Welcomed My 26th Year of Life

With the stress of completing my internship it was hard to focus on my birthday… but because of my all of my loved ones…I did manage to span the festivities over an entire week!

My presents arrived early from my mother in law, wrapped in the traditional Disney princess wrapping :0).


My birthday was in the middle of the week, and I decided to spend it “in” with our best friends. I’d seen a larger gathering of my friends a few days before for A’s 21st birthday and in that moment I was able to appreciate everyone and realize I didn’t need to see them again “just for me.” It was a cool secure moment.

All my life I’ve struggled with looking so much younger than I am. Its frustrated me when people retort “you’ll appreciate when you’re older.” This year I realized that there was no other age that I was “going to look forward to” there wasn’t another “adult age” milestone to hit that would validate my age anymore than now. Therefore, I decided to appreciate my fountain of youthfulness NOW. So what if I’m 26 and look like I’m in my young twenty’s. I’m the age that I am, I’m an adult, and I’m just going to live it up and appreciate it now!


We got take out to go, and we just hung out talking. They also decided to surprise me with a cheesecake…and some odd gifts. Its only your friends who truly know you who get you your comfort foods: dove white chocolate, triscuits, and a block of Parmesan cheese. Its awesome when people want to let you know how loved you are.


That weekend I got kidnapped by another amazing friend for a perfect goodbye friend date. (She’s spending next semester as a fantastic intern in D.C. instead of on campus). We went to go see the new animated Princess movie Frozen. We even randomly matched in pinks and greens.


OH MY GOODNESS! I was not expecting to love this movie half as much! The animation was perfect, the songs were epic, and the story was truly meaningful. There were spoofs on many of the traditional Disney romance plots, and great twists in the story line. I’m afraid to admit how much I identified with the eldest daughter, in recognizing how much anxiety has won in my life.


We sat analyzing and discussing every detail of the movie over milkshakes…the way only true Disney fans can do. I’ll be sad to not see her around, we’ve spent so much time together working in the Xtreme Impact office, and accidentally becoming really good friends preparing for our Italy trip together.

Pretty epic way to turn 26!


Participated in NanoWrimo

When I was younger (middle and even through my early highschool years) I thought that I would be a writer when I grew up. I was always an avid reader adoring the times that we went to the library during class, and when the scholastic book fair was at our school! Let alone dying to drive across the bridge to the giant bookstore which I would inevitably use all the gift cards and then some for stacks and stacks of books. 

During high school world history class I would write in my notebooks, one story specifically I wrote more that 200 handwritten pages for. Several friends in my group also wrote stories so we’d trade them and edit each other’s work. The summer after 10th grade I even went to a two week pre college program at Hollins University to and took a 2 week long class on “Politics in Literature” and “Creative Writing.” I loved it!
Then all of a sudden I just stopped writing. I didn’t even really notice it at first, not until I had graduated and realized that I’d spent so much time writing yet never finished any of my stories. I just got busy with classes, clubs, and a high school social life, and I had decided that I wanted to do Youth Ministry instead of writing books/ being an English teacher.
Earlier this month a friend of mine was saying how she wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who don’t know this is an event of month long writing. From Nov.1st till Nov.30th groups of people sit in libraries, cafes, or their home office and start from scratch to meet a 50,000 word count by midnight.  
I’ve always wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo its just been the story of not having enough time, and for the past few years I’ve had classes to go to. However, this year I am in a unique position this year as I am currently unemployed with loads of free time on my hands and likely my internship won’t begin until December, maybe late November. I’ve been feeling discouraged not having a job to succeed at and feel good about myself on a fairly regular basis so I think participating in this could be really good for me. I am notorious about starting things but never finishing them. I started so many stories and would start the sequels before I ever got anywhere near to completing the first story.
In deciding to participate I immediately hit the road block of “what on earth do I write about?” I looked back at all my old stories and felt embarrassed by their lack of originality and the flat prose. I realized that I wanted to keep it simple. I didn’t want to create a new fantasy world because that involves a lot of work, creativity, and details. Plus, every fantasy oriented idea that I came up with I recognized a movie or book with that plot the next second in evaluating the idea. 
Then, I thought maybe I should try to write something fan fiction oriented where I could just write and not have to develop the characters or the universe. I realized that Disney Princesses/Fairytale princesses would be the fan fiction that I would most be able to write. My internship should be starting soon, so I need to be studying anything counseling related in preparation. Suddenly, an idea was born. What if the Disney princesses had their happily ever afters and then real life happened and they weren’t happy anymore? How would they handle that? What would happened if they went to Group Counseling together?
The working title is “Disenchanted” and it is about 5-6 fairytale princesses types who are real people in our world and how they struggle with their lives. For example, Talia met her husband while role playing as “Briar Rose.” When he rescued her from a fire breathing dragon in the online virtual world it was love at first sight. But now marriage and 2 children later she’s not so sure that she has her happy ending and she wants her fairytale. 
The purpose of this story is really about exploring the ideas of what brings happiness. Is it about getting those fairytale endings? How can we experience more acceptance, happiness, and joy with the realities of everyday life? I’m really excited to see how this unfolds! Despite that making my characters go to counseling means ton of detailed character development in preparation. 
The hardest part of this endeavor, besides completing the 50,000 word count challenge, will be not editing myself throughout the way. However, this is all the more reason why I think its really necessary for me. 
I’m really looking forward to the write-in that I’ll be having with my friends the first weekend of NaNoWriMo to get our word counts off to a great start!
You can stay up to date with my progress through my username Ciao_Erin at nanowrimo.org, but it’ll also be posted in a picture widget on the side of the blog!