Tag Archives: personal life

Good Riddance to 2018

To be blunt, 2018 was an exhausting train wreck that I am glad to see the back of.

More than anything, I try to be a positive person for my own sanity and those around me, but this year has tested my resolve. It wasn’t like I had any deaths in my family or any grave illness or anything that was an obvious issue. Bad things don’t always have to be grandiose. They can be quiet and subtle, like a voice whispering to you that you are worthless, your work is worthless, and you will get nowhere.

2018 was the year of crippling doubt and disappointment.

As you might have noticed, I haven’t finished The Wolf Witch despite starting it in 2017. I dove into writing that book before I was ready because I felt I needed to produce something even though I was creatively exhausted. That was a massive mistake that led to a mental spiral that probably could have been prevented had I waited a few months to work on it. Instead I drove myself further into the ground, wrote 50,000 words that needed to be totally rewritten, and wrecked my self-esteem and mental health. I felt horrible about myself. I couldn’t write and my draft was garbage (it truly was; it’s not just me being hard on myself). This led to cycle of not writing, then feeling bad about myself, then not writing even more. Since writing is one of my coping mechanisms, you can see how this went downhill quickly.

Apart from being a writer, I’m also an adjunct English professor, which means that I don’t have predictable work (my semesters can range from 1-4 classes) and I’m constantly applying for jobs that might give me some semblance of stability because I’m living below the poverty line and it sucks. I’ve applied for at least twenty teaching jobs and as many writing/copywriting jobs. Toward the beginning of the fall semester, I heard back from a job I really wanted because it was a way to combine my science and writing background while at the same time providing the financial stability I’ve been craving. After an interview and positive feedback, they decided they didn’t need to hire anyone. To say I was crushed is an understatement.

Somewhere along the way, I lost myself this year. I lost sight of who I am and what I want and what I do. On top of that, Anthony Bourdain’s suicide shook me. I looked up to him as someone I aspired to be like. Much like my other inspirations, Julia Child and Tim Gunn, Bourdain was passionate and well-versed on his subject while still injecting it with humor and an openness that I think is necessary for exploration and innovation. When he killed himself, I was in a low point in terms of how I saw myself, and it freaked me out. If someone as together and passionate and awesome as Anthony Bourdain could lose hope and kill himself, how did others in more precarious situations manage to stay sane? Obviously, I don’t know what demons he was fighting, but my situation felt bleak in my mind and I didn’t know how to get out of it.

But what made that easier was my students. My classes this semester were filled with bright, lovely students who made me look forward to work and reinforced that I’m in the right place doing the right thing. Their drive and kindness took the sting out of rejection and hopelessness. I had two really personable College Writing classes that took as much of an interest in me as I did in them, and those sorts of relationships where you know your students care about you and look forward to your class makes it easier to keep going even when things are difficult outside the classroom. So, thank you, guys. They know who they are and some of them stalk my social media, so I hope they see this and know the impact they made in my life.

Do I wish I received the copywriter job? Hell, yes. But do I feel as awful as I did a few weeks ago? No. My hope is still that I will be able to get a job as a creative writing professor soon and that I will continue to write and publish books as I set out to do. Going forward, I’m going to try to stay focused on my goal of publishing two books in 2019, but if I go off course, I will try to roll with the punches and do my best.

It’s all I can really expect of myself. And in the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve come out of the fog I’ve been fighting all year. I’m hoping I can maintain and progress on my book before the semester starts. All I can do is keep moving forward and doing what I can to make a better life for myself.

Here’s to a less shitty year and the people who make it infinitely better.

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Ten Years

IMG_1362This is coming a little early, but I wanted to write an appreciation post for my best friend and one of my greatest supporters, my boyfriend. Javier and I have been together for ten years. Yes, ten years as of June 20th. We met through a mutual friend when we were thirteen. We both went to the same middle school, and after speaking on instant messenger day in and day out for probably six months, we started going out. Being an only child without a hoard of friends, he was probably the first person I ever really opened up to. IMG_1187 He’s the quiet sort. If he doesn’t know you, he tends to be reserved, but once he’s comfortable, he never shuts up. Of the two of us, he’s the social one, the one who enjoys a night out but is still content to sit and watch Adventure Time with me and the dogs. What I love about him is his unwavering support. No matter what event I’m doing or where I want to drag him, he’s there. If I need a second set of hands or someone to vent with, he’s there. If I need someone to bounce ideas off of, he’s ready to listen even if he has no idea what I’m talking about (which happens quite often). javier knight Both of us are creative people. Javier is an artist while I’m a writer. If you’ve ever been to his Facebook page, he’s a cosplayer, which means he creates costumes after video game or anime characters and wears them to conventions. Recently, he’s won a few convention contests, and I couldn’t be prouder of him. No one I know works as hard on their projects. We act as a second set of eyes for the other, figuring out if a piece is out of scale or if a character’s motives make sense. Even if he sometimes gets down about his work and believes he sucks, I know he is amazing and will go far in the future. It’s the little things that make me love him. The way he is willing me makes me a cup of coffee just the way I like it whenever we’re home together or how he let’s me hug him like a koala when he gets home from work. Other times he drives me crazy. He leaves messes around, forgets to take the dogs out, and likes to hug me after working on his projects and thus coats me in black dremel dust, but he’s my favorite distraction. I know he’d do anything and go anywhere for me, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Here’s to ten more.

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Getting to Know Each Other (Blog Hop)

This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side. We list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s persona we all like to project. But I am human and like everyone else I have dreams, hobbies, problems and goals. I see this as a way to share some of them with you, my readers.

The rules are that I share seven facts about myself, and links to at least fifteen blogs that I enjoy reading. I don’t think I follow that many blogs, and the ones I have are tagged by other authors already, so I will simply fill it out and forgo the tagging.

Seven Facts About Me:

1) I am in graduate school studying creative writing, but I began my undergraduate career as a biology major (added English in the beginning of my junior year).

2) If I could, I would be a hermit.  Honestly, I would rather stay shut up in my house 98% of the time with my books, tv, and dog than go anywhere.  If everything could be delivered to my house, I would never need to leave (apart from class). Continue reading

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