This past spring I did an internship in D.C. and have been home for several months now. Every time I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, or even those that I see regularly I get asked: “What’s up with you?” So here are some of the standard answers.
- Working at the gas station. I’ve been picking up hours as I can to make money. Its never been my favorite job, and there are some real downsides to it. But it does allow me to do a fair amount of reading which is its saving grace.
- Job Hunting. Five months and 100 applications later, here I am, trying to find a job that is going to advance me professionally and be a bit more rewarding. Its been hard, and many days I get discouraged, really discouraged. But I keep trying, hoping for at least an interview. It’s been hard because several opportunities have presented themselves that I have been unable to take because wage wise they wouldn’t allow me to save what I need to for relocating for grad school.
- Researching and prepping for grad school applications. I didn’t get in for this fall, but I have been drawing together a list of schools and programs that I am going to apply to. I have a set of goals set for revising my writing samples and drafting personal statements. I am currently looking at programs in writing and also programs in American studies. This month the goal is to revise both my creative and academic writing samples and finish out my chart of schools so I know what I need to do to apply.
- READING. One of the things that I immediately realized was great about post-grad life was the ability to read freely and widely. I’ve already read 34 books this year. Currently, I am reading the following:
- The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner. My real question is as I read this book is HOW WAS THIS BOOK NEVER USED IN ANY OF MY CLASSES?! I mean I do have to credit the professor who did give it to me for being ‘the squeaky wheel’ but shame on me for not reading it the minute I got my hands on it. My senior project and short novel class would have been substantially better.
- Unholy Ghosts: Writers on Depression edited by Nell Casey. I was drawn to this collection of essays for personal reasons as someone with an ongoing struggle with depression who seeks to write for a living. I have been moving through it slowly, an essay or two a day and have been enjoying the different meditations and experiences that are being shared in the book. It’s been affirming.
- The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. This is a hefty one. While I am reading it on my kindle (thanks to Bookbub for alerting me to the deal that allowed me to purchase it), in print it comes in at 600 pages. I am not sure how I will end up feeling about it in the end, but it is interesting to watch its central character navigate his complicated identity with a backdrop of prominent historical figures and events.
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. This book got a lot of attention when it came out. I read another one of Whitehead’s books for my senior seminar in writing (Zone One, I have many opinions about it). So this is my current audiobook.
- Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. I bought this book about a year ago on a rather unfortunate trip to Massachusetts. I’m only a third of the way in and I feel shaken to more core reading the reality and structures that have definitely influenced my experiences with dating, romance, and sex. It’s proving to be a fast read which is good because reading 5 books at once is a habit that I like to avoid.
- Enjoy being able to watch Netflix/videos online. For anyone that talked to me while I was interning in DC knows, I had horrible internet at the place I was living. So for four months, I watched no Netflix, no tv. I was able to manage some youtube videos on occasion (to indulge in BuzzFeed unsolved), but for the most part, was cut off. This wasn’t horrible, but being home it has been nice to watch things again. I have been keeping up with this season of The Handmaid’s Tale, which I find fascinating as it evolves beyond the plot of the book and expands the world of the book (with the same title). I have also been watching The Blacklist with my mom, watching a couple of episodes several nights a week. Also, since Star Trek: Discovery has wrapped up its first season I have been working through those episodes as well (a post about this will be coming later).
- Going to Yoga. A new studio opened up near where I live and since I have been meaning to get more serious about my practice, as well as take care of my body, I decided to take advantage of their really good new student special. I’ve been going 3 times a week now for about three weeks and I have to say, it feels incredibly good, has helped with building strength, and is keeping me sane.
- Running/Walking. Once upon a time, I ran a half marathon. In 8th grade. I have not really got anywhere near that since. I know exercise is important and running makes me feel good. So I have been easing back into it with the help of a learn to run app called C25K. In 5 more weeks, I should be in good enough shape to easily run 5k. Hopefully.
- Spending time with my dogs. I love our dogs. Because of college and my research opportunity last summer in Ithaca I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with them this past year. But now, we spend quality time with each other every day. And usually, this involves a nap. So long as mom isn’t home.
I am planning now on writing a post a week on different things that come to mind or are relevant to my life. Technically, if I was being ‘serious’ about this blog thing I would be narrowing into a tight niche. But I have a variety of interests which makes that feel impossible. BUT I do think that I am going to do some more posts about my R.A. and the ongoing journey that it is because I think that it’s important to talk about and share. I also think I’ll be doing writing about the books, stories, articles and other things I am reading too. If there is anything else you’d love to see me talk about, let me know!