Ever obsess over something that meant the world to you, but meant little to nothing to everyone else?
Once upon a time, when I was about 12 years old, I got into my mind the idea to write a story. But not just any story – I was a hardcore Hey Arnold! fan, and was pretty fond of Sailor Moon, too. I had a goal to combine these two stories into one epic crossover fanfiction, and dub it “Sailor Helga”.
So, I started the story in 1999, but never got to finish it, as the site where I had posted my story went offline, and I hadn’t the foresight to save a backup copy.
I revised the story and tried again around 2001-2002, but the site upon which I had submitted the story had, too, gone under (at least this time the Wayback Machine had archived it, and I had the sense to have a physical copy on paper).
And so, for the next several years, particularly around the summer months, I would think about and devise the perfect storyline to go with my epic crossover. I would compose lyrics to songs while doing my chores, contemplate the potential plotholes that would arise when mixing a North American Nicktoon with a Japanese anime, and listen to music to literally visualize scenes in my head.The amount of edits and re-writes I’ve slaved over are staggering, to say the least (one version I wrote went well over 60 written pages in the first chapter ALONE. Yes, I was obsessed.)
Fast-forward to 2006. I think I’ve finally got a workable plot. I post the story on fanfiction.net, updated with the occasional new chapter and then…nothing. Life kinda takes over and the obsession gets pushed to the backburner.
Fast-forward to 2010. I’m done university, and finally got my diploma. Aside from work, I’ve got a ton of free time on my hands. I get hooked on Cathy Dennis songs which, oddly enough, inspire me to give the story some semblance of a conclusion. But I’m not happy, because I know my works not done…
Fast-forward to spring 2011. I’m bored. I’m listless. I’m desperate for a change of pace, but summer is still 3 months away. I look to the NaNoWriMo side-project I started last November and think: what the hell.
April 30, 2011 – I finally complete “Sailor Helga”.
After well over a decade of letting this overzealous plot bunny consume my thoughts, I finally found the willpower to just push my sleeves back and get the job done.
I wasn’t expecting any recognition. There was no prize or monetary reward to be had for me essentially borrowing characters from two separate shows and combining them in a fangirl’s pipe dream. So why did I even bother?
Well, sometimes you just gotta know when it’s time to move on.
And that what this blog post is really all about: moving. In less than 72 hours, I’ll be leaving my small town and moving to the big city – more specifically, Toronto. I’ll have to find a new job, develop new contacts, and start a brand new program in the fall (I’m pretty sure you can do jack-all with just a 3 year Bachelors degree in Science, nowadays).
Therefore, it only felt appropriate that I’d let go of some trivial little hobby I had in my teens and focus on more pressing matter at hand. For example: surviving on my own in a bustling metropolis.
I’m not totally on my own; I’ll be staying with my aunt in the very heart of downtown (and I am eternally grateful to her for opening her home to me – it is not lost on me what a monumental opportunity this is for me, and how ungodly expensive Toronto is). I’m aware that I should watch my finances, find a job as soon as possible (and then a better paying job while working, according to Dad), and ultimately look for my own place in the not-to-distant future. Yes, survival is priority #1 on my list.
Am I scared? Yes. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious about this next step in my life, mainly because I have no fucking clue what to expect. If experience has taught me anything, though, it’s that I should have realistic expectations, focus on practical, obtainable goals and stick to them religiously.
I think what frightens me the most is that I’m constantly reminded of my first-year university experience in 2007. Without going into too many details, the whole ordeal was disastrous, but looking back at it all now, I think it was because I knew in my heart that what I was doing wasn’t the path I was meant to take. I absolutely hated my program, and yet I expected myself to get an A average to maintain my scholarship? It just wasn’t going to happen.
Now? Well, I’m taking a year of Dental Office Administration, and I have no idea how I’ll fare, but I can only do my best. I may end up disliking the program, but you know what? That’s okay. It may not be the right path either, but if not, I’ll just pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again, all the while working towards a viable means of sustaining myself.
And that’s my main goal: self-sufficiency. No matter what the outcome of my program, I want to be able to make something of myself in the process. I want to cultivate my own identity - I don’t want to rule this city (as I said, I wish to set reasonable expectations). I want to live in it and love in it. I desperately want to belong here and make a name for myself. Because if I have to return to the small town I live in now, there will be no growth, only stagnation. The way I see it, a life of potential heartache, pain, and struggle, is better than no life at all. And I think I’m finally ready to experience it.
So I’m retiring this blog. I hope anyone who’s read my posts has gotten some mild enjoyment out of it.
I might return with a brand new blog in the future, but if I’m going to take advantage of the life-changing opportunity, I should probably spend most of my time offline for the time being.
I'll leave you all with a video of me being - what else? - geeky. Hopefully it serves me well.
Peace out, folks. It’s been fun.