see the world and people/situations around me from a writer’s perspective. I see words, I see stories (or potential stories); the way those words and stories are used, both ineffectively and effectively. I see people and their “character development” and every little event is part of a bigger picture. I think it’s a good way to see life, especially as a Christian. It’s important to know that the trial (or happy time) I’m going through won’t last forever and that it’s just one small thing inside one LARGE thing–God’s plan for me, for you, for everyone.
- I love history. As most of you know, I consider myself a historical fiction writer (and reader, too). I’ve questioned myself several times in the past, “why do you love history so much?” I don’t know that I’ve quite come up with a solid answer, but I’ll try my best to give some kind of reason(s). I always get excited when I find out something new about history, when historical events are unexpectedly woven or mentioned in movies/TV shows or when someone talks about something that happened in history. I suppose there’s something about history that seems so relevant to me and my life, something about it that I sometimes seem to understand more than my own modern-day life. History has always been so real to me. And, when I look back at history, it makes the events and decisions of today make much more sense as well as help me understand people and people groups better. I love feeling a connection through books and movies/TV shows with people that lived long ago. Maybe because there’s just so much of it–so much history–there’s always more I can learn, and even within subjects I know pretty well, there’s always something I could learn in more detail. It’s like digging for dinosaur bones and finding more and more and putting all the pieces together, never quite getting all the pieces needed, but always understanding the dinosaur a bit better as I discover more.
- Food. I love food. For one, I’m always hungry. But I love that there’s so much good food to make and try! Food, food, food…
- I love books. I love reading, reading, reading. I don’t have as much time to do so as I used to (…or maybe I just don’t set aside as much time…?), but I still love it. I love buying new books, reading new stories, staying up late to finish them, making new friends (characters), and being inspired to make my stories just as good as theirs. I love the feel of books, the smell of books, the look of books. Books, books, books!!
- FROZEN. No matter what anyone tells you, don’t believe them. Frozen IS better than Tangled. Just saying. 😉 Yes, Frozen is still one of my favorite movies even though I’m an “adult” now. Not embarrassed. #frozenforever
- I love my family. Besides Mom and Dad, I have two sisters and one brother (I’m the oldest). Sure, they get on my nerves sometimes, but who doesn’t? I get on people’s nerves sometimes (maybe all the time for some). That’s just life. Overall, I have awesome parents and awesome siblings. I love doing things with them, going places with them, watching stuff together, having deep discussion over books, movies, the Bible, and laughing over our silly inside jokes. I love spending time with all my siblings, even the very little brother who can get very annoying, of course, but is still very sweet and VERY funny. I love my parents who care more about us being godly women and man rather than giving us what we want. And I love that I have a good relationship with both of them and that we don’t often fight.
- I am Canadian. I was born in Canada, and even though I only lived there for 2 1/2 years before moving to Texas, I’ve always been very much Canadian. I say certain words differently (after all, I have Canadian parents) and quite honestly, I tend to see the world differently. Part of that is because I’m a Christian, part of it is because I’m homeschooled, but part of it is because I’m Canadian, I think. I see America in a different way, and Americans, too. Don’t get me wrong, I love America and Americans (though they can sometimes give me a hard time about being Canadian, which can be annoying). And even though I’ve lived most of my life in America and I still consider myself an American, America has never really been my home. I suppose I’ve always seen events happening around me as something great/terrible happening to their/your country, not necessarily mine. Of course, Canada has its problems, too, it’s not perfect (neither is America), but there is something about visiting Canada that makes me feel like I’ve come home. And learning about Canadian history (which can be very difficult here!) makes me even more excited than ever! It’s sad that Americans don’t really get Canada and Canadians. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I like/want to write about Canada so much…because I want to help Americans understand my country and my people.
- Zebras. I love zebras–zebra everything. I have zebra shirts, shoes, picture on my wall, note cards, pencils, stuffed animal, etc. Most of all, though, I love the living animal. I linger the longest at the zoo when looking at zebras.
- Chick-fil-A. There are many good restaurants, but Chick-fil-A is one of the best. They have excellent service, excellent food and no matter which restaurant you walk into in whatever part of the country, you know you’ll receive the same excellent service and excellent food no matter what!
- Patience is important. I think patience is one of the best lessons someone can learn, trait someone can acquire. Patience is hard to get the hang of. You have to be patient to acquire a trait of patience. 😉 I’m not perfect at patience (lately, I’ve been having a hard time being patient through my thoughts, not just my actions/words), but I love opportunities that teach me and remind me to be patient. I don’t always love it when I’m going through it, but almost every time, it was so worth it in the end! Besides, the more patient you are, the easier it gets to be patient when it really counts, when it could be really bad if you weren’t.
- K-Dramas can change your life. My aunt introduced us to K-Dramas this time last year. Korean Dramas are soap operas that last one “season”, a certain amount of episodes and then they’re done. Sometimes they’re as little as 12 episodes, sometimes as many as 30–or on into 50! The most we’ve ever seen so far, though, is 28. In the past year, we’ve watched 8 K-Dramas, finishing one last night. I love learning about Korean culture and their language, history and beliefs. They are master storytellers–their stories and music are amazing and I could talk about each one forever. Everyone should watch K-Dramas–they are so good!
- Pizza. Just. PIZZA. Always. Forever.
- Being self-published is a privilege and a personal victory. Even just 10 or 15 measly years ago–let alone farther back–being self-published using CreateSpace would not have been possible. To be able to publish myself by myself and have my book on Amazon–what a dream come true! Sure, I’m not everywhere and I don’t get a lot of sales, but that’s not why I published Bridget’s Journey in the first place. I published it so I could easily share it with friends and family. I may never and probably will never get professionally published, but that’s okay. Using CreateSpace, I can publish my books as I go with no pressure of deadlines or having to come up with new novel ideas when inspiration is not flowing. There is freedom in self-publishing. When I have something to write, I write it. When I don’t, I don’t and that’s okay.
- Chocolate. Let me say it again. Chocolate. I should have known this all along, but I recently discovered woman’s best friend: chocolate. Always, the answer to any problem is…chocolate.
- Friendship is a wonderful thing. Yes, I know you already know, but I don’t mind reiterating. I have some pretty amazing friends. To friends near and far (this includes relatives, too!), thank you for being my friend. Through thick and thin, thank you for not giving up on me, even though I can be pretty annoying sometimes and I often say the wrong thing. Thank you for sticking through it. Especially thank you to my Texas friends who still e-mail or Facebook message me and are patient when I take awhile to respond. Thank you! Friendship is one of God’s special gifts to us and should be treasured. There’s nothing like having coffee (if I had coffee…how about hot chocolate) with a friend and spilling everything out, knowing they won’t judge you. And there’s nothing like having a friend spill everything out to you, knowing they do because they trust you to not judge them.
- Moving taught me a lot. I don’t even know where to begin! God taught me a lot through our move and though I still miss parts of Texas, I am really glad we moved here. It is so beautiful, the weather is a lot less oppressive, I have made some great new friends, we have been able to visit cool places we would never have been able to visit from Texas and we can get to Canada in just one and a half days rather than two and a half!! Moving has made me more patient, more trusting in Him and a much stronger person who can relate to other people’s experiences more.
- My favorite Bible verse. I felt like I just had to throw this in somewhere. My favorite verse, which has been the same for about four years, is: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV) This is Jesus talking, and I love this verse because I know that I don’t have to worry about anything. He is in control and He has already overcome everything and anything I could ever go through. I know that I can have peace because He is going to take care of all my problems, and one day, take them all away.
- I have loved being homeschooled. Besides preschool, I have been homeschooled my whole life. From kindergarten to senior year. I have been reflecting a lot about it this past year and, although I have never regretted being homeschooled, I again realized how happy I am that Mom chose to keep me at home all these years. Homeschooling has shaped who I am today. I would be much more shy and insecure than I already am and I would not have as good as relationship with my family as I do if I hadn’t been homeschooled. I just know it. But homeschooling is hard. It’s a hard job for Mom and it can be hard for us, too. It can be tiring to receive judgment from people or to have to constantly explain that we’re still normal people. But in a way, we aren’t, and that’s probably a good thing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to badmouth public school–I have some great friends who are public schooled, private schooled and so on. But personally, I just love being homeschooled. I will miss it when I graduate next spring. And I can’t wait to homeschool my kids if God lets me be a mom someday!
To conclude my longest ever post (and a really long one at that, sorry!), what great 18 years it has been. Looking forward to my “new” life as an adult!