Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Childhood Dreams

Tonight is the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Excuse me while I take a moment to be hysterical.


It's surreal that the Harry Potter legacy is finally coming to an end. Sure, it's not the last movie, but it's the beginning of the end. This ending kind of means something a bit more to me too. It's as if they timed the finale of this wonderful, wonderful series, with the ending of my childhood. I grew up with Harry. It was the first ever book I dug my head into, and at the naive age of around 10, unknowingly, J.K. Rowling had changed my life like she'd done with millions of other little 10 and 11 year old kids around the world. It was so exciting. We were taken on a truly magical adventure of a lifetime. J.K. Rowling's writing, at the age of 10, was the first to make me laugh at its brilliance, at her wit and the character's wit. I was enthralled by the dopey, clumsy kindness of Hagrid, of Dobby, and the line that I remember most vividly is of course, from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, when the golden trio first formed. Harry had said, at the end of that particular chapter (using third person restricted narrative I now know thanks to NCEA English):

"There were some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll was one of them."

From then on, Hermione Granger became their friend. And thus we have the historical creation of the Golden Trio.

I can't believe it's really been 7 years already since I first waited, bursting with impatience and barely controlled anticipation, at my first edition copy of HP and the Order of the Pheonix in 2003. It was the first book release I experienced after getting into Harry Potter, and I remember diving into it as soon as I got home and read, without stopping, all 768 pages of it. It was TOTALLY AWESOME. The Order of the Pheonix became my favourite book of the series, simply because I had over-read the second and the fourth books, never felt the first book had enough shizazz as the rest (I read Chamber before Stone so never formed a strong sentimental attachment to Stone), and the fifth book for me filled out all the juicy plot, all the romance, all the dear, dear heart-warming details of Hogwarts life.

As I wrote that I noticed a red squiggly line underneath Hogwarts. THIS IS OUTRAGE. WHY ISN'T HOGWARTS AN OFFICIAL WORD YET. RAGE.

See the Order of the Phoenix bookmark? That was from 2003 when I first reserved my copy of OOTP. It shall become a family heirloom :p
My one regret growing up and loving Harry Potter, was that I didn't buy the Philosopher's Stone in time to catch the original cover. They released this cover as each movie was released, so what I bummer. I hate this shiny starry stuff on the front >:c
But anyways the point of this blog is, I realised that it's been 7 years down the road from my first HP experience, so to speak. I've felt like I've journeyed through Harry, Ron and Hermione's 7 years as well; 7 years filled with laughter, friends, the pain of growing up, losing things, losing innocence, becoming an adult, facing ordeals that life throw at you..

Of course I haven't experience deaths of friends, perilous battles against the most dark and evil wizard of all time, neither have I destroyed a horcrux or travelled back in time to save my innocent animagus godfather who was wrongly persecuted for 12 years in Azkaban as well as a hippogriff wrongly persecuted for death because it attacked a vile and wimpy ferret boy who had connections in the Death Eater world. Nop, I'm still just a little girl safely couped up in her Muggle World and shallow little everyday dramas.

But today, looking back on my 7 years of growing out of childhood, I realised how much I really changed. And I became so nostalgic (Probably a given after all this fanatic HP reminiscing) of the dreams I had for when I grew up. Because you see, I have grown up, and I've gone in a completely different direction to that of my wild, fantastical childhood imaginings.

It's alright, because I'd glad I became who I am today. Sure there were things I had to give up. But I also realised some things, no matter how much you change, sort of come back to you. Yesterday I just sat my scholarship English exam for NCEA. Studying for it made me realise how much I actually like it. Not neccessarily English, but writing. It feels like I've come around into a full circle. 7 years prior, when I first got into Harry Potter, I became obsessed with reading and creating my own amazing adventures in a magical world. I used to just sit there and imagine, hours on end, what happens next in my stories. It's kinda scary now that I think about it, not just because it sounds a little creepy, just sitting there daydreaming as an actual hobby, but it's scary because it feels like my 11 year old self had more mental capacity for imagination than I do. Wow.

My childhood collection of fantasical worlds... Spot any you know? :3

Anyways as I was saying, a full circle. Because of course a few years ago I gave up that dream of becoming a child prodigy and publish some amazing, best-seller children's fantasy book. It wasn't going to happen to me, although I have come across a few fantasy-adventure novels written by 15, 16 year olds recently, so at least it's happened to someone. But, now, my fantasies are coming back. My desire to create and write. I don't want to become a child prodigy any more (for one I'm not exactly a child..), I just want that feeling back. The feeling of creation and adventure.. the feeling of an endless, boundless and unhindered expanse of possibilities, all sitting in your hand inside that little skinny ball point pen. Whatever you want to happen, it will. Love will come, magic will come, your perfect dreams of living in a sanctuary, a far away kingdom of fairies hidden behind an old mirror buried deep within the woods (yes that was actually one of the stories I wrote); everything was possible. It's amazing.

But as the wise and brilliant Shakespeare himself said,

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep."

All the "revels" of our imaginary characters, when it ends and when the "pageant" fades, well it was all just a dream. They shall all dissolve. Similarly as humans, all our silly worries, drama, the ambitious work of man in our lives while we still walk this earth - however important and significant they may appear, when the day ends and the sun sets - essentially when we die and fall into the dreamless sleep that is death, it would be like our whole life was nothing but a dream. Our silly follies will melt and dissolve. We are after all, only mortal. (Unless you got bitten by a vampire of course - in that case you'll live through eternity wishing you were dead. Yeah I'm obsessed with Vampire Diaries atm, which I have to point out was first published 15 YEARS before Twilight)

How did this end up turning into an essay anyway... ah. This is what I get for not revising for my exam on Friday like I should be.

Oh on the note of Twilight, I guess what Stephenie Meyer is doing, is exactly what I described I wanted to do. She poured her heart out onto the page, Twilight is no doubt a fantasy from the depths of her imagination that she had to create because the lure of making your greatest dreams become reality (or as real it can be anyway - because average joe-annas like us don't have the money or skill to turn our silly fantasies into a motion picture. Writing it out seems like a more practical and accessible option), that lure was too great to ignore. And so someone decided she should publish it, and voila, millions of girls around the world get their fantasies reproduced on paper, the thrill of entering one's fantasy as an ordinary girl who caught the heart of a sparkling vampire, well from the popularity of Twilight, that thrill is pretty damn addictive.

I just realised how many run on, multi-claused sentences I must have used in this blog. I really need to change my writing style to less.. flowing all over the place all the time. Write like a man. GRR.

Anyways, I will not give up my dream of writing. Sometime in the future, I will write something for someone, or for myself, and it will be published. I want to pay it forward, and change or at least impact the lives of 10, 11 year olds all over the world too. Most of all, I selfishly want my dreams to become as real as it can get, ie. on paper. It will happen, just you wait.

Isn't it beautiful? Imagination, that is :]
Which presents me with a difficult choice at the crossroads I'm now approaching: What to study in uni. Science and Arts conjoint, alright. But what should I major in for arts? I'm stuck between Philosophy or Writing Studies. Philosophy is so fascinating I jizzed just reading all the course paper names. On the other hand Writing Studies would be beneficial for creative writing etc. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. And then there's my dad's suggestion of just doing Computer sci so I come out with my degree in 3 years, then I can get a job quick or go to Design school to pursue 3D animation (another fancy I had after watching the beautiful, breathtaking world of Pandora right in front of my eyes. After all, it's still recreating figments of the imagination into reality, only less productively but much, much more effectively. Hmmm)

I don't know. I only know that I'm too damn ambitious for my own good. I feel like Esther Greenwood under that bloody fig tree, I want it all, to "shoot of in all directions" like fireworks. Cos baby you're a firework / Come on show 'em what you're worth / Make 'em go "Ohh ohh ohh" / As you shoot across the sky-y-y

I really get sidetracked. But yeah. I want too much, that's my problem. I want adventure, travel, visit all those foreign places in foreign countries.. I want to help people. See what it's like to live another's life, I've always been so nosy and so curious about stuff like that. But I also want success, not having to worry about finance, a good job, and to make money doing what I want - 3D animation, commercial design, writing as a journalist, writing as a paid blogger, writing as (extremely distant and unlikely) a published author! Heck, I want that. Those things. I also want happiness. Simple happiness, the sort that only comes from a happy family in a 50s housewife-propaganda poster: A loving, amazing husband who I feel so lucky just to wake up next to every morning, a nice house with a green lawn and white picket fence (I KNOW it sounds so brainlessly conformist..), two little darling children, a boy and a girl (or maybe three, two girls wouldn't be bad) and hot sunny days when the whole family can just be together as a happy, rowdy family.

I think I just built my own personal fig tree. Now let's hope I won't do an Esther and watch those juicy fag figs go plop-plop! and fall down one by one. I will make my decision. But hey c'mon. This is the 21st century. A woman has much more freedom than back in the 1950s when Esther lived. Who says I can't have it all?

Cos baby you're a firework
Come on let your colours burst
Make 'em go "Ohh ohh ohh"
You're gonna leave them falling down-own-own

No comments:

Post a Comment