Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I have four words for you, whoever you are: Stand up for yourself.
It sounds so simple, but you can't expect someone else to stand up for you. And no one should be expected to stand up for you, with the possible exception of your parents. But even they fail to do so half the time. Hence, you gotta do it yourself.
Posting might be sparse for a little while. Going through some things -- and need to sort them out in my head before I can tell all here. Don't worry about me though; I got my own back.
(Image via weheartit)
Monday, June 14, 2010
(Image via weheartit)
Ever feel like you're actually achieving your dreams? If you have, you know that it's like a drug; it's the best possible high. Well, I can only imagine since I've never actually been high. But that doesn't negate the immense rush I get looking over my portfolio of published clips (which contains upwards of 35 clips), just one measure of my writerly success a la Carrie Bradshaw.
Another measure: I was recently hired as a relationship writer for HOSTAGE magazine.
And another: I got an assignment from and was published in my neighborhood newspaper The Juniata News for which I will receive my largest paycheck to date (for something I wrote, I mean).
And another: This blog has gotten a few comments of late from people I'm not biologically related to or Facebook friends with (because you know I inundate my virtual friends with reminders to read my humble life-and-love blog).
And another: I got an email today from an admirer of my online portfolio (which I've already plugged once in this post) inviting me to join a fashion website that is sort of a mix of Twitter, Facebook, and answers.com. This website is still in beta and you can only join by private invitation from a founder or an 'in' person.
Sorry if this post is more self-congratulatory and pompous than usual. I'm just so excited and this excitement -- when not being overshadowed by the normal, run-of-the-mill, everyday stresses of life -- has been a really big thing lately.
My career goals for the near and far futures:
- Get accepted as a contributor to Sex, Etc. while I still can; they only take people 19 and younger and as my 19th birthday's approaching, my time is waning.
- Write some essays for Metropolis (for which I would be paid, which is always nice).
- Perhaps get a column in The Juniata News (as guaranteed and continued income is always nice too). Or maybe write a relationship column for The Temple News. (Both clauses of this bullet point are wholly dependent upon how much material I would have left over after fulfilling my duties for HOSTAGE).
- Pitch articles to more magazines (even the national glossies -- although of course I don't expect they'll be accepted).
- Be named as a Blog of the Note.
- Perhaps, someday, get a book deal (either for my novel or for turning this blog into a book). Although this last thing coming to fruition isn't exactly something I can ensure.
Well, there you have it. Things are looking up for me, romantically and career-wise. Let's just hope this doesn't send other things to shit!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Today, Chris asked me what I'd like for my birthday. Honestly? I have no clue. The only possible gift idea I've come up with being a Patricia Field for Payless Shoe Source shamrock necklace. But I thought that wasn't the right gift suggestion for my honey. All I really want for my birthday is to spend it with family and friends and possibly a trip to the beach.
Perhaps this is what it means to be a grown-up; realizing that the material things aren't so important -- and that anything you want you can buy yourself -- and that time spent relaxing with loved ones is a precious commodity.
I didn't know what to ask of my parents for Christmas either. And my last birthday? Of the few material gifts I received, I think I knew of half of them beforehand.
But that doesn't solve my problem of what to tell Chris to get me. What is a girlfriend supposed to want? Maybe I could ask him to buy me a teddy bear. Or jewelry. Or lingerie.
I honestly don't want anything more than to spend time with him. And I get that quite often. So it's kind of like every day is my birthday.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I'm going to say the thing that everyone is thinking but maybe doesn't want to say, maybe won't even dare admit it to themselves. I hate being a working adult. It blows.
I only work two days a week and for five hours. It's nowhere near as bad as working five or six days a week, I know. But when you're doing work that a monkey could easily handle and being treated like you're incapable of doing said work, there's nothing to do but bite down the scream clawing at your throat.
Every morning I have work, I wake up ten, maybe 20, minutes before my 9:30 a.m. alarm, worried I've missed it. I am not even sure that I don't wish I would miss it. Then I get up when my alarm rings, go to the bathroom, and hop back in bed for 11 minutes (until 9:45 a.m.).
Then that alarm goes off and I've got no choice but to force myself to throw on some clothes -- I'm supposed to follow our strict and grammatically incorrect dress code -- and grab whichever purse I need that day and run out the door. Then of course, I have a tendency to miss the 3 bus that comes at 10:12 a.m. when it comes a few minutes early and I'm about 50 feet away from the bus stop.
Then I get to work a few minutes before 11 a.m. and yet, the computer I use to log on to record my time stamp, always takes a few minutes to load -- meaning I stamp in at 11:01 a.m. and, according to my supervisor, have to wait until exactly 4:01 p.m. to log off. Because that one minute will make a difference in my pay. Christ.
I try to get through each day by remembering that working here gives me money so that I can go out with friends and Chris after work and on the weekends, etc. It's a struggle but it helps a little.
Now.. it's 1:30 p.m. I get a half-hour break for lunch and then it's two more hours till I'm on my way to Chris'. I can't wait.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
A friend I graduated with lost her 3-year-old daughter on Friday. I'm speechless. Losing someone you love is hard, whoever it is and whatever your relationship. Chris said today -- about a different situation -- that grieving is a process and eventually you get over the loss. I'm not sure that you do. Another friend of mine lost his dad and he and his mother have not and say they will never get over his death.
More than that however, I question the merit of prayer. My friend who lost her daughter asked for the prayers of her friends through Facebook. And while I will pray for her because she asked, I wonder what good it will do. I guess I could pray that she "gets over it" but will she? I doubt it.
After disaster struck Haiti in January, Christians in all places were holding prayer circles for the Haitians. After hearing about one such event, I asked "What the hell is prayer gonna do?" My grandmother said, with great disappointment in her voice, "It helps, honey, it really does."
This coming from the same woman who later that week took one look at a bumper sticker that read "I'm blessed," and said, "I wonder what makes her think she's so blessed."
Clearly, my Grammy's religious beliefs are as deeply rooted as my own.
Whether prayer works or not, I hope that my friend will find a way to get through this ordeal and even if she never gets over it.
(The above image is of Susan Sarandon.)
Friday, June 4, 2010
"Women are innately self-conscious. This is not a choice; it's a genderwide condition. On a bad day, I look in the mirror and see my ten-pound-heavier alter ego. Her name is Bertha. On a really bad day, Bertha sees her two-hundred-pound-heavier alter ego. Her name is Brian Dennehy." - Alyssa Milano
To read the other 74 things guys don't know about women, click here.
(The above picture was taken in 2008 when I interviewed Milano for a summer journalism workshop.)
Wednesday night I was talking with my friend Michele about life... I told her about taking my sister for a manicure and pedicure in preparation for her prom and Michele said that for all of the good I do, I don't deserve the shit that I've had to put up with. And that she thinks Chris, who is turning out to be everything I said I wanted in a guy, is just the beginning of my lucky streak. Sometimes my life feels like it circles back around to the same problems, the same crap. Here's hoping the go round gets even merrier.
(The above photo is from Le Blog de Betty.)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Except when my mother and sister take to teasing me for this inability to punch a white quilted ball at my boyfriend on the other side of the pool.
See, in celebration of Memorial Day, my family had a pool party on Sunday at my Aunt Cindy's and it was the first time I'd taken a boyfriend to meet my family. Chris held up better than I did, I'd say.
They didn't hassle him much. In fact, most of my family probably said less than 10 words to him. But everyone seemed content with belittling and teasing me in front of him. Some people -- not me -- can let this kind of thing roll off their backs. I've always held the opinions of my family members in high regard and hate that nothing ever seems good enough for them.
My Aunt Cindy and Grammy told me I need to work harder in college (I got one "C" and three "B"s this last semester) while they announced to everyone my two male cousins' very high GPAs. Not that I'm not proud of Danny and Eddie. I truly am. But there was a time when my family even questioned whether the boys would ever go to school (my cousin Danny is 26 and just concluded his first semester), so clearly their excellence in school is a delightful surprise. But for me, the girl who graduated seventeenth in her class, not only was it expected I go to college, now I'm expected to get straight A's. It's too much pressure for one person.
And this lecture from my elders on doing well in school came in front of Chris.
I've never had to worry about what my family thought of a guy -- at least not my extended family. Chris is the first guy I've ever dated to even meet my dad and now he's met the rest of my family. And all in one day he's seeing how they see me and the way I see myself in my family's funhouse mirror.
I can't even begin to imagine how bad I looked, ducking under the water to avoid the barrage of comments about my failed attempts at athleticism. I am simply embarrassed by myself. It's hard when you want to control how someone sees you because you just can't. You can only hope that they find your faults endearing and that they will appreciate you for everything you are -- and everything you aren't.
In the end, I tried following my sister's advice and sent that volleyball soaring over Chris' head at least once... But it didn't feel good as I hadn't done it on my own.
(The above picture is of Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents.)