Saturday, January 20, 2007 · posted at 1:59 AM
The Big Happy
There it was. My first composition book. The one that, along with my first-grade ditto, really put my on the road to writing. I still remembered my eight-grade English teacher, Mr. Paulson, telling me how special I was. How I was going to be a great writer some day. I cracked the book, ready to be dazzled.

Ten minutes and eight compositions later, my stomach started to hurt. This kid was crap! Awful! The worst writer I'd ever read! A poem about chickens? An essay on how Star Wars rocks? A short story directly ripped off from The Goonies? What the hell was going on? How could my teacher have ever thought I would amount to anything after reading this? But there lay his comments in red ink at the end of each atrocity, telling me how wonderful it was and how I did it again. Almost made him throw up in his mouth again, probably. Was this a sick joke he liked to play on his students? Tell them they're good at something they suck at and then wait for the reunion to come around so he can see if they fell for it? Hah! You became a writer! My God, I was only kidding!


A shudder ran through me as my big happy crashed and burned. Buy why? Wasn't this what I wanted? What else did I expect? Who was I kidding? I knew what I expected. I expected to sell this book and look around to see I'd made it to the pinnacle, the very apex of achievement, where I could be happy forever. But not that I was here, I could see that I'd only pulled myself up the first step, and a mountainous staircase loomed ahead of me, the top far out of sight. Off to the sides of this climb lay the littered remains of friends and family, experiences and simple pleasures, all cast aside in the single-minded rise up the stairs. The only thing that could sustain me would be the love of what I was doing. The love of writing. But did I love to write? Or did I just love to be read?


Why did everything have to be romantic? Why couldn't I just be afraid of losing a friend? Isn't that catastrophic enough? Lifelong friends are rare, and I refused to let go without a fight. I refused to be left behind. How could I explain that to her if all she understood was a guy hung up on a girl? How could I get her to see that it was change that was the enemy, change being forced upon me against my will. As I got older my life picked up speed like a river nearing the waterfall and as I drifted down it I could feel myself losing control over what I could hold on to. If I waited too long I'd be stuck with whatever my failing hands could curl around.

The Big Happy
- Scott Mebus

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 · posted at 4:16 PM
Generation Me
Ordinary people can also find a taste of fame on the Internet. Anyone can put up a Web page, start a LiveJournal, or post to message boards. Blogs are built around the idea that everyone wants to hear your thoughts. Had a bad day? Tell the world about it on LiveJournal. Proud of your athletic ability, your family, your hobbies, your witty writing? Create your own Web page.

If you really want to get realistic, listen to the advice of John Pozniak, 27, interviewed in Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis. "Will you always hate going to work? Yes. It is a way of life," John says. "There is a support group for it called Everyone, and they meet at the bars on Friday. The key is to find a job that doesn't suck 'as bad.' The good thing is since your job sucks, everything else you do seems that much better and more rewarding."

Generation Me
Jean M. Twenge

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