I’ve been missing.

My deepest apologies for nearly a month without posting. I’ve been…busy. I swear, I’ve used the time wisely. How, you may ask?

I have an internship. An editorial internship. As in “related to what I want to do”! It’s unpaid, mostly because it’s an independent, non-profit publishing company that runs on grants, but I’ll be working retail and hopefully some side hustles throughout the three month period I’m interning. It’s a small company, about three people actually on-staff, but that means I’ll actually be functioning as one of their staff. I’ve been assured there will be no coffee-fetching!

Basically, this place uses their interns as extra employees, so I’ll be editing manuscripts, corresponding with authors and distributors, and everything in between. There are even some author events that I get to attend! I don’t know if anyone can tell, but I’m very excited about this opportunity.

I also have a lot of respect for the company itself. Their goal is not at all to make money—it’s to spread good literature and poetry. It’s definitely a company I’m proud to be a part of, with people that I am delighted to learn from.

Besides the internship, I also have my first non-school apartment! I found it all by myself after scouring over one hundred Craigslist postings and visiting four different locations. I also argued down the rent by about $30. I’m officially an adult.

However, to detract from my adult-ness, I will be depending on my parents for half my rent. There’s no way I could make enough working part-time to cover rent each month, so my parents have very kindly consented to split it with me. They’re incredibly wonderful people who want to make it as easy as possible for me to get my “start” without making me dependent on them. I think they’re also just excited this whole publishing idea has resulted in something tangible post-graduation.

The truth of the matter is that I’ll probably move back into my parent’s house at the end of the summer. Honestly, I’m not very upset about it. Although I still want to move to New York City and working at a large publishing house, I also want to be able to save my money and maybe even spend a little more time with those lovely parents of mine.

I’ve felt very ready to graduate and leave school lately. It definitely has something to do with the exciting future I now actually have, but I think it’s also because I’m just ready to move on. For a while, I was really panicking about leaving school. All I’d done for sixteen years was learn, write academic papers, and just be a student. Not that it wasn’t hard work (oh my goodness, it was) but it is a limited perspective. I was incredibly worried about taking on the unknown, as I’m sure many students are.

That friend that wasn’t excited to go to graduate school? She’s decided not to go for a year. She’s facing far more unknown than I am, but we were equally miserable about starting our Big Person lives. Now? Now I can’t wait for my new start. I want to meet new people outside of my very small college, I want to really perfect my writing and editing, and I want to be able to focus on things like this blog. I want to focus beyond when my next test is, or the next assignment is due.

I graduate in two weeks, and although I’m apprehensive, I am not scared. I’m excited. It’s the feeling in your stomach right before a roller coaster drops. The anticipation.

I’ll keep this blog updated more frequently now (hopefully), and I’ll try to share any internship/side hustle information I can. After all, the whole purpose of this blog in the first place was to share ideas, talk like a nerd about books, and hopefully get some help myself.

My deepest apologies for nearly a month without posting. I’ve been…busy. I swear, I’ve used the time wisely. How, you may ask?

I have an internship. An editorial internship. As in “related to what I want to do”! It’s unpaid, mostly because it’s an independent, non-profit publishing company that runs on grants, but I’ll be working retail and hopefully some side hustles throughout the three month period I’m interning. It’s a small company, about three people actually on-staff, but that means I’ll actually be functioning as one of their staff. I’ve been assured there will be no coffee-fetching!

Basically, this place uses their interns as extra employees, so I’ll be editing manuscripts, corresponding with authors and distributors, and everything in between. There are even some author events that I get to attend! I don’t know if anyone can tell, but I’m very excited about this opportunity.

I also have a lot of respect for the company itself. Their goal is not at all to make money—it’s to spread good literature and poetry. It’s definitely a company I’m proud to be a part of, with people that I am delighted to learn from.

Besides the internship, I also have my first non-school apartment! I found it all by myself after scouring over one hundred Craigslist postings and visiting four different locations. I also argued down the rent by about $30. I’m officially an adult.

However, to detract from my adult-ness, I will be depending on my parents for half my rent. There’s no way I could make enough working part-time to cover rent each month, so my parents have very kindly consented to split it with me. They’re incredibly wonderful people who want to make it as easy as possible for me to get my “start” without making me dependent on them. I think they’re also just excited this whole publishing idea has resulted in something tangible post-graduation.

The truth of the matter is that I’ll probably move back into my parent’s house at the end of the summer. Honestly, I’m not very upset about it. Although I still want to move to New York City and working at a large publishing house, I also want to be able to save my money and maybe even spend a little more time with those lovely parents of mine.

I’ve felt very ready to graduate and leave school lately. It definitely has something to do with the exciting future I now actually have, but I think it’s also because I’m just ready to move on. For a while, I was really panicking about leaving school. All I’d done for sixteen years was learn, write academic papers, and just be a student. Not that it wasn’t hard work (oh my goodness, it was) but it is a limited perspective. I was incredibly worried about taking on the unknown, as I’m sure many students are.

That friend that wasn’t excited to go to graduate school? She’s decided not to go for a year. She’s facing far more unknown than I am, but we were equally miserable about starting our Big Person lives. Now? Now I can’t wait for my new start. I want to meet new people outside of my very small college, I want to really perfect my writing and editing, and I want to be able to focus on things like this blog. I want to focus beyond when my next test is, or the next assignment is due.

I graduate in two weeks, and although I’m apprehensive, I am not scared. I’m excited. It’s the feeling in your stomach right before a roller coaster drops. The anticipation.

I’ll keep this blog updated more frequently now (hopefully), and I’ll try to share any internship/side hustle information I can. After all, the whole purpose of this blog in the first place was to share ideas, talk like a nerd about books, and hopefully get some help myself.

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the essay.

Image result for the mortal storm book cover

I’ve submitted an essay to a competition. I’m terrified. It’s just within my college (I think the winners get $150) and it’s for a paper on women—sponsored by the Women’s Studies program, but the paper doesn’t need to be for a Women’s Studies class.

For some reason, I’ve never sent an essay into a competition. Not sure why. Could be something to do with my low self-confidence when it comes to my own work. The world may never know. But, I’ve officially emailed in my paper, and I’m nervously shitting myself while I wait for two weeks to pass so they even start reading submissions. I don’t even know how many people can win.

The paper is from my sophomore year, written about Phyllis Bottome’s The Mortal Storm (now that picture at the top is finally making sense, huh?). It was, in my opinion, a fantastic book despite being pretty melodramatic. I’d forgotten how much I’d enjoyed reading it until my parents brought my flash drive of old essays with them to visit on Saturday. I was looking for things I could add to my portfolio of work, but when I came across this particular essay I started feeling the excitement for the story again.

In short, Bottome was writing at a time when fascism was on the rise (World War II), and her book was a reaction against both the anti-Semitism of the period and the tendency of some formerly militant feminists to turn to fascism. There were so many women who, after suffrage, ran for office and weren’t elected. They had these rights, but they didn’t seem to be able to really use them. Typical. So, many of them gave up on democracy altogether, believing it had failed them as an institution. Apparently the natural next step was fascism? Still not entirely convinced about it, but fascists had this terrifying way of making things that were terrible seem wonderful. The emphasis on a woman’s place being “in the home” was twists to mean that women were valued.

Bottome’s book has fantastic commentary on this. Her main character, Freya, is studying to be a doctor when the book begins. She is first prevented from continuing her schooling for being a woman, and then given further obstacles because she’s Jewish. She is most of the issues of fascism wrapped into one character.

She goes on to fall in love with a Communist, have sex with that Communist (which she does not regret in the least), watch that Communist die, and then have that Communist’s baby. Basically a huge “eff off” to fascists. Freya then leaves the baby to be raised by the Communist’s family and goes to England, where she studies to be a doctor. Badass as hell.

Rereading my essay brought a fire back to me that I had kind of forgotten. I attended the Women’s March, and I’ve been supporting women’s organizations all my life. With all this, reading Freya’s story again made me desperately want to do something more, especially right now. The world needs people who will tell fascism to eff off, in all its forms.

on people continuing to feel like crap despite being awesome

Here I am at 5:12am drinking obscene amounts of water after a lot of drinking a lot of not-water on a Thursday. There may have been curly fries involved, as well. And I may have sounded just a little like I was dying from how purely delicious they were. No regrets (but actually so many, ow, my stomach).

I’m thinking about the fact that after writing an entire rant on job search difficulties, I’ve managed to set up two phone interviews for next week. It’s like the universe decided to throw me a bone or something. I have since then clutched the bone in my teeth like someone suffering from lockjaw and will be carrying it everywhere in order to maintain some semblance of hope.

Now to the thing I’m actually thinking about: my best friend heard from her first graduate school (she applied to two) and she’d been accepted to her program! Yay! Hence drinking, celebrating, revelry, etc. You’d think that was the tone of the evening, but you would be quite wrong. We spent the night first drinking at her house and commiserating, then at the bar and doing pretty mych the same thing. Partially because we both have moderate to severe depression we both find it a little difficult to “look on the bright side”.

But also partly because she wasn’t excited at all to have gotten her first acceptance. She had just received actual proof that her plans were going to work out, regardless of whether she got into the school she really wants to go to.

At first, I was a little shocked. A definite future? That sounds better than sliced bread to me right now. She could start planning! So I demanded to know why she was being so blase about this. And she told me it was because she didn’t know if she wanted to do the program she’d applied for. She didn’t even know if she wanted to go to grad school at all. She’d just been operating under the assumption that it was her only choice after college for someone in her major.

This made me start thinking. This smart, beautiful, capable girl was sitting in front of me not even acknowledging that fact that she gotten into grad school. She’d moved straight past that accomplishment to something of an existential crisis. I started to feel so pissed at the world that had trained her not to brag about the wins in her life, or feel proud of them. Regardless of whether she decides to go to that school or participate in that particular program, she has been recognized by a rather trusted source for all the work she’s put into undergrad. They’ve looked through her resume, her transcript, her personal statement and said “good job! We’d like to hitch our wagon to yours!”.

So I have something of a list (told you we’d end up with listicles) to remind people that when they succeed at something, they get to feel fucking proud for at least one week before freaking out about everything else.

1) An outside source has validated you.

Congratu-freaking-lations! I know we’re all supposed to derive comfort in our lives from ourselves, self-fulfillment, blah blah blah but it is an amazing feeling when someone else acknowledges you for what you’ve done. My friend has dedicated four years to her major—that’s countless hours of studying, stress, and a lot of money to something she loves—while dealing with a mental illness that basically tells you not to care about anything. She hurtled over that obstacle and was so successful in doing so that she has been accepted by yet another university to do that x10. It’s always nice to have someone notice all the work you’ve put in and reward it. On a related topic—

2) All your work and time and effort has been towards something.

Even if you’re no longer sure that grad school, or a PhD program, or a career path is right for you, please allow yourself to realize that everything you did paid off. Just because you might not take that road does not mean that all the time you spent building it has been worthless.

Those sleepless nights and freezing mornings walking to classes paid off. Your goal might have changed, but dammit, you reached it! I call that a win, especially when your brain has been telling you your hard work is pointless because we all die eventually (apologies for the downer…but also it’s true…).

3) You goddamn did it

John Mulaney has this great comedy special on Netflix where he basically thanks the audience for “doing something”. It is so, so, so much easier to just not do anything. To not do that extra credit, or to not help that professor with research. I think deep down my friend somehow thinks she’s lazy because she likes to nap. Maybe that’s your definition of lazy. If so, throw me down as lazy because dear baby Jesus sometimes the only thing keeping me going is that I get to take a freaking nap later.

But while napping and enjoying yourself (occasionally) you’ve also done something incredible, too! You did a thing! Things are hard, but you did them anyway! Not to mention that very story-specific fact that she had to take the GRE and fill out boring, long applications. It would’ve been so much simpler to just not do those things, but she took the actions she needed for what she wanted. Perhaps what you wanted changed—which, especially at this point of your life, is just fine—you know from experience now that you’re capable of taking the new steps for your new goal. You’ve done it before, you can do it again. Maybe even better.

I’m just really sick of people not feeling like they’ve done anything special just because the world expected them to do it. Graduate school may be the norm for her major, or her career field, but it is not a given. Not everyone has the opportunity to go, or the ability. You’ve done a thing, and that’s awesome. Acknowledge it and be proud. It’s not vain, it’s justified satisfaction.Feel good about it.