I often see myself in her. We don't look alike. I have brown hair, hers is blonde. She's tall and lanky, and I was always on the shorter side. It's not because of our similar DNA that I see so much of myself in her, because really, we share very little. Instead it's because of everything she's trying to be right now, and everything she's not. I don't mean that in a negative way, not at all. I remember so clearly wanting to be grown up. I wanted so desperately to be older than I was. Her determination is not unlike my own. I remember the scheming and plotting with friends to arrange sleep-overs, and the thrill of excitement when our plans worked. I remember summers spent putting off homework and dreading the return of school. The excitement of the sixth grade is still so fresh in my mind.

I want to whisper in her ear and tell her it's OK to be a kid, and that growing up is something she'll have years to do; that she doesn't have to wear high heels around the house, and that the copious amounts of blue and silver eyeshadow can wait. But I know that will just lead to eye rolling and dismissal, it's a lesson we simply cannot learn until we've lived it. We look to the other side of the pasture and want to be over there, but we never want to be here. You never think to enjoy it until it's much too late. The truth is, some of my fondest memories come from those years when I could still count my age on two hands.

I am not old, not by a long shot. But I think we can all agree that there's something special about those years. If we could, we'd tell every little girl not to grow up too fast. It's in the back of the huge folder of responsibility we received upon entrance to The Big Girls Club. We know all too well the trials and tribulations that come with being a teenager, and I'm sure that there are a few things we wouldn't mind saying to our younger selves, if given the opportunity.

As I sit here typing this, there are two little girls upstairs giggling their way into the morning. They're watching Twilight and squealing with delight everytime Robert Pattinson comes on screen. The pink walls are adorned with posters of The Jonas Brothers and Edward Cullen. The corner is filled with rarely used toys that are much too childish to be played with by girls of such mature age. They are, afterall, nearly middle schoolers. It makes me smile to think of the fun they must be having, the secrets they must be sharing, and the bond that they are creating. I want to tell them to hold on to those memories and friendships as tight as they can, because so many of them come and go. I hope they remember the fun they had tonight when they are 15 and fighting over something silly. And if they go their seperate ways, I hope it's only to go to different schools. So few of my friendships survived into adulthood, but those are the ones I cherish the most now.

Eventually, her years will come, and she'll be watching TV while the next generation is upstairs swooning over the latest heart throb, sharing secrets in the dark, and giggling all night long. They will be trying so so hard to be older than their years will allow. While she may be tempted to roll her eyes and sigh loudly, she'll hesitate and remember all her own memories as they come flooding back to her mind.

And that will make her smile the warmest of all smiles.
Not for reals y'all, just for the week.

Dell finally broke me. After many calls to Dell, and three days of the Magic Dell Fairy trying to fix my poor computer, Dell broke me. I agreed to send it in to be looked at by "professionals".

They shipped me a box. I backed all my files up. And now I'm going to shut it down (and by that I mean, move it two inches, since it goes kaput when I do that...) and pack it up. They promised to have it back to me in "five to seven days", so hopefully I'll be back around these parts in no time.

Until then, bloggy friends.

Ohmygoshi out.
tip tap tip tap go the keys of various keyboards around me.

I'm back on campus right now, seeing as my Dell is following it's annual Summer tradition of being stupid and not working properly. In my family, our big "high school graduation gift" is a sparkling new laptop to accompany us on our journey to college. I remember the day it arrived, in it's big brown box. I was just bubbling with excitement over the fact that I would no longer have to share a computer. Finally, something that was all MINE. Being the oldest of three, the word "SHARE" has been drilled into my brain since I was 2.5 years old. I password protected that thing so fast, my brothers never even had a chance. (Though, I will admit I've since been way too lax on it, and often find all my sites logged out and certain other family members logged in...).

My Dell is just another reminder of how much time has passed since Summer of '05. My Mom, being the computer nerd that she is, purchased the super-duper all covering warranty for a few extra bucks, and since then I've had just about everything replaced. I got a new harddrive last summer, a new screen last fall, a new fan a few months ago, and then today, a new motherboard and monitor frame (which is essentially the top of the laptop). My warranty is super handy because not only was all that stuff FREE, but they also dispatched a friendly technician to do all the replacing. I like to call him the Magic Dell Fairy.

Today was no exception. I got a phone call this morning from my Magic Dell Fairy, saying he'd be by sometime between 11am and 1pm. He shows up, dismantles my computer, installs all things NEW, pieces it back together, and boots it back up. After a minor glitch with the keyboard and mousepad not being properly reconnected, it works like a dream, and looks like one too!

Off he goes on his merry way to wave his screwdriver, shout "Reparo!" and magically fix other people's computers.

I know you are all thinking, But wait, Ohmygoshi, didn't you say your computer wasn't working? I don't get it....

Three minutes after he leaves, the computer just turns off. Cue my "WTF?!" reaction. I try again with the same sad results. I frantically race upstairs to my cell phone, and dial his number to explain what happened. He comes back and tries a few things, only to end up on the phone with some other dude, saying "I don't zink we can trust zis mozerboard" (he had a French accent). He said something about the memory sticks maybe being a problem too.

Lovely. The only thoughts going through my head are "CRAP, I forgot to backup my harddrive, PLEASE OH PLEASE don't let it all be gone!". I've lost my umbilical cord to the world, which is just another reason why I need a phone with internet access on it. So tragedies like this don't happen anymore. I'm not one of those people that can just "disconnect" and be okay for a few days. I get antsy if I don't check my email every hour. And let's not even think about Facebook, can you imagine all the updates I'm going to miss?! The mere thought is already killing me. Gone are my plans to watch my latest Netflix movie. My Reader is sure to be overflowing with things that will take me days to catch up on. I can't even Google. Woe is me.

He promised to be back tomorrow with brand new parts (including a new bottom piece because mine is cracked in three different places, and new screws because I'm short a few. I'll let you laugh at the implications of that for a few moments...). The only original parts of my Dell will be the keyboard and mousepad.

So, that brings me back to the computer lab on campus. I was in the area anyways to run a few errands, so I figured I might as well stop in to reconnect with the world and share my sad sad story.

Let's all pray for a happy ending with new parts and all my files intacted. Otherwise, you just might hear me scream from my little Glover Park neighborhood.

There are times when I wish...
...I had the stomach to be a doctor, the brains to be a biochemist, or the grace to be a ballerina.

...I had the timing to be a comedian, the courage to be a soldier, or the vision to be an architect.

...I had the talent to win an Olympic gold-medal, the charm to be an actor, or the knowledge to be an inventor.

...I had the patience to be a teacher, the powers to save the world, or the money to feed the hungry.

...I had the words to write a novel, the money to see the world, or the ears to hear music before it's written.

...I had the creativity to be a designer, the spontaneity to be an adventurer, or the camera to be a photographer.

There are times when I wish I had 10x more than I do now. I wish for the skies and the stars to all be mine. I wish for the ability to fly and be free from the gravity that is pulling me down. I wish for money in the bank to cure all my problems.

But then there are the times when I look around and see my friends waiting for our next adventure through DC, or my family with their arms wide open for me. I see the filled photo frames and the diplomas as missions accomplished. I see the uncertainty of what's next as a blank canvas ready to be explored and painted with the colors of my choosing.

So, I tuck the wishes and dreams away, saving them for shooting stars, birthday candles, and wishbones. I already have more than I could ever wish for.