The False Dichotomy of Growing Up

Aw, they’re adulting!

My aunt cracked that joke at Christmas dinner when Joe and I presented our hosts with our homemade wine. It pretty much sums up how I’ve felt over the eight months since I graduated. I’ve been doing adult things, without actually growing up and being an adult.

Out of my fourth year class (of about 20 people, mind you), I think there are only two or three of us that actually left school this past May. The rest are either finishing up their degrees, in Teachers’ College, or went straight on to a Masters or a PhD. The volume of Facebook posts about exams in the past month from people exactly my age brought on nostalgia and relief… and this sense that something’s missing in my yearly routine. For the first time ever, I’m not heading back to school after Christmas! But everyone else is…?

Then, of course, there’s the opposite end of the spectrum: the magic unicorns on Facebook that…

  • Landed their dream job
  • Became intense, successful entrepreneurs
  • Got, or are about to get, married (or even have kids…)

And suddenly I’m thinking, did I do something wrong? Am I not growing up fast enough? I now have this unpleasant combination of “Who do you think you are?” and “Why are you so behind?” swirling around in my head.

When I really consider it, I know that there is no such thing as the mystical moment, achievement, or milestone that carries you directly from Youth to Adulthood. And, obviously, polished Facebook profiles are the absolute worst thing to compare yourself to. Yet, after spending 75% of my life being evaluated and graded against standards based on my peers, it’s pretty hard to let the whole “comparison” thing go. Like I’ve stated elsewhere on this blog, I really don’t have a clue what I ultimately want to do with my life, so it makes sense that I’m in this uncomfortable limbo between life stages. But am I the only one that feels really weird about it?

Not to mention my domestic hobbies making me look like an old lady trapped in a kid’s body. To each their own, right?

…I’m going to go knit my cat a blanket now.

When it comes to my hobbies, I tend to be pretty hot-and-cold. One minute I’m totally obsessed with one or a couple of activities, and the next, I’ve completely cast them aside for something else. As 2016 is fast approaching and I’m looking to set some goals, I really have to think back and be realistic about what I’ll stick to and what is just another one of my fads. To that end, I’m reviewing some of the hobbies I have adopted whole-heartedly in the past year or so, only to completely abandon them later.



I strongly hinted to my boyfriend that I would like this book as a Christmas present last year. I figured it would help spark my creativity and relieve stress in my last semester of university. I got 18 pages into the 144-page workbook before cluing in that my inability to draw made Zentangle a lot less fun. Go figure.

That led to the purchase of an adult colouring book. Colouring a pre-existing design is a lot less stressful than doing your own design. I’m not doing much colouring anymore, but I won’t go so far as to say that I’ve abandoned this hobby, so it doesn’t make the list.

So much more relaxing!

So much more relaxing!

Friendship Bracelets

Remember this?

Oh, the memories.

Making friendship bracelets was a huge part of my life… in Grade Six. And for some reason, I rediscovered the fun of tying colourful knots while watching hours and hours of Netflix. I made something like a dozen bracelets early this year, and bought a massive pack of embroidery thread from Walmart to expand my creative horizons. I even started printing out patterns from (the most nostalgic site ever).

Friendship Bracelets

There was a Pattern Duotang. I’m not even kidding.

But alas, a few short weeks later, I realized that I was never going to wear the vast array of friendship bracelets I was planning to create. I still have the basket of embroidery thread for the next time I get the urge to tie hundreds of colourful knots.

League of Legends

I don’t know why this happened. I played it in my first year of university, and really didn’t like it all that much. I started up again earlier this year, when I had just graduated and felt like I had so much time on my hands (and no parents around to tell me to get off the computer in the middle of a match). I had some graphics issues with the game on my old laptop, which were resolved when I got a new desktop in October, but by then, the LoL ship had sailed. Good riddance.

Cooking/Eating Healthy

Hmm, what will I have for dinner today? …Kraft Dinner sounds good.

Finishing school, moving out, and starting a full-time job made me think I could cook. Like, every meal. Like, healthy meals. Like, Pinterest-worthy meals. Maybe this hobby is an acquired taste (hah), but I’m not there yet.


My Label Maker

Such good intentions…

I’ll start by saying that I haven’t abandoned organizing entirely as a hobby. I’m still very interested in how to get and stay organized, both physically and digitally. However, it’s a lot of work to really get your home to that place where you can call it “organized”, and I just haven’t yet found the motivation to see it through.


The Running Book

Hah. Hahaha. Let’s be honest. This phase ended before it even began.

I am not an athletic person in the slightest. I have no interest whatsoever in sports, fitness, or physical activities of any kind. I know that’s terrible, and I honestly wanted to do something about it this year. And in typical Hillary fashion, I bought a book about running. And then didn’t do any running. (Not to mention all of the fitness apps, sites, and videos I signed up for.) Oh well, there’s always next year! Or the next year. Or the next…

In conclusion, I like to go all in with my hobbies – even if “all in” only lasts a day. Am I the only one that does this? I wonder what hobbies will be the next big thing in 2016!

The X-Files is coming back and I am so excited. The original series premiered when I was 9 days old, and my parents watched it religiously as I was growing up. Obviously, I was a little young to watch it as it aired, or even as it wrapped up. I remember accidentally seeing part of a rerun of Squeeze (S1:E3) when I was around 8… it scared me so much that my parents couldn’t even talk about the show around me for months.

I don’t quite remember how the whole obsession started. Maybe I caught a rerun sometime in middle or high school, or maybe it was a fluke, but somehow my family was gifted DVD sets of the first two seasons of the X-Files about 7 years ago. In true Netflix fashion, I binge watched them – and all of the other seasons (plus the movie between S5 and S6) as soon as I got my hands on them. I then, of course, rewatched all of the mytharc episodes in chronological order to get a better handle on the overarching story. Then, a few years later, I did it all over again.

I talked about the X-Files enough to get Joe into the series too. We’re currently going through all mytharc episodes, plus any interesting Monster-of-the-Weeks (generally with a  8/10 rating or better on IMDb). We have less than a month to get through the last two and a half seasons!

I just watched The X-Files: Re-Opened (a behind-the-scenes preview of the reboot) and it definitely boosted my confidence. After seeing I Want to Believe, which I consider to be the Phantom Menace of the X-Files, in theatres in 2008, I’m trying not to set the bar too high. At the same time, though, it seems like the mini-series is going to be a lot more balanced between mytharc and Monster-of-the-Week, with a decent amount of fan service without being too campy.

Once the miniseries premieres, I’ll probably do a bit of reviewing on this blog. Will the X-Files reboot be everything I hope it will be? I want to believe…

Last Christmas, my dad gave me a cute starter knitting kit as a gift. (Okay, so I picked it out and he just paid for it and wrapped it. Close enough.) Prior to that, I knew garter stitch. That’s it. I couldn’t even cast on or off. Since then, in conjunction with the purchase of a Netflix subscription, I’ve knit quite a lot! But I still have a long way to go.

Here’s a review of some of my projects from the last 12 months.

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When I get a chance, I’ll upload an image of the one project I’m the most proud of: a wine bottle sweater for the mulberry muscato my boyfriend made over the summer, which we gave to my parents for Christmas. I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture of it before I gave it to them!

I’ve got a week left to ponder what my “Knitting Resolutions” will be for 2016, now that I have my interchangeable circular needle set. And the next decision will be: What show should I binge watch next on Netflix while I knit?

I’m new to this whole blogging thing, so I thought it would be nice to give a bit of context for what I’ll be posting in the future. Without further ado, here are some questions about me! (From this blog, who got it from this blog.)

1. Are you named after anyone? Indeed. I’m named after Sir Edmund Hillary. I don’t know if there’s any deep meaning behind it, other than that climbing Mount Everest is cool.

2. When was the last time you cried? Joe made me watch Up for the first time last weekend.

3. Do you have kids? Just the furry one.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? Depends on what the other me is like… maybe?

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Quite a bit. Sometimes it’s not obvious to other people, which gets a little awkward.

6. Will you ever bungee-jump? Doubtful.

7. What’s your favorite cereal? Special K Red Berry.

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people? Whether or not they seem sincere.

9. What is your eye colour? Blue-green-grey.

10. Scary movie or happy endings? Happy endings, for sure. I can only handle scary movies if I know there’s a happy ending.

11. Favorite smells? Vanilla, and cooking pasta.

12. Summer or winter? Winter. I like the indoors and being able to cuddle up under blankets with tea. You can always add more layers, but there are only so many layers you can take off.

13. Computer or television? Computer. Hands down. At this point I don’t know how I would live without it.

14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? I went to France for a mini-exchange for ten days in the 10th grade.

15. Do you have any special talents? I would say editing. (Don’t mind the sentence fragments scattered throughout this blog – they’re intentional, I swear!)

16. Where were you born? Brampton.

17. What are your hobbies? Reading, writing, knitting, TV, Pinterest (hah), video games (mainly the Sims, but also other things), singing when I can

18. Do you have any pets? Yes – my darling Lorelai!

19. Favorite movie? Legally Blonde or Contact. That answer always cracks me up, but it’s true.

20. Do you have any siblings? Yes, one seventeen-year-old sister.

21. What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy. Maybe not the moment-by-moment kind, but the general satisfaction kind. I haven’t figured out the practical parts of that yet.

I tag whoever else wants to answer these!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

There were a lot of changes in my life this year, and they all came together to make this Christmas very different from all my other Christmases before it. For starters, I moved in with my boyfriend this past May, so this was my first Christmas morning away from home. It was low-key, and we finished gift exchanging in, like, ten minutes. That worked out, though, because it gave us lots of time to play Super Mario Maker (my gift to Joe), eat breakfast, and show Lorelai her new toys. That’s another change, actually – this was kitty’s first Christmas! (And there’s an ornament to mark the occasion on the tree, if you look really closely.)

Raspberry Turnovers Lor's New Toy

The tough thing about being moved out over Christmas is having to juggle all of the family commitments without making anyone think we’re playing favourites. This was our first year of having to figure all of that out. I think we did an okay job, and now we’re in a yearly alternating routine going forward so there’s no turning back. It’s funny to think that every couple I know must have gone through the how-to-spend-the-holidays process, because from my perspective, everyone has always had it sorted out.

My favourite gift this year was a set of interchangeable circular knitting needles. Joe’s favourite was the LEGO Force Awakens Millennium Falcon. I’d say that pretty much sums up where we are in our lives right now, haha.

Merry belated Christmas, everyone!

Hey there. My name’s Hillary. Looks like you’ve stumbled across my blog!

What’s this blog about? That’s a question we’ll be exploring together over the next few posts at least. Right now, I plan on writing about things I love, things I know, things I want to know, and opinions I have – things like:

cats, coffee, video games, organization, knitting, positivity, science, writing…

Now the question is: if I don’t know what the blog is about, why am I writing it? Two reasons come to mind.

  1. I need to be writing, if I’m going to call myself a writer. (More on that later.)
  2. Maybe this is a longshot, but I’m led to believe that in getting my thoughts out into the world, I might actually figure out what it is I’m passionate about so that I can pursue it wholeheartedly.

In the meantime, I’m going to try a little bit of everything. Opinions are appreciated!

Thanks for reading, and welcome!