For the “first time in more than 130 years” there are more young adults” choosing to live with their parents among people “18 to 34” years old (Domanski). Although I’ve been out of school for over ten-years now, I do think there are excellent reasons some Millenials are remaining at home. It isn’t just to mooch off their parents or cases such as in the movie Failure to Launch. For me personally, it’s been bad health.
When I finished university, moving out right away wasn’t an option at 22. Earning $34, 000 dollars a year as a receptionist wasn’t going to pay for rent and food, despite my BA in English. Moreover, I noticed a common trend, especially among young women, who chose to stay home and develop their careers before moving to their own place.
Many friends, and acquittances tried to earn enough money to live on their own first. They stayed home to pay off debts, earn a down payment for a house or condo, or waited until they eventually found the person they wanted to marry an or move in with.
This is what I want to focus on, in this post, those Millenials who have lived with their parents through University (or moved back in) to establish themselves in life and their careers. Sadly, it takes time and money for most of us to create the house or home of our dreams so beware your dream kitchen or living area will probably take a while to create.
8 Things You Should Know or Own After Establishing Your Career Before Moving Out
A Decent Sized Bed and Bedding such as Sets of Sheets, a Duvet, and a Duvet Cover
Hopefully by the time you’re in your mid-twenties the twin-bed has been upgraded for a Queen-sized or King- sized bed, whatever fits in your bedroom. But it’s often better to buy this ahead of time as it’s a major expense you don’t have to worry about later on.
As well, having a couple sets of nice cotton sheets for your bed is a wise purchase. Ensure you’ve bought a couple of regular cotton sheets that match your duvet cover or are neutral colored; as well as, a couple of sets of flannel sheets made of cotton for places with a cold climate. Although cotton costs more than microfibre, it’s much better for your skin as cotton breathes and will not cause you to break out or sweat to death in warm or cold temperatures. Check out these Solid Flannel Sheet Sets preshrunk, made from cotton, and on sale now at Simons.com. Also, take a peek at their Cotton 600 Thread Count Sheets in White or Gray which is an awesome start for sheet set colors as they go with pretty much any duvet set for spring, summer, and early fall.
Moreover, a decent duvet (whether it be goose down feathers, microgel, or polyester filled) is a must. Although goose down feathers will keep you warmer, many people can be too allergic to the feathers. In this case, a well-made duvet filled with polyester or microgel is the way to go. Also, if you’re a person who becomes too hot when they sleep having a non-feather filled duvet is cooler.
Furthermore, you can find a mixture of goose down and microgel duvets which I find work well, despite having allergies to goose down. As well, purchasing a nice duvet set, something casual and elegant, a more ‘adult set,’ is recommended for your new bedroom. Then, you can blend sheets, decorative pillows (etc.) all into this theme or your chosen color scheme.
2. Crystal Wine Glasses, Your Own Wine and Liquor, and an Elegant Bar Cart.
Moreover, large wine glasses will do for any kind of wine white or red until you have the cash to buy smaller glasses for white wine or champagne. Having these around at home is wonderful for friends who come over when Mom and Dad are away and also for yourself on Friday nights. They’re one less thing you have to buy when moving out because they aren’t the cheapest thing to buy either.
Moreover, if you’re like me, your wine and liquor stash at home was in your bedroom so if you know you’re moving out that year, collecting a few kinds of wines and liquors is a great thing to have for both you and the guests you will have at your new place. Also right before you move out, if you can find yourself an inexpensive but elegant bar cart, or piece of furniture that can be turned into a bar cart, this is an excellent purchase.
3. Bathroom Items – A Couple Full Sets of Soft Towels Good For Yourself and Male or Female Company along with Basic Hygiene Items for Guests
Hopefully, if you’ve made some money from working a couple of years, you’ve had enough of it to invest in a couple full sets of towels thinking of your color scheme. For instance, my duvet has colors of blue (as do my sheets) so I have purchased a couple sets of towels (4 of everything) for myself and in the future, for guests. You don’t have to use them all at once but if you see the right towels in your decor colors, at a good price, they’re wonderful to pick up and stash away until you’re moving out.
If you know you’ll be leaving home soon, having other basics such as a matching shower curtain (if needed), a tooth brush holder, foaming hand soap, and spare hygienic items for guests such as body wash, toothpaste, mouth wash, shampoo, conditioner, disposable razors, and deodorant, are great items to have. They do not need to be the most expensive brand but nice smelling drugstore brands. Extra face clothes are also items that are always needed!
Furthermore, ensure you have the cleaning products you like using, if you’re moving out soon. Choose ones that are environmentally friendly and won’t cause you to be choked-up by noxious chemicals. CLR Kitchen and Bath is a good bet for the main product to use in the Kitchen and Bathroom areas. It works for dusting too.
4. Dishes for Your Kitchen & Basic Kitchen Supplies
Some KitchenSupplies you can buy as you go along, each month, adding to your kitchen stash. One of the best things to have first is a set of dishes. They can be new, old, or inexpensive but having dishes and having enough of them so that when family and friends come over you have a full set of dishes ( 8 to 10 places settings) is important.
Additionally, if you’re getting married you might wait and ask for these on your Guest Registry; however, if you’re single and making enough money you might want to choose more affordable dishes for now. For instance, you can look at these place settings made of bone China called Wedgewood Butterfly Bloom 5-Piece Place Setting found at BedBathandBeyond.ca, better for wedding presents and special occasion dishes.
If you have your grandma’s or mom’s old dishes you might consider matching these with more modern dishes. For instance, my Baba gave me her old dishes that have bright pink flowers on them and gold around the edges. Finding white dishes with a gold trim to match with these dishes might help them seem less gaudy when an entire table is set.
Also, consider going somewhere that sells quality but not too expensive glasses that will last. You can go to IKEA but every time a glass slips or falls, it will shatter. Better to buy more durable glasses to start out with and not have to buy more later. As well, I find myself, often larger glasses or better than smaller ones as they encourage you to drink more water and are better for larger portions or alcoholic drinks.
Also, although my Baba’s set includes these, serving dishes are important to have. They can be plain white and inexpensive and are significant along with cutlery (enough for company 8 to 10 people and doesn’t have to be pricey). Moreover, knives, mixing bowls, whisks, serving spoons, tea towels, oven mitts, spatulas, a kettle, a microwave, and other common kitchen items you’ll use often need to eventually be purchased.
They could include a Tassimo coffee maker, toaster oven, hand blender, mix master, and other items. You’ll probably need to buy basic items first, and add more expensive appliances to your kitchen as you live in your new home.
5. Painting Your New Place
Whether you’ve bought a new condo or home or are living in an apartment you plan to remain in a while, painting your new home can really make it feel like home. There is nothing more calming and homelike than having your rooms painted on your own, with friend’s and family’s help, or professionals, to make your place feel as if it’s yours.
If you have an apartment you’ll need to talk to the manager first before painting so they can approve the colors. Lighter colors that are more neutral in this situation are better choices as they’re easier for you or your apartment manager to paint over (if needed) when you move. Paint before you move everything in. Check out the article 10 Paint Colors That Will Never, Ever, Ever Go Out of Style on the House Beautiful Website.
Moreover, if you own your condo or home, paint your home whatever color you choose, but remember that once you paint the walls, it’s harder to paint them a second time when you have to move out all the furniture again or cover it up so it doesn’t get paint on it. Consider a color scheme that you will not become bored with. Feature walls (painting one wall a vibrant color or say covering it in a nice wall paper) is a good idea as you only have to change one wall later and not the entire room or space.
As well, many people become sick of walls that are too bright quickly, especially in colors such as red or bright green. Keeping your paint color neutral or light, allows you to play with your home decor in other ways — with interesting artwork, dark or colored furniture, and decor items that are more unique and bright. Remember to buy good paint. Some of the best I’ve used is the Behr Paint from Home Depot that comes with a built in primer. Benjamin Moore is also a wonderful brand but more expensive.
Ensure you buy enough paint to give the walls two coats if needed, or to go over spots that get scraped off later accidentally. Also ensure if you paint different rooms diverse colors, the colors flow into each other and do not create choppiness in your home. Warmer colors will also make a room bigger while cooler colors tend to make rooms smaller. Also painting the ceiling a dark color is not recommended as it causes the ceiling to ‘come down’ and make a room significantly smaller.
6. Displaying Art Work and Photographs
Additionally, for those of you who read my last interior design piece HERE, you’ll know I’m a big fan of purchasing art you like that is also more unique. I enjoy buying prints off Etsy.com because far fewer people will have these prints and because you’re supporting local and home businesses. Here’s an example of OldStyleDesign’s Alice and Wonderland Themed Prints and Frames.
As well, LauraRowStudio’s Hollywood Icon Prints are made from paintings of actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Additionall, events such as Art Walks, craft shows, MakeIt.ca ” The Hand Made Revolution,” and other craft and design shows are fantastic for finding authentic art.
Moreover, if you’re a decent artist yourself it’s also more inexpensive to buy canvases, brushes, and nice paint to paint more impressionistic or modern pieces of artwork such as flowers, shapes, or picture’s you’ve seen but can easily mimic in your own artistic style. Also on Etsy.com I found some paintings of wonderful abstract art by MichelleDinelleArt on canvas. Below is an example of one of her works in a purple color scheme.
As well, consider that when buying prints and works from local artists, you do not have to spend a great deal of money having them framed. Often, you can find beautiful frames yourself at the various home decor and craft stores to create a photo wall with various kinds of frames. In Canada, you can look at HomeSense in store or Winners in store to find various frames along with your local craft store. Another wonderful place to check out would be Ikea.com as they carry many kinds of frames instore and online.
Also, you want to think about what family pictures you want to show off and how you would like to frame those photos.
Since we are such a technologically based society and we’re always taking photos on our iPhones of our latest get-togethers, you can keep in mind an awesome concept for a picture frame below. It’s an intuitive frame I enjoy myself!
The first thing I loved about this frame was that it downloads your favorite and ‘best’ photos from your iPhone and Ipad. The pictures in your frame alter as you take new photos everyday. Moreover, what I adore about this frame is its unique technology that ‘curates’ your photos, meaning that none of your flawed or embarrassing photos will appear on the frame’s screen in your new home.
In addition, I adore the frames sleek elegant design found in three colors including Ivory with a Rosegold trim, Charcoal with a Black trim, and Crystal Blue with a Silver trim. The first color combination is my favorite! As well, the frame uses ‘smart technology’ so that along with photos from your Iphone, the best pictures taken by your friends and family, on their Apple devices, will appear on the screen of your frame. The current frame I have is about 10 inches high and almost 12 inches wide, but I’m hoping bigger frames become available.
Moreover this exquisite and modern frame, from Auraframes, is designed to be a classic piece of home decor to exhibit the wonderful times you’ve had with friends and family, as well as, the special moments that have, recently, occurred in your life. More information about the tech aspects of the frame are available on the products site. You can also watch the video about Auraframes and/or purchase a frame right here.
7. Changing Lighting and Hardware
Some of the most worthwhile changes you can make to modernize your condo or new home are to change your lighting and hardware before or while you’re moving in. You can change lights in the bedrooms, kitchen, and bathroom; as well as, faucets in the bathroom and kitchen.
7. Repurposing Old Furniture and Buying New Hooks and Handles
Another great thing to do when first moving out is to find old furniture relatives don’t want and repurpose it. Paint it and replace it with new handles that give the piece a whole new look. Changing hardware on old furniture passed onto you or that you’ve found, is a wonderful way to reuse it and change its design along with new handles on drawers and closet hooks throughout your new place. You can also find interesting hooks along with new handles for the kitchen and bathroom as well.
Painting with good wall paint works on furniture but you might want to consider the finish of the paint, whether you want the paint finish to be shinier or more eggshell and easier to clean. You can rub away some of the paint after it dries to give your repurposed or refinished furniture more of an antique and worn look. Remember to stay within your chosen color scheme and use colors of paint that are neutral or match this scheme when reprinting wood furniture. Also, sand your furniture down before painting it so the paint sticks.
Additionally, you can use these beautiful delicate feminine handles for repurposed or refinished furniture called Entomology Knobs here with different knobs for different finishes of gold, silver, and bronze. Also, these Galaxy Knobs are more angular and geometric but still interesting and not so girly. Moreover, these Gardening Indoors Knobs are great to add color to a more neutral furniture piece.
For interesting and beautiful hooks you might consider these Pronoun Hooks or you might consider simpler hooks in either silver, bronze, or gold in these Harvey Hooks or consider this Fretwork Hookrack as a sturdier piece near the door, in your bedroom to hang clothes, or in the bathroom to hang towels. These Glass Etoile Hooks are both pretty but sturdy as well.
There is also a plethora of handles available for making armoires, dressers, kitchen, and bathroom cabinets more interesting such as the Hammered Serina Handles in gold, silver, or bronze. As well, the Tangier Ceramic Handles in blush or turquoise are superb. Also lovely clear handles with silver called Glass Bubble Handles are pretty but less girly handles to choose. Especially, at Anthropologie.com there is such a variety of these hardware items to pick from in all kinds of fabulous designs and metal finishes.
8. Ensure Your Furniture Fits Into Your New Space: Measure 3 Times to Make Sure it Fits
When you move into your new place, you should make sure that any furniture that’s been passed down, found at garage sales, flea markets, or other places will fit in the rooms you want to put the furniture in. If you think it’s going to be too big, better to wait and not purchase the piece than to refinish or repurpose it and not be able to get it through the door or into a room.
Measure where you want certain pieces of furniture to go 3 times to get the correct measurements,jot the measurements on your phone and carry a tape measure with you, wherever you go, to ensure you don’t purchase the largest furniture in the store when your condo is a mere 800 square feet.
As well, when you measure for curtains measure 3 times as well to make sure you have them sewn the right length and width or to ensure you buy the right length of curtains and panels and only buy decorative items you love 100 percent and pieces that represent you, just as much as your artwork or photography does. A wonderful place to purchase fabric for curtains and have them made is Chintz.com. You can choose from an array of fabrics that suit your decor colors.
Throws, candles, cushions for couches and bedrooms, pillow cases for cushions (and the insides), can all easily be found online and in stores, or on places such as Etsy.com.
If you plan to replace these items often don’t throw away your money on items that have little meaning to you or that you don’t like but buy because they are cheap. Wait to buy items that you love unless they’re inexpensive festive items such as for Christmas.
Also, remember you’re the one dusting your entire place now so don’t clutter it with too many knick-knacks, you’ll end up hating yourself later.
Remember to check out some of my past interior design posts under the category of the same name. Thanks for reading!
Welcome to my regularly scheduled bi-weekly interview series. I am pleased to share with you the blog of a talented writer, photographer, and world traveler. I have blogged with Yinglan for a while and am pleased to call her a good friend in the blogging world. Please visit her blog here: This is Another Story – About Life, Fantasy, and Everything In Between.
1. Hi Yinglan, Please tell us About Yourself?
Hi, my name is Yinglan Z. and the name of my blog is This is Another Story because isn’t every day in life another story?
I recently completed my second academic degree in Accounting and am currently spending a brief four months in my hometown of Zhongshan, China to get reacquainted with my relatives as well as the place I lived during the first decade of my life. When I am not in China having an adventure, I lead a pretty boring life in the suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.
At the moment, I am a self-employed translator, working with my mom to update the Chinese version for a software guide widely used by schools around the world. However, my personal goal is to either become a full-time writer or find a job where I’m applying what I’ve learned from my two degrees because isn’t that why I got two degrees?
2. Please Tell Us About Your Writing and Blogging? What do You Hope to Accomplish in Writing?
I began writing in 2013 and the purpose of my blog (at first) was to post the speeches I’d written for Toastmasters, an international club for public speaking. Then, I fell in love with storytelling; thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.
Once I began participating in challenges the readership for my blog grew and in 2015, I made the decision to make my blog both a fiction and lifestyle blog to add more variety and so I could write what about whatever I wanted to write about. In late 2015, I made another decision — to change the name to something more fitting: This is Another Story.
“Then, I fell in love with storytelling and, thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.” – Yinglan Z
3. When did you really begin writing and blogging? Why is Writing Meaningful for you? Do You Find You Are Able to Help Others Through Your Blogging?
I began writing after I joined Toastmasters in 2011. That’s when I discovered my love for storytelling. Before that, the task of sitting in front of a computer typing and writing an essay or a story seemed daunting to me, although, I don’t know why.
Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.
When I was attending school full-time, working multiple jobs, I would come home to write because it would mean I was able to let my mind drift to another reality even if it was only for a few minutes.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Why is Writing and Blogging Significant to You?
A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from around me – television shows, movies, current events, (etc). There’s always a story going on in my head and if I let it stay in my head, it’ll drive me insane. Maybe it goes with my stubborn personality? Also, it’s important to record my thoughts and feelings because bottling them up won’t help me or anyone.
“Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.” – Yinglan Z
5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Have You Ever Had Any Writing Published?
I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel. Both of those things are progressing slowly due to the number of events I am attending in China but they are coming along.
I published a story in an online newsletter for NLSC – National Language Service Corp – a few years ago about the Mid-Autumn Festival and that was the only piece I have ever published other than blog posts. My future are noted above, to publish a collection of short stories and a novel. Who knows, maybe I’ll submit a piece to a magazine or something when I have time.
6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Prefer Certain Areas if Writing and Reading Genres?
I’m still trying to figure out my writing process. I write whenever a story pops into my head which is usually night time. I’m not sure why, but my imagination feels blank during the day. Maybe it’s the fact I’m tired and my mind is getting ready to dream?
I am also a huge fan of the suspense and thriller genres because those are the stories that keep me at the edge of my seat. I also enjoy investigative and crime-solving stories. I used to like to read Young Adult fiction and the supernatural genre but lately, not so much. Maybe I’m growing up?
“I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel.” – Yinglan Z.
7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Bloggers and Writers?
My advice for new writers and bloggers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying. Also I encourage you to visit other blogs and comment on other bloggers’ posts. Participate in challenges and sooner or later, other bloggers will pay you a visit and almost always this starts a chain reaction. You discover new blogs and bloggers and their followers may also follow you in return. As well, leave your link and some information at blogging parties and learn to network through and with other bloggers. Be willing to look at other blogs and learn from them as well.
8. For fun, do you have any particular blogs you follow? What Do You Like About Them?
Oh wow, that is difficult to choose since I follow thousands of blogs. I will say my favorite kinds of blogs are photography, travel, and flash fiction. I like these kinds of blogs because I can often learn a thing or two from them.
“My advice for new writers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying.” – Yinglan Z
9. Can You Please Share With us a Few Favorite Links from Your Blog?
I wrote this poem a long time ago (about 14 or 15 years old) and decided to share it about two years ago. It was written during the phase when I wanted to be a singer-songwriter.
By Yinglan Z.
Your yesterday is gone But your today is here sooner than you think You wish you haven’t gotten everything wrong And you wish you can make all the bad go away And you say
Tomorrow Things are going to be okay Tomorrow It will all change
Your today is gone And you have made no commitment To bring changes Oh and you just kept on saying that
Tomorrow Things are going be all right Tomorrow It will all be bright
Day and day went by You just sat behind your table Waiting for changes to come to you You say, “It’ll be okay” And I say “it’ll be okay when you start making changes for yourself” And you say starting tomorrow
Things are going to be all right Tomorrow It will all be right It will all be bright It will be the day when I set thing right
Thank you to Yinglan for agreeing to be interviewed and for sharing about her writing and her life.
Just to note: Yinglan has returned from her relatives in China and has been visiting my home country of Canada in Alberta checking out The Rocky Mountains in Banff and around Lake Louise. She was recently in Yellow Stone National Park in the U.S. and if you follow her blog, Yinglan’s photographs of her travels are also a huge highlight when you read her posts. She is talented at taking beautiful shots of scenery while traveling and finding interesting places abroad and from around her home.
If you would like to be a part of my bi-weekly interview series please let me know via my Contact Page. See you in two weeks with another exciting interview 🙂
Alice was excited to be eighteen and have her coming-out party in society. The young girl who talked nonsense about Wonderland was gone — the adult had almost swallowed her fantastical self completely.
She participated in garden parties, having tea in different settings such as fashionable tea rooms with her mother and girl friends. Alice went out with friends on picnics and sometimes on a double-date with a girl friend, two gentlemen with potential, and of course a chaperone.
Part of Alice always had a difficult time letting go of Wonderland. She knew it as a world infinantly crazy. At the same time, it was a place where she felt at home and life even though hidden beneath words and rhymes, made the most sense out of any place she had visited.
Alice had been around the world. Her father and mother had taken her to Europe. She had seen art and buildings thousands of years-old. She studied countless kings, queens, poets, philisophers, and clergymen as she travelled with a tutor. She had even been to the Orient, stocking up on silk and tea for he friends. Something about having tea, always appealed to her. It wasn’t merely Victorian society’s obsession with the past-time.
Throughout her travels, Alice found herself thinking about her days in Wonderland. She would consider if her two grand adventures actually occurred. If the dreams she still had of people and creatures in Wonderland — new and old, throughout her life –were true?
Alice could picture her Wonderland friends drinking tea, eating cookies, and talking nonsense; it had all felt real. She missed her childhood, but at the same time thought she had indeed been bonkers. Her friends at school had quickly shown her how odd little girls were treated and mocked, until Alice ceased talking about Wonderland at all.
As she grew-up, she believed she caught glimpses of a furry white rabbit in a vest following her, keeping watch. The White Rabbit would turn his head and smile at Alice, purposefully checking his pocket watch and then waving it at her. She didn’t know what the White Rabbit wanted from her and she was never quite sure if he was real. Alice began to ignore the White Rabbit, but he was persistent, even invading her sleep. Her dreams became increasingly vivid and she felt wherever she went, traces of Wonderland and its inhabitants, grasped her with dreamy tendrils.
Since Alice had first returned from Wonderland as a small girl of six, a pair of intense green-eyes and an attractive smile, had haunted her dreams. She knew this man, knew he’d always been watching out for her in the stickiest of situations as she grew up, keeping her safe. Alice had never had the chance to meet this young man, only knew that he lingered in her presence often, and that when he she felt him, she was at peace.
Alice’s eigteenth birthday was a grand affair. Several young men and women attended with their families. Last night had been an opulent coming-out ball but tonight was a private affair for Alice and her closest girl friends. The best potential suitors for Alice and her friends were also invited.
She was sipping her tea when her eyes caught the eyes of a man she thought to be about five years her senior. His green-eyes were familiar and glinted knowingly at Alice. She stared at him enthralled; he seemed to know she was drawn to him. His smile was devastatingly familiar, but only in her dreams. Alice wasn’t sure she believedher dreams were genuine. Could magic still be real?
The young man was a strange creature to her, as strange as those creatures she’d met in Wonderland long ago. Perhaps more so, if the sins of the flesh the Abbot talked about were as terrible as he said they were. But Alice didn’t much care about the Abbot’s warnings. She was intrigued and had always been a curious girl; she peered at the green-eyed man considering him.
His suit was finely-made and he smiled at her boldly. He moved towards her, but Alice hid amongst her friends, not yet ready to meet him. Her heart fluttered when her eyes met the young man’s mysterious green-eyes again; he was laughing at her shyness.
Alice perturbed by his making fun of her, left her own party and went outside to ponder. She sat on a bench in the garden behind her house. She still tended the roses in the garden but had forgotten the unique song of all flowers, she had sung as a child. Her roses were wilting and dry. She stood up and bent to pick a lone surviving rose. Hearing odd noises she looked up.
She was unsure of where she was at first, the garden had disappeared and Alice stood on a large slippery brown rock in the middle of an ocean. A young man in a boat rowed towards her and the noises she heard was the water lapping against the stone.
“Oh, do hurry, this rock is so small and I think the water is rising,” Alice yelled to the man. She waved her arms until the boat was next to the rock and piercing green-eyes met her shocked blue ones. Strong hands gently held her steady as she stepped into the row boat.
Alice was grateful to the man, but then she recognized his face from the party. He pushed his short dark-brown waves from his forehead. His green-eyes knowingly studied Alice. She felt as a if she were a child again, under a teacher’s gaze, but the young man was not upset at her; he seemed curious and careful with her instead.
“Alice,” the young man said, “Please take a seat so I can row us to safer waters and neither one of us falls in the ocean.” Alice obeyed, sitting opposite of the man with her mouth gaping. The man gently closed her mouth, smoothing her skin with the back of his hand.
Alice’s face heated and she blushed,”Who are you? And why are you here with me in Wonderland? I didn’t think you were real, real enough to attend my party.”
The young man’s eyes twinkled cheerfully, “I’m Wren, Alice, and I’m here and yourhere because Wonderland needs us. It was time for you to return and time I met you in person — not only in your dreams.” Alice flushed red.
Wren chuckled, “You didn’t go easy on our friend the White Rabbit. He’s a bit peeved at you for ignoring him so long. He kept waving his prized watch at you. I’m surprised you weren’t curious enough to follow him, darling.”
“Wren, are you from Wonderland or did you come here as a child too, like me? You’ve been with me before a great deal. I remember your green-eyes and smile; you keep me safe, but you never say hello. I’ve never seen how you actually look before.”
“Dearest, I’ve always lived in Wonderland and you’re correct, I’ve been with you when you’ve visited and I take care you are safe in the outside world. I have a Cheshire Cat who watches you closely, along with my friend the White Rabbit. I haven’t always been able to be with you, but when I cannot you can be sure the Cheshire Cat or the White Rabbit are there.”
“Why do you keep me safe Wren and why do you call me dearest? I always thought you lived only in my dreams. It’s been so long since I visited through the looking glass; do you stand with the Red Queen or the White Queen?”
Wren smiled softly as he rowed the boat effortlessly, Alice peppering him with questions; he listened contentedly as he rowed. “I’m supported by the White Queen Alice, but my influence is greater than hers and so yourinfluence will be greater than any queen as well.”
Alice studied Wren. She had been staring her boots shyly, for far too long. It wasn’t like her to be shy, when she bubbled with questions. Yet, she could feel herself blush anytime she looked at Wren; his smile brightened when he caught Alice staring.
She brushed the blond hair out of her eyes and in her frilly white dress, balled her hands together on her lap, determined to have a long look at Wren. She was assured she’d seen him before in some form and felt his presence keeping her from harm. Wren was beautiful to Alice; he was handsome and lithely muscled beneath his clothes. He was from Wonderland so she was pleased not to have to hide nonsensicallogic from him; he already would understand what Wonderland was like.
She noticed his eyes peruse her and Alice blushed again. Wren reached for her small hand and squeezed it gently, as he stopped rowing the boat. “Alice, you’re beautiful. As a girl, I thought you a fascinating girl, defeating the Red Queen and deftly dealing with Time. You had such a tousled head of blond hair and you still do. You’ve the same inquisitive blue-eyes and you’ve grown into a stunning woman,” Wren told her squeezing her hand again. He seemed genuine and the compliments made Alice flustered.
“Your beauty is also an asset when one has been tasked to guard Wonderland as we have,” Wren continued.”Beauty can attract and fool people and often, at the same time,” Wren said, absently stroking circles on Alice’s hand. “It’s hard for me to explain. Especially since I’ve much more experience than you’ve in life. Humans ageslowly in Wonderland –most creatures here do. But as in any land, we have ourownways to protect and our own tyrants to fight. You have proven yourself twice against our foes.”
Wren held both her hands firmly, appearing serious, “We have always had two guardians at a time, for a thousand Wonderland years each pair, ensuring Wonderland’s survival. Our guardians are a couple; a couple is stronger than one being. I am one guardian, born in Wonderland and familiar with its ways,” Wren said.
“The second guardian is you, Alice, born of the outside world. You have learned and come to love Wonderland — though lately you pretend otherwise. You are the second guardian Alice and I’ve waited forever for you, my other half. You know forever can be a very long time.”
Alice blushed and then upon realizing the great responsibility she now had, her face went white, “Why me? Is this why I have never been able to forget Wonderland all these years ? Am I to marry you, a man I don’t really know?
Wren grinned at Alice tugging gently on her hands as she tried to free herself from his touch; he chuckled, playfully. Alice began to smile too and as she peered up from their joined hands, she saw the row boat resting on a beach. They stepped over the side of the boat and the vivacity and colour of Wonderland surrounded her as they walked into the forest. The flowers greeted Alice immediately, so happy she had returned.
Wren stopped walking a moment, turning to face Alice. He was heads above her and tilted her chin up to look at him. “My Alice,” he began, “Magic is a curious thing. It can find the right people and draw them together. It has always driven me to you. I have loved you since I first saw you.”
“That makes no sense.”
“But it does Alice. You believe in magic, yes?” Alice nodded.
“Then you know. If you want magical things to happen, you must believe in them. We must believe in each other. And what’s knowing? People are together fifty-years in your world and they don’t know each other. Often, they’ve forgotten the magic — the love, between them. Here the world is magic and I will not forget you or our love.”
“Wren, I’m particularly fond of you. I’ve never felt this way, except about you, ever — only in dreams when you visited, when I felt you near somehow. Is that love and is it enough? And I’m only eighteen-years-old, how can I guard Wonderland?
Wren smiled and he gently pecked Alice’s lips.”We have forever. Forever is a thousand Wonderland years. All your old friends are here. Not those girls who were cruel to you for being you at school. Wonderland needs us both and you will soon know me as I know you. We will even know each other better than most people ever know each other. What you feel for me, I’m so thankful for. And yes it is enough, it is the beginning of love.”
“I’m not sure couples should always know each other better. Sometimes secrets are better kept,” Alice said thoughtfully.
“Dearest, we cannot have secrets. We have a responsibility but we have a haven in each other and perhaps much later, a child to carry on as guardian with another girl or boy from your world, when forever comes,” Wren stated stroking Alice’s cheek.
“I can trust you, Wren? I’d rather have the truth in a nonsensical way than an outright lie,” Alice said firmly staring at Wren.
He blushed this time, “I will be truthful to you —nonsensically and sensically.”
Alice smiled and kissed Wren’s cheek before saying,”You never said Wren, who do we guard Wonderland from?”
“From reality, Alice. From those who do not believe in magic. For those who would tell people love is not real and everything has to be logical and makesense. Though our world is much nonsense, we make moresense than the real world. There are always monsters in the midst and as you know, timehimself is often one of them. So are Queens and many tyrants, there is always a badguy somewhere I’m afraid,” Wren said a bit tiredly.
Alice stared at Wren, standing on her tippy-toes, and stroking his stumbled cheeks in comfort. She felt drawn to Wren, as if she were in a pleasant fog. Gently her lips met Wren’s for a kiss. He kissed her back more intensely and she could feel what she knew was passion between them; it was Alice’s first real kiss. They lingered a while, walking and teasing each other, stealing more kisses which were more difficult for Alice to step away from each time.
A stray thought occurrred to her as they walked, “Won’t my mother miss me?” Alice asked, “How can I leave her alone?”
“She will believe you married a wealthy heir and will be pleased, as that will be the truth; we can visit her often, though she will be gone for most of your lifetime.”
Alice nodded feeling sad, but realizing her duty with Wren. She wasn’t afraid, knowing he was with her. She knew their relationship was blossoming and would flourish, perhaps, with ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ as couples had — but perhaps, better. Their connection had been built her entire life.
Taking Wren’s hand, Alice walked off into Wonderland. How curious her home would be here with Wren and his green–eyes gazing at her with love, and the White Rabbit out of no where, jumping beside them.
Free write for ten minutes about purple – when was the first time you noticed purple, how do you feel about purple, what images come up for you around the color purple (besides the movie, unless of course it was something that affected your life).
I hear mandarine, loud in my ear. I’m taller than many Chinese women and fatter. They pull at my blond hair and it’s hard for me to understand why people in China have little concept of personal space.
I came to China to see the history: The Buddhist temples and buildings; The Terracotta Army and other artifacts; and even the Great Wall, though it was a tiring hike which spanned a distance too great to finish walking.
I have known many wonderful people of Chinese descent; I have great friends from China. But I will never live in China nor return.
Yet, there is strange kind of beauty here; I see it in the paper lanterns, glowing at night and in the New Years fireworks. I wanted to love this country, until one too many women tried to cut-off my blond hair; they each said it was for luck.
Im here in sunny Edmonton and besides being a tad windy the weather is beautiful and sunny. The sky is clear and blue as trees wave in the wind. The snow is melted and I’m thinking of venturing outside. Instead I’ll write this blog that I hope you’ll all enjoy.
First, I am crazy excited to get my new yoga wear from Jennifer Hudson’s line: Fabletics. They have extremely cool workout wear for cycling, running, yoga etc. and it’s good quality and the style and price beat Lululemon by a mile. Your first outfit is half off plus a low regular shipping cost and each full outfit is only fifty dollars. This means you can get an entire outfit — a sports bra, shirt, and crops for that price. The only bad thing about this service is it’s a subscription service so you’ll get an email from Fabletica once a month with new outfits and you have to remember to decline if you don’t want an outfit or it will automatically charge you and send you one. I don’t like this part but their stuff is so cute I can see myself getting several outfits and each for only half the price of a pair of Lululemon pants. Plus, sizes go up to 18-20 (or something around there) so they’ll fit everbody. I’m going to try a couple outfits and see how it goes. You can always quit. And I’ll let you know how the outfits work out once they arrive. My friend has been very pleased with her first outfit.
Next, I’m officially in Copywriting (my spring course). It’s another one of those do 4 modules and discussions in 3 weeks plus an exam worth 80 percent course. I think having an exam worth that much is excessive. SFU Editing is delusional. I’m seriously considering not taking anymore editing and doing Creative Writing Certificate on SFU online. I think it is more where my talent lies but I will see how well I can do on this editing course. I should be doing module 1 right now but I can’t concentrate for the life of me.
Also, my Mom and Dad will be gone to China for 2 weeks so I will be home all alone. I’m trying to plan activities to keep busy. Of course, there is both courses to do. And I’m going for a little pampering at the spa. Then I will be spending time with A. Also, I have somethings to do Downtown one day, errands I’ve put off. And the rest I’ll figure out. For now that’s all. Headed to A’s today or tomorrow.Looking forward to seeing him!