Let’s Get Real: A Short Update

“Oh boy.” -me when I get to the head of the line for the Superman roller coaster

 

Boring AF

So, this is probably never going to happen again, but a second post in as many days is necessary. I’ve been (basically, if not directly) writing the same thing for the past several posts (actually more), including this sentence. You know: I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, read me complaining about it!

 

Don't get used to it. Any of it.

 

It’s time for something else. Because, I’ve gotta be honest, I’m getting discouraged with many parts of my life. Including this. I can candy coat this blog all I want. Plaster it with dozens of hopeful lists of what I’m going to do to get on with life. It’s getting boring. Fast. As in, it’s already boring. To me. And, so, to you.

 

More than one direction

How oh how will I ever fix it! I really don’t know (that should be the title of my blog), so I’m gonna try a bunch of things until I find a direction. I’m sure I’m going to lose a lot of readers (of the 26 I currently have). But hopefully I’ll gain more (like out of the double digits).

 

The thing is that I have time now. And space. In my mind and in my life. Not in my budget, yet, though. Anyways, I think there will be a lot of changes, twists and turns. Extremes and slight iterations. Eventually, it’ll be sorted out. Everything always is. So, I’ll see you guys next time. I’m aiming for a post per week (Fridays at 6pm most likely (thank you WordPress stats), I’ll let you know if the day will change).

 

Q and A

This may soon be dead, but here we go anyways. What makes you cry? Everything. I mean everything. I cry at commercials about parents handing their kids car keys, because they’re finally old enough to drive.

 

But it's so poingnant

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Back in the Real World

“I remember this going much differently last time.” -me looking at an empty inbox

 

Let’s start with last week

 

So last week I started a post that is now moot. But here’s an excerpt anyways!

 

“In a previous post I said that this thesis is a great example of life, you think you’re done with the worst and then there’s another wave. The only thing keeping me sane is the continuous light at the end of the tunnel that turns out to be a computer screen telling me that I need to add more spaces to the front of my paragraphs or it’s not right (which, by the way, the number of spaces I have are fine, Purdue Owl has vindicated me). And I know that it’s supposed to make me a better writer, but I can’t help not caring. The small gasping part of me that does care has been dragging my limp and protesting body towards the finish line which keeps getting pushed a few inches more the moment I get close, and that part of me is done.”

 

Why is it moot, you ask? My final exam is done, and my final revision is handed in (though that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m done…). My career as an undergraduate has almost come to a close (I just need that piece of paper proving that I spent a lot of time crying and ripping my hair out over papers which are going to be thrown in a bonfire the moment I’m holding my diploma I shall dance on their ashes afterwards (sometimes I think I’m a bit much, but I love it anyway)).

 

Last Week today

 

Now for something utterly different (synonyming my way around copyright infringement)

 

Okay, so yay, cool, awesome, I’m reentering the real world. The world where I got every job I applied and interviewed for (except for the one where I had to do timed math problems (like, really, wtf?)). And guess what? I’ve applied for 20, heard back from three. Of those three I have been rejected from one, the second has continued to interview other people for the past month now (I’m losing hope), and the third was an initial phone interview (which means if I get through the first wave, I’ll have at least two more interview to go through). Also, I only have enough money to get through the next month and a half. I’ve been applying since the end of October.

 

All of this is to say I may or may not be panicking (definitely the former) over not getting a job. I feel like if I had been rejected from previous jobs this might be going down a bit smoother. Granted, those jobs were for retail, which I have a lot of experience for. But the jobs I’m applying for I also have a bit more experience than the average Joh (I won’t apologize for that pun, I’ve done nothing wrong). Yet, the two-week mark of how long it usually takes me to get a job has long since passed.

 

I might as well mention that I’m not exactly doing it correctly. I’m applying to all the jobs and waiting. I’ve committed a cardinal crime in that I have yet to look to my network for help. Why haven’t I done this perfectly logical and reasonable thing you may ask yourself? My honest answer is I don’t know, but I hope it’s not the reasons I think it’s for. I’m not the type to usually sit back and wait. I’m what you would call ambitious. So what gives?

 

Why can’t hard truth be more like hard candy?

Hopefully not the fact that I’m actually applying for jobs I want and don’t want to face the disappointment of not getting them. Certainly not because I’m crippled by the idea that something I care about will be out of my grasp. Absolutely in no way because I’m scared that if I do get the perfect Job that I won’t be able to do it. No, none of those. At all. Or maybe all of them. Yes. Definitely all of them.

 

If you don't apply you can't be rejected!

 

What do I do about all of this? Well, I got a GameCube for a graduation present and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. So, I can be found playing my childhood game to avoid the need to obsessively check my email. Or, for a change of pace, I’ll play Minecraft, or watch ASMR videos or look at pictures of corgis on Instagram, or write, or or or or. Or. The word has no meaning any longer. I just avoid.

 

So, it’s time for another list:

What does Joh want to do to make bank (or just money, at all):

  1. Be a writer (ultimately, but this is on the back burner to make room for realism (read: making bank on writing isn’t realistic right now)
  2. Have a job that pays enough to save up money

 

Now, how to achieve these goals:

  1. Reach out to people in my network to see if they know of any jobs
  2. Continue applying to jobs
  3. Build up a portfolio of writing in my spare time (of which, right now, I have a lot of (I’m actually caring about how I look again (that’s not a bad thing, I like looking nice)))

 

All of these are works in progress (especially the last one (read: I need to start writing on this blog regularly)), so I’m going to hop on them. I’ll catch you up in a bit.

 

Q &A (y’all I’m giving up)

Question. Answer. Time. (I’m really reaching with this one, aren’t I?). What’s on your bucket list this year? Finishing a draft of my novel. I’m actually almost done. It’s written terribly as all first drafts are, but I only have a few more scenes left!

 

Almost there (1)

 

Still Here: The Joh Story

 

“When am I graduating? That’s an interesting question.” -me to myself

 

What do you mean January___

 

It’s been awhile

So, it’s almost been a month since I last posted. I wish I could say much has changed, but I’m still applying to jobs, dragging my ass to the finish line of my B.A., working on my thesis and panicking about the future. A few things have changed, though. I had a job interview! And then they invited me to another! And now, I’m waiting to hear back.

 

In the meantime, you can find me with podcasts blasting to drown out my thoughts of things I can’t control (isn’t there a prayer or something about this (I think it was penned before podcasts, though, so is it really relevant here?)), and talking out loud to myself when those thoughts refuse to go gently into that good night (isn’t that something famous, too (and also penned before podcasts, and also with questionable relevance)?).

 

I’ve lost the plot

I’m seriously sitting here trying to think of something to write, but I think the panic has peaked (hopefully it will fall and not plateau). Maybe this isn’t the best time to write a post, but I feel like waiting around for something to change so I can write about it is not the best way to go about having a blog. I also seem to remember this being a place I can vent, and showcase my progress as a Adult. And maybe it needs to be pointed out that progress is often slow and incremental.

 

Progress is Incremental! (1)

 

 

I’m still no closer to a dog, and definitely even further from a corgi. My car is still a constant source of worry. I have nothing financially stable lined up for my future, and so my efficiency is to be my domicile for a while longer (albeit I feel this is more of a good thing than anything). Um, I think those are my main concerns. Oh, and my thesis defense is a week from now.

 

I’ve regained the plot (yeah, let’s go with that)

I like doing presentations, but for some reason this one churns my stomach. It’s not really a defense, tbh. It’s just a sort of “hey look at this thing I worked so hard on, ask me questions?”. I’m beginning to think I’ve subconsciously marked this finish line of my academic career (except for, you know, the final projects and exams). I really have worked so hard on it, and it’s been previously established that I don’t like showing off things I work hard on (I hold them dear to me, and a dirty little secret that I didn’t realize I had is that I’m deathly afraid of rejection (like so secret I needed a therapist to point it out (repeatedly))).

 

Question

Well, this has been a nice distraction from the crippling fear of rejection (jobs, mostly). Here’s a question and answer: Mountains or ocean?

 

Answer (I’m running out of clever headings…)

Ocean. My first requirement for where I would move to (ultimately Seattle) was having an ocean nearby. I just can’t stand the thought of being landlocked.

 

Land is for chumps

Theses Pieces

“Done! Well, mostly done.” -me every time I talk about my thesis

 

Recap

So, remember when I was going to go to grad school? Probably not, that was from, like, the first post. Let’s just assume you knew that I was hardcore planning on going to grad school and that I dropped it (like it was a supernova off a cliff (and felt like I could breathe again as I watched it fade into the abyss)). Anyways, before the whole decision to dramatically alter my future I was beefing up my CV and getting lots of experience with research.

 

One of those experiences was a senior thesis. It seemed like a good idea at the time (and, in my defense, it was a great idea at the time), but now I’m in the last five weeks of my senior year and I’m gasping and dragging myself dramatically to the finish line. Part of that finish line is this thesis. Thankfully, I passed it in today. Of course, I’m still not done. I’ve still gotta defend it (good god how could I possibly defend this thing that I’ve done to myself for the past year and a half???).

 

This cat is cute and so does not convey my true feelings

 

Example of a metaphor

This is a pretty good example of life (I’m done! No, wait, not yet. I’m done? Maybe. (I don’t know, man, you tell me)). And sometimes I burrow under the covers and pretend that things like theses and currency aren’t actually things. All of us do. The thing is that I’ve been burrowing under those covers way too much lately.

 

Sure, I’ve dragged myself up to do the whole I’m a Adult Who is Capable and Confident act, and I’ve even fooled most of the people (okay, some of the people (you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can never fool all of the people all of the time -Abraham Lincoln (note: I didn’t fact check that, so…maybe not Abraham Lincoln?))). But you can still find me throwing a temper tantrum in the form of refusing to make a proper dinner and instead eating candy (if I eat a Snickers I get dairy and protein in one (I’ve got the logic of a precocious five year old)).

 

If I’m being honest, I chose the candy, because its cheap and it keeps, which is more than can be said of healthy food (damn it, now I’ve indirectly admitted currency is a thing). This is all to say that I’m terrified of the future and I’m clinging to the things that made sense when I was living a different life.

 

Job searches, resumes and cover letters, oh my!

In more heartening news I’ve applied to about eight Adult jobs. In less heartening news I haven’t heard back from any of them. In more heartening heartening news I only applied in the last few days (good news, bad news, good news, my favorite sammich). And I’ve been writing. So, I’m on track with the things I can control.

 

Those things I can’t control? Well, I’ll just whine about them. That’s as good as it’s gonna get when it comes to that.

 

Brandy (1)

 

Control freak freaking out

Speaking of things I can’t control, that whole letting go of stuff I wrote about in the last post, I think I need to look at it differently (even though it already looks like something M.C. Escher would create). I’ve tried to let go of the lovely past in every way that Google and my therapist and friends and acquaintances and random kind strangers have suggested, but no dice. One thing I haven’t really done is to trust myself.

 

As somebody who lives with mental illness I can’t say I blame myself. But I’ve gotten start doing it. Besides my track record is pretty good (I’m still alive, aren’t I?). Also, at the end of the day I’m always me, and I’m learning to really dig this person that I am (who I am? Whom I am?).

 

Long story short: I’m still scared, but I’m moving forward anyway. It’s like a fun adventure, right (cue slightly hysterical laughter)?

 

Q&A

What is your theme song? Right now: Paint it Black (cuz it’s playing). Usually: Mr. Brightside. When I’m impressed with myself: Clint Eastwood. Update to Right Now: Brandy (the song changed (her eyes could steal a man from the sea)).

Brandy

Not Drinking at Bars

“I’ll have a Shirley Temple.” -me to every bartender

 

Busy and happy about it

I now have three jobs. In one I help other students get jobs by having them write down transferrable skills (I’ve been doing it for a while). The other I round up at least four undergrads in one room, pair them up with each other and ask them how they feel about it (I’ve also been doing this one for a while, but am now getting paid for it). For the final and newest job I pour coffee on the weekends (hello, high school classmates, raise your hand if you thought I would be a barista at some point. All of you? Okay (so, I guess, I’ve been doing this one for a while, too, just in everybody else’s mind)).

 

Cool story, Joh, why should I care?

 

Well, you must be invested in some way since you’ve read this far, right? Also, I wrote a blog awhile back whining about how difficult it is to make friends as an adult, and then promised to tell you all the awkward moments of my attempts at interacting with other people. Then I wrote a post explaining why I took so long writing it (by which I mean the post I was writing (whoa, this is getting meta)) and then one about what I want to be when I grow up and then I remembered that I said in the explanation post that my next post would be about the friends I made. Since it wasn’t, this one is.

 

‘K dish the goss on the friending

I’m not so sure how awkward I come across to people. I think I’m a spaz, but others don’t (seem to (at first)). So, I’ve had to really take stock of my life to make sure I was never bitten by a radioactive whatever or that that one time I almost died trying to act like my brother (it seemed like an easy stunt when he did it, but I nearly suffocated on my attempt) didn’t dislodge some hidden ability to interact with other humans well. I haven’t and it didn’t (unrelatedly, I wrote an essay in high school about that near-death experience, and recently found an essay Jeffrey wrote about the same thing (and here I thought I was the only one who was traumatized)).

 

All that is to say, I made friends by being in close proximity to them and talking to them and obviously wasn’t awkward enough to put them off.

 

Untitled design (6)

 

Since then, I’ve been out. Mostly to bars. But here’s the thing: I don’t drink. I mean, if I’m not driving I’ll have one (and maybe half of a second one). Otherwise, nah. In spite of this, I would get my favorite drink (read: the only one I feel confident ordering) then drink less than half of a half (a quarter doesn’t sound extreme enough, but in the end that’s what it comes down to, right?).

 

One of the lovely new friends, Virginia, asked why I didn’t just order a soda. I stumbled through saying how weird it would be if I didn’t order alcohol in a bar. Then felt the familiar stomach churn of cognitive dissonance, because one thing about me that I’m proud of is that I don’t bend easily to peer pressure. Yet, here I was ordering a drink that I took a few sips of for fear of social judgment from human beings I will never see again (who may or may not be drunk enough to even see me).

 

I now order Shirley Temples whenever I go out (Virginia gets offended for me when not enough grenadine is put in it, that’s how I know she’s a true friend).

 

Letting go of caring

Alright, I’ve successfully friended while juggling being an Adult, and told you about it. Moving on to what I actually want to talk about: letting go of shit that isn’t helping me (and that maybe is holding me back). Like a bartender’s judgement (honestly, worry of stranger’s judgements is a leftover from my younger days, so that’s not actually actually what I’m talking about).

 

Here’s the thing, I’m pretty good about letting go of physical belongings. Emotional stuff… Not so much. I’m not talking about super petty stuff (like that embarrassing thing I did five years ago (I mean, those things (specifically the one that I just mentioned in the first parentheses) do still come to haunt me on nights where I can’t sleep, as though my brain is determined to shame me into unconsciousness))). I’m more talking about moments from five years ago that are so precious to me that I linger in the past.

 

 

Are you expecting words of wisdom? Cuz, I don’t have any. I do have some choice ones for people who say “just let go” and then don’t tell me how. Like, physically, how. Is there an incantation I need to say? An ancient god I need to sacrifice in the name of? They never know (or maybe they do…).

 

Untitled design (7)

 

 

Here, have a list

What I’m saying is here’s another thing to add to my list of stuff I’m trying to do and report about in this blog. Sure. Let’s see…

 

  1. Make friends with minimal awkwardness (Check)
  2. Write on the reg (Check (for today, this is a work in progress fer sher))
  3. Show off that writing (I sent in a short story to a literary magazine, does that count???)
  4. Figure out how to let go of that thing that’s holding me captive in a time in my life that I can never return to (assuming time is linear)

 

Okay, well, two and half out of four seems pretty good. Oh, but wait.

 

  1. Figure out what to do after I graduate

 

Yeah, that one’s pretty important, too (and also coming up fast (8 weeks left of classes, not that I’m counting or anything)).

 

It’s that time of the post again

Question and A time. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to? Obsidian Blackbird McNight. Or just chop off the last four letters of my first name and be governmentally sanctioned as Joh.

 

Untitled design (8)

 

 

 

 

Writing Right!

“Of course you can read it!” -me during the final conversation of a friendship

 

Reiteration of an important point

So, I like writing, and want to incorporate it into my j-o-b. I think I mentioned that my last post (oh, wait, that’s what the entire post was about). Anyways, we’ve established what I like. It’s time to figure out how to make it a reality. I’ve tried many things that just haven’t worked out well. I’ve written about it, attempted to write a blog about it (am still attempting to write a blog about it), whined about it, complained about it, done both of those things in person, over texts and even on the phone (*gasp*) to many friends, family members, acquaintances, strangers and the internet.

 

Untitled design (3)

 

A possible problem

The one thing I haven’t done is show my work to people. I don’t mean this blog, or my other blog, or my other other blog (just kidding, that one’s been down for years (months? We’ve already established my difficulty with the subjectivity of time)). This is stuff that I care about enough to write, but not enough to go to a publisher with (or do more than press spellcheck).

 

I’m talking about my darlings that I’ve been writing for the past decade (plus). The ones that I’m truly and deeply invested in. The characters I’ve fallen in love with. The characters I hate. The worlds that I live in when reality gets to be too much. The ones that if I let out into the world won’t be all mine anymore.

 

Untitled design (4)

 

That last part is key, I think. Sure, I’m afraid of people hating my writing, and of harsh criticism (even more of lip service when my writing is actually terrible (please, don’t let me humiliate myself in writing (outside of the internet, because it’s far too late for that, now) loved ones), but it’s the whole letting other people be part of those worlds that scares me the most.

 

Or maybe the problem is that I’m lazy and whiny (probably this one!).

 

Moving on!

Whatever my issue I’ve gotta get over it. So, here is the plan so far (aren’t you excited to be in on the ground-floor of a potentially (read: definitely) failed first (and second, and third, and many more, dunno how many) attempt at starting a writing career?):

 

  1. Get a job to pay the bills
  2. Write
  3. Show people what I write

 

Looks solid to me! Granted it needs some work (I’ve left in plenty of room for excuses and procrastination), but it’s better than what I’m doing now (which is just steps one and two).

 

Here’s the thing I do

Anyways, I suppose this is the next evolution of the blog, and also a very short post. Now for that question followed by that answer. What is something you can never seem to finish? Writing a book…

 

Untitled design (5)

 

 

 

Unnecessary Hiatus Explanation

“I did it, happy now?” -me to Ivy who has asked me repeatedly when I’m restarting this blog

 

So, it’s been a grip since I’ve seen you all (my 26 followers). I’d love to say my absence has been due to the extravagant lifestyle I fell into shortly after beginning this blog. However, the truth is rather anticlimactic (read: disappointing): I just wasn’t feeling it.

 

I began this blog as a hobby. Something to be enjoyed, and not to stress over. Then I began to stress over it. Not terribly, just kind of dragging my feet. So, like the many other hobbies I’ve begun over the years, I dropped it. This time into the endless rabbit hole that is the internet.

 

Maybe I am funny and interesting to people other than myself

Then, earlier this week my long-time friend Ivy (ourfriendshipcanvoteanddieforitscountry) asked me when I was going to start writing again. Apparently, she sincerely likes my writing and isn’t paying lip service, because she’s asks me this at least three times each time we hang out. This leads me to believe that maybe what I have to say is worth saying to people other than the ones who already love me.

 

Nice!

Regardless, here’s an update: I made friends! Even more of an update: I made friends with minimal awkwardivity (that’s a word, spellcheck, I’ve added it to your dictionary, accept it).

 

Cool, cool, that’s the next post (sorry?).

 

Back on track

One of those new friends I mentioned above, Virginia, and I were talking about wtf we’re doing with our futures (spoiler alert: I still don’t really know). I asked Virginia if she could be anything when she grew up what would she want to be (well, in more adult words than that, but essentially that). When she threw the question back at me, I had an answer: a writer.

 

What I want to be when I grow up

 

In fact, I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was 9. I wrote it in black and white underneath the writing prompt that every child in the United States of ‘Muricuh is given “what do you want to be when you grow up?” (okay in red crayon on pink construction paper (probably, I don’t really know, I more remember the answer than the material it was written on, does it really matter anyways? (No.))). For most people, the answer changes (you know, from superhero to something slightly more attainable like employed), for me, not so much. It went through variations (novelist, journalist, poetist, grant writerist, etc.), but has never really changed.

 

Okay, so I have an answer to the persistent question of what I want to do after I graduate. Yay?

 

What do words taste like?

Sure, yay. But there’s a voice in my head (that may or may not be my mother’s, but really is just my fears of failure parading as a dire warning said years ago in a half-hearted attempt for me to change my major to something more useful than English (I settled on Psychology)) saying: words won’t put food on the table. Virginia kindly pointed out that this was bullshit (in nicer words than that, maybe? I don’t remember, it was late), and that I was just scared. And I was, and am.

 

How I imagine the words _United States of America_ taste.

 

It’s terrifying to do what you love with the distinct possibility that you will fail and/or grow to hate it. I don’t want that to happen. But there are a lot of things I don’t want to happen. And there are even more things that I didn’t want to happen that happened anyways. But I somehow always enjoyed (aspects of) the ride, and I wouldn’t go back to change a thing despite the sometimes not so great consequences.

 

So, I guess I’ve added part of an answer to my overall question: what am I going to do when I grow up? Write. Novels specifically. Maybe a novella or two. Maybe some poems, if I learn how not to suck at writing them (or at least how to get past the first stanza (by the way that isn’t self-deprecation, I suck at poetry and I embrace it as character development)). At the same time, I won’t quit my day job (that’s over-used, how about I’ll hedge my bets, nope, that’s no less cliché, do you come here often? (that doesn’t even make sense, Joh)).

 

The thing I always end with

Q&A time (yes, that’s going to continue being a thing). What’s something you wish you’d figured out sooner? My left from my right (actually, I still don’t know (ask the yoga instructor who kindly ignores the fact that I do every third pose backwards)).

 

Left or Right I cant tell