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A Column About Nothing

For the first time in the year since I started this column, I find myself completely unsure of what to write.

Perhaps my column topics haven’t always been the most gripping or focused or relevant to the average person off the street who is not obsessed with young adult literature, but before now I have always at least come up with an idea.

Don’t worry or anything, loyal reader(s?) – I haven’t exhausted my well of young adult literature geekiness yet. I have ideas I have been saving up that are very dear to my heart, but I can’t write those guys when the inspiration is absent lest I fail to do them justice.

I think my problem is that just lately I have not – and this is really abnormal for me- been reading any books.

You’re concerned, right?

I am a reader, it’s true. I’ve boasted about this fact enough that I am sure it’s starting to sound a bit douchey. I usually read a couple books a week and I am proud of this fact. Reading, in many ways, defines me – personal life, career, outlook on life, etc.

So to take a bit of a break from reading is a rare thing for me.

Well then – why the break? you may ask.

It’s not – I am sorry to say – because there has been a sudden spike in my social life or my love life or anything like that. I remain, as ever, a recluse with robot-like emotional tendencies.

It’s not – I am pleased to say – because I am suddenly watching oodles of TV, which is of course the usual culprit for any protracted absences from book reading. TV is something I love and always have loved (I am not unlazy) but these days I am actually on a bit of a break from TV watching too.

Lately, instead of reading I have been filling my days with a couple of things, all of which have me very excited:

  • My job, which it turns out I am pretty good at and actually like
  • Various unfinished creative projects, which I have been picking back up with renewed enthusiasm

and the biggest, primary thing I’m into these days (and though it is not young adult literature novel related it certainly falls under the umbrella of “geeky”) is:

  • Youtube videos, which I have been watching in vast quantity.

Specifically, I have been watching Youtube video blogs.

Still more specifically, I have been watching Youtube video blogs posted by adorable young British (and occasionally Australian) men.

Yup, it’s a weird kind of obsession but I feel genuinely inspired by a handful of random young-twenty-something boys who have made names for themselves as minor internet celebrities by posting Vlogs on Youtube.

In fact, I’d argue that the time lately I have spent loving my job and working hard to finish the variety of creative projects in my life comes as a direct result of my watching these Youtubers.

I’ve actually been watching a wide array of Youtube vloggers, but the two main channels that have captivated me are Charlie McDonell’s Charlieissocoollike channel and Alex Day’s Nerimon channel.

These guys both started making Youtube videos when they were teenagers – as far as I can tell, just cuz they felt like it. They met through Youtube (I think?) and are flatmates in London and they do all kinds of adorable vloggy and creative projects together, including making music (adorable music!) and helping out various charities. They are also HUGE geeks – they could write for this website about their Dr. Who themed rock band, for one.

Have I mentioned yet that they are ADORABLE?

I am super-crazy fascinated by their lives; not just because they are adorable, but because they do this Youtube celebritydom thing full-time. This is what they DO. Charlie, for example, has decided to pursue this Youtubing rather than attend University.

When I was 17, the thought that I could have done anything but go to college would never have even entered my brain, let alone been something I followed through with.

I am, and always have been, the kind of person who followed the traditional time line. Succeed in high school, head straight to a good college, graduate in four years, work in a crappy job related to the field I intend to pursue, go almost immediately back to graduate school, get a job that is a career-style job, and…that’s where I am at.

No husband or babies yet, but my life has followed a trajectory that is quite clearly traditional- about as traditional as you can get.

(Minus the husband and babies, which are pretty key elements to the traditional time line, but I am still young…though I am not exactly in the market for a husband or (especially) babies right now…but still…the point is, I am traditional).

I don’t like this about myself.

I am a firm believer that everyone should take their time figuring out what they need to do to figure out what they need to do in life – not everyone is built the same and should follow the same path.

But it happens that this traditional time line has always been the right one for me, and I know deep down in my heart this is true.

But OH I wish that it weren’t so.

I want to travel the world like a nomad or work a string of crazy random jobs or stumble upon some wacky thing I happen to be brilliant at or belong to an international community of nerds who make friends with each other through Youtube.

So this is where the inspiration part comes in.

I happen to love my job these days, yes, but that doesn’t stop me loving to imagine that I too could become a minor Youtube celebrity or write a young adult novel of my very own or become friends with a network of adorable British nerds.

Or marry Charlieissocoollike, who is seven years my junior but game for a laugh and clearly someone for whom my inner-robot could learn to feel (it will be just like Bicentennial Man!)

This video, though probably not my favorite, has a sampling of all the nerdy, magical wonderfulness that is inspiring me:

And because this column is supposed about young adult literature, below is Alex Day reading (aka mocking) Twilight chapter 1! It’s brrrrrrilliant, because I do SO hate Twilight and I love his accent and it carries on for 22 more chapters!

Apparently I am the type of person who thrives on the dreams of a bigger life, while contentedly dealing with the boring details of my tidy little reality.

And okay, maybe these are technically boys who spend most of their lives at home watching videos on the internet and essentially talking to themselves – nerds to the nth degree, in a way, but they lead grand lives that connect to a lot of people and make other lives just a little bit better.

And that includes mine, so I am going to keep watching (albeit less now that I am caught up).

And finally – next time, this column will probably be about books again.

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