Who am I?

Identity, I’m learning, is a fluid thing.

When I was a teen, I thought I’d figured out who I was. I was the shy, smart girl who loved books. As I fought my way into adulthood, I found myself being the crazy, fragile girl. But as I finished up college, I started to realize that both these identities I’d become used to didn’t quite fit anymore. I was terrified. I found myself panicking and wondering if I wasn’t either of those girls, who was I?

I still am smart. I still love books. I still have moments of crazy. However, I’ve realized that the person I am today is someone completely different from who I was even a year ago.

So who am I?

Like anyone, I am many things. I do not think there is one thing or action that defines me. Identity is made up of so many parts and pieces, and only when it is all placed together do we see who we are.

Similarly, I think a blog tends to reflect the fluctuating identity of its writer which is certainly natural. Things that do not evolve and adapt in some way tend to be lost to time. In the past when my interests have changed I’ve simply started over, but honestly, I do no think that’s necessary. Paper Dreams may have begun as a book blog, expanded to include other interests, and experienced a few starts and stops, but all of this has simply been examples of growth. I’m not sure how to categorize this site now, and ┬áreally my only goal now is to create honest content that I find interesting and hopefully others do as well.

So with all that said, I still kind of feel as if I’m starting over, and when beginning a relationship, introductions must be made.

Hi! I’m Nicci (which is actually my middle name). I recently graduated from college with an English Writing degree, and I am currently training to be a store manager. I live in a small town with my family with whom I’m very close to. I’m an entertainment addict. I adore storytelling particularly through books and television (although movies are awesome as well). I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life, but I am alive and therefore anything is possible.

At this point I am coming to appreciate the fact that identity is fluid. I am not fated to be the same person, and I always have the choice to become someone different.

Update, Apology, and Excitement

Hello!

So, it’s been a while. Yeah, there’s really not a good reason for how neglectful I’ve been. I have many excuses though which I’m happy to share.

1. Last fall was my final semester of college and it got a little bit crazier than I expected.

2. I finished college in December(!), therefore I spent the first few months of the new year freaking out about having no idea what to do next.

3. I was in a massive reading slump last year, and it’s rather hard to write reviews for books when you aren’t reading many books.

4. Laziness. Just a little bit.

Okay, excuses portion is over now. Where am I planning to go from here? Honestly, I’m making no promises or guarantees. I’m hoping to start a full-time job soon, and I have no idea how much free time I’m going to have. However, I have missed blogging and the blogging community(although I’ve still been lurking and reading other blogs), so I am hoping to remain somewhat active here. I also have several notebook pages of reviews and ideas that I have yet to utilize, and my book-loving mind will undoubtedly be even more inspired after I attend Book Con next weekend (SO EXCITED!). Like so many other areas in my life, I’m not sure what is coming next, but there will definitely be something. I apologize for the lack of updates, but please check back soon!

What November Took From Me

November is a hard month. It reminds me only of pain and of loss. Is it possible to hate a month as you would hate a living person? I think so because I hate November. It feels like a cruel thief who takes without thought of the damage that’s inflicted.

The initial blow November dealt came on November 12, 2006. I was sixteen, still innocent of death, but my world shattered in one moment on that forever remembered day. My uncle, just 45 and still so full of life, succumbed to death. He’d been battling cancer, but I never expected him to so suddenly be gone. I wasn’t ready, and I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. I’d seen him only days before, and though he hadn’t been the healthy man I had known my entire life, death did not seem so imminent.
Everyone says that a loss gets easier as time passes, but I do not believe it. The ache may dull, but a million unlived moments remain especially when someone dies so young. Even now, after seven years, I still miss Uncle Rick. I remember the sleepovers at his house, the games of hide-and-seek, the donuts he’d feed us for breakfast, and the long, wonderful hours spent around a kitchen table playing board games. These memories are ones I will forever cherish, but they also sadden me as I know that my youngest cousins will never have had the opportunity to have felt loved by this amazing man.

I knew death by 2008, but it seemed that even such a cruel spirit would not take a second member from the same grieving family. However, on November 2, 2008, I learned that death does not care. On that terrible day, my grandmother, Phyllis, left this world. She was a beautiful, kind, and artistic woman. She created the most beautiful crafts and pieces of art. She spoiled all of us grandchildren, but the thing that I always remember about her was the way she was willing to listen. Even when I was young, at a time when it seemed like most adults would dismiss your stories and tales, she would give me her complete attention and never treat what I was saying as nonsense and she would always laugh at just the right places. She had the best laughter in the world. With her death, it felt like my dad’s family fell apart. Without her and Uncle Rick, we were lost. Set adrift and struggling to find a way back to one another.

Three years passed and I felt safer, but then November struck again. On November 13, 2011, my grandmother, Evelyn, slipped away. So many of my family were there as she left us and just after, and those memories remain some of the hardest I hold. But I was grateful because for once I felt like I had a chance to say goodbye even if I wasn’t ready to do so. She touched her children’s and grandchildren’s lives so deeply inspiring in most of them a love of music, of theatre, and most importantly, of family. She could list all of her children (there are twelve of them) and spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. Genealogy was important to her, and the facts that she knew were always impressive. But above all, she was gentle soul who was always accepting of all of us.

Remembered and missed.
Forever and always.

Rick L.
1961- 2006

Phyllis L.
1938- 2008

Evelyn A.
1934-2011

You remain in our hearts and our lives will never be the same.