The irony of course, is that I’ve never blogged as little as during the past year and a half, when I’ve been in a writing program. My most “bloggy” years, 2011-2013, were those during which I (mostly) worked and took the odd trip here and there.
I haven’t blogged lately for a variety of reasons: my course and thus reading load is quite heavy, and when I read a lot, all I want to do is share great passages of great books – but this doesn’t make for very interesting posts (even though a part of me is like, “F*** popular taste! I write for me!”) Also, as I’ve mentioned before, my thesis is due this year. I signed up for the March 2nd submission date but given the current state of things, that’s not going to happen and I’ll have to turn in in August. I explained this to my parents the other day, worried they would be worried that I wasn’t graduating “on time,” and that I was going to pull another Betty (complain that “it’s hard, just too hard,” and drop out). But no, my dropping out of school days are over. Technically I’m not graduating on time – I’ll be walking May 2015 (or just sitting at home waiting for my diploma in the mail because graduations are dreadfully dull) – but I (or my parents) won’t have to pay extra tuition or be unable to take on a full time job. My parents were okay with it – never mind that they sort of have to be. Or maybe they didn’t quite understand but they hoped I understood that I was now an adult who could make my own decisions but would be careful not to embarrass them. Gotcha, mom and dad.
So…working. “The real world.” Hustlin’. Making (not) bank.
Everyone’s been asking me, “So what are you thinking about doing after graduation?” I shrug and say, “Oh you know, probably marketing or event planning or…” and here my voice trails off because I’m not really sure – those people who are sure are annoying – but then I sit up straight and say, “I am however, quite certain I don’t want to do something that will involve me writing from 9-5, or from 10-6 or whatever.”
Surprised? Me too, at first. But from my short and motley work history, I’ve learned I want stuff to write about, not to write about stuff. This means I’ll be veering away from copywriting (though it depends on industry, I guess) and any situation where I’ll be asked to churn out blog posts and/or email newsletters. I’m not saying, “No way José!” But I just know I’d rather not. Those jobs usually lead to me coming home too tired to stare at my blog, never mind write in it. The fact is I like my blog. I want it to grow with me (or plateau or get content or whatever else I decide to do). I’d like to keep contributing to it in a meaningful way without feeling like I’m pulling my own creative teeth out.
My most interesting jobs have not been ones that require me to do a lot of writing or editing or copywriting. They’re always in something I never thought I’d be doing – like being an Executive Assistant or packing boxes and reorganizing the freezers as a seasonal worker at Costco – but while I was working these odd jobs (there’s that phrase you see on the back of every best-selling paperback: “So-and-So spent many years working odd jobs, all the while writing this runaway bestseller between 1-6AM every morning..” Except this is me writing it in my own blog) I met so many interesting people and did so many eyebrow-raising things, like the time I had to move my bosses; stuff from one suite at the Wynn Las Vegas to another on a higher floor with a better view. I had to repack their bags and learned what kind of underwear they wore. Yeah I complained about the work, but I had a good time living it, and would always have an even better time writing it.
That’s what I’ve been thinking about.
I’ve also been thinking of how easy it is to be crushed by ideas. Mostly ideas for stuff I want to write and feeling like the narrator in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, where she feels she has the whole world dangling above her in the form of a fruit tree but she can’t decide which fruit to pick and eat first, and eventually they all shrivel up and fall to the ground. When I read this five, ten years ago I remember thinking “Don’t let the fruit shrivel!” And now, I’m not sure I’ve picked any fruit yet, but they are looking rather overripe. A few have probably already dropped to the ground.
Yeah, don’t read that if you feel like you are young and have options but are extremely indecisive. Or maybe read it and serendipitously, walk past the Nike logo and think, “Just do it.”