Unplug

I’m really not doing too hot on the whole blog thing, but it is something that I love to do, so I need to make it more of a priority for me. I spend so much time on my phone and my computer that sometimes writing feels like a chore. So, I’ve decided to delve back into what made me loving writing to begin with—books! I’ve had this ongoing list of books that I want to read and buy, but like many book lovers out there, I couldn’t help but be guilted by all of the books on my shelf that I purchased, but never got around to reading. I decided to pull out all the books that I hadn’t read yet, because surely there couldn’t be that many. I went shelf by shelf, watching my pile grow and grow to a whopping 28 unfinished books!

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I was shocked, but at the same time, I was like “Oh, it’s only 28?” In an attempt to motivate myself to read more, I gave myself a “no phone after 9PM” rule. Basically, this entailed setting my phone somewhere that it would not tempt me, and then forcing myself to be productive. It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t have the time to read, or finish that project you started 6 months ago, or whatever other thing you might have put off. The truth is, time doesn’t just run away from you. You must decide what is worth your time and what should take the backseat.

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The first night was difficult, but I forced myself to read about 50 pages of a book that I’d gotten for Christmas, started, and then put down sometime after last spring semester. The book was Stephen King’s On Writing. I had specifically put it on my Christmas list, because I wanted to get serious about writing again. Without the temptation of checking Snapchat or watching Instagram stories, I suddenly was not able to put it down. I brought it with me to school, to work, basically anywhere that would maybe allow me to read for a few spare minutes. I finished it in a couple of days, and I felt completely refreshed and inspired to write and read more.

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Side Note: Anyone who is even remotely interested in writing, and I mean like real writing—the kind of writing that makes you want to lock yourself in a room for months on end, building this world and creating this story that just seems to burn through you like wildfire—if you’re into that kind of writing, then you should definitely read this book. I could feel his love for writing and books so fervently that I couldn’t help but be reminded of when I felt that way, too. Anyway, this isn’t a review, but it really was so good, and helpful, and comforting, and terrifying—it was everything.

The point of this post is that after a week of reading, instead of scrolling mindlessly through social media accounts, I read almost 3 books. By distancing myself from the constant content being produced on Instagram, Twitter, and everything else I obsess over, I was also able to see clearly what I care about seeing and what I just scroll or click past. Ultimately, unplugging allowed me to better budget my time so that my 24 hours are spent doing what I care most about. I hope that in the few weeks I have before fall semester begins, I can fine-tune this whole unplugging thing so that I can use it to my advantage.

So, maybe try distancing yourself from social media for a few hours and see how it affects your day. Let me know what things you do to unwind!

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Thanks for reading! And I will be back next week with another post! I promise.

The Importance of Disappointment

Hi. I’m back. I sincerely promise that I am going to get back into this blogging thing. Sometimes when your life is unbalanced, your work suffers. That has certainly been true when it comes to my writing schedule. Life is funny like that. If by “funny”, I mean cruel. I used to imagine that life was my companion, always at my side, ready to tackle anything that comes my way. But as I get older, I have realized that life is a large, all-encompassing ocean that just throws wave after wave at you; you have to either be on top of it, or you’ll get swept up and knocked down until the waters are still once more. I know it’s a little dramatic, but just bear with me.

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I faced a disappointment today. And it wouldn’t have been nearly as brutal had it not felt like “life” had set the whole thing up only for me to be yanked away from it at the last moment. Again, dramatic, but my mind seems to work only in metaphors.

All my life, I’ve been waiting for a sign or an experience to tell me exactly what it is that I should be doing. When I started college, I wanted to pursue something I loved: writing. So, I became an English major. For the most part, I loved it, but about two years into the program, I found myself sitting in a Jane Austen class, worrying if all those people who told me I wouldn’t make any money were right. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that class, and I learned a lot about social class and feminism, and how Jane Austen’s work is just as prevalent today as it was in the 1800s. I began to doubt my future as an author, so I panicked and rushed to find a way out only to run right into the communication department (yet another degree that is relentlessly teased for being a useless major, but I didn’t know that at the time. And actually, that accusation is completely false, but I will get into that another time).

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What I realize now that I didn’t at the time is that I had no clue what kind of jobs a communication degree could get me, but it was exactly what I needed in the moment: new and full of opportunities. As I got my feet wet in the department, I struggled to narrow in on a concentration. I was stuck between not knowing what I wanted to do and feeling an overwhelming desire to follow my dreams. Here’s the thing about dreams, they are always changing. When I was 9, my dream was to open a vet/groomer/boarding/puppy play palace. Now, that dream feels like a logistical nightmare. The reason I was so torn was because I didn’t know what my “dream” was. I had heavy interests in maybe screenwriting, maybe casting, maybe production, but I was also still very much in love with writing and wanted to see what my options were in media relations. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do, but that I had too much to pick from. I also had a fear that if I picked just one, it would be the wrong one and I’d have to start all over.

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So, I took a few film and public relations classes, and while I do still love the idea of one day writing my own television series or movies, I discovered a previously unknown love of public relations. It was something that clicked and that I was actually good at. This brings us to present-day. I graduate next May, and I have decided on the public relations concentration.  On a whim and on the fear of not having enough job experience when I graduate, I applied to several internships. To my utter surprise, I got an email requesting a phone interview. It didn’t matter to me at the time whether I got the position or not, because I only applied out of fear of regretting it if I didn’t. After a great phone interview, I was called in for an in-person interview, and the more I learned about the organization, the more excited I got. Each time I interviewed, I felt more and more confident that I had found that sign I’d been looking for.  For the first time, I was able to envision myself having an actual career. The position would give experience in not only public relations writing, social media, photography, but script writing, too, for their film and media department. I didn’t have to pick just one concentration; I really could have it all! Out of dozens of applications, I was one of three people vying for the internship.

It felt like the position had just fallen into my hands. If only I had caught it.

It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and blame things like this on “Life”, but sometimes things just happen for a reason. It wasn’t the right time or place. I wasn’t the right person for the job. I still feel like I would have done a great job and I would have learned a lot. I may be a little bruised, but overall, I feel stronger than I did before this whole experience. Even though I didn’t get the position, I did not leave empty-handed. I left with the knowledge that I am a good writer, that I am able to successfully be in the running for the job of my “dreams” and the experience to try harder the next time I’m given the opportunity.

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It’s Been A While

It’s been a while since I’ve graced you with my presence, so I figured I would jump right in with a life update.

At the beginning of this month, my oldest sister, Angela, had foot surgery to remove some bone spurs that were causing pain on the back of her heel.

Her beautiful doctor 😍
Sorry, I know it’s gross.
This is after her surgery–good as new!

For the past month, I have been living with her and her husband and driving her to work, to her doctor appointments–basically anywhere she needs to go. I’m her full-time uber and occasional cook.

These are from back when she wasn’t completely dependent on me for her transportation. Look how happy we were….

It’s been alright, but I definitely miss my alone time. Yes, I love my sister and would do anything for her, but if I’m being honest, I really agreed to it so I could cuddle with her cat, Charlie. He’s the love of my life. But, it’s been hard being away from home. I know I’ve written before about my bedroom being my safe haven, and I have been a little home sick for those calm evenings spent drinking tea surrounded by the heavy aroma of Target candles. In about a month, I will be able to go home.

I’m also taking summer classes this summer, which I am strangely excited for. Hopefully, they all go well. It’s starting to set in how close I am to finishing college. I’m almost free! But then I get sucked into a downward spiral when I think about applying and interviewing for jobs. So, I try and float somewhere between harsh reality and denial.

Anyway, I really just needed this post to get me started again, so I hope you enjoyed this brief bridge piece. I’ll be back shortly!