Well, you guys, a lot has happened since I last posted. The first and most important (to me, anyway) is my decision to discontinue grad school.
I feel many things as a result of this decision: disappointment, guilt, anger, frustration… but the overarching emotion is relief. When I say I had no free time between work and grad school, I literally mean I had literally zero minutes free to myself. Literally.
It was awful, stressful and—ultimately—not worth it.
As much as I enjoyed the classes and material, the work involved was just too much with my already stressful job. Although writing about bras and panties may seem like a cakewalk (I assume this is a sidewalk made of cake, yes?) think of it this way: I work in the marketing department for one of the biggest brands in the world. For those who don’t know/care what marketing is, let me sum it up in one sentence. My department is responsible for making sure ladies keep buying the aforementioned bras and panties. Millions of dollars are spent enticing ladies to spend their dollars on our sexy wares.
In short, it’s stressful as hell.
So. Yeah. Grad school had to go bye-bye.
But, as someone who always has to be doing something (ADD, anyone?) I had to figure out what my next goal should be. So I’ve decided to focus on my freelance writing career. Again.
This means (for me) pitching ideas to magazines and online publications, as well as finallyyyyyy finishing my book.
The problem with this plan is that while grad school was super-stressful, at least it had established deadlines. Because, believe it or not, I am not the best at self-motivation.
I apologize for your broken jaw, as I’m sure the velocity at which your jaw hit the floor after reading that statement was quite jarring.
So I need y’all to motivate me. Just constantly be like, “How’s your book coming?” and “So, have you been published yet?” or “I’ve been looking for your book on Kindle. What do you do all day, anyway?”
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: you may get punched in the throat. But you will motivate me to stop watching reruns of The Simpsons and write. So really, everyone wins.
I decided to take a break from grad school for the summer, so I’m all yours until August, when I start back up again.
I’ve really enjoyed my time off so far: soaking up the sun, reading a lot of books, going to the gym (for most people, that’s not “fun,” but I’m kind of a weirdo, in case you haven’t noticed), enjoying a nice glass of wine after work instead of the usual “coffee and a crap-ton of homework.”
My goal before August is to work on my own writing, instead of grad school papers. I’m so sick of APA style, you don’t even know. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW. References, citations, the whole lot of ‘em. Awful. I’m a creative writer, dammit.
So I’m temporarily back on my blog. I’ve missed you guys! I hope you’ve missed me… ? Tell me this isn’t one of those one-sided relationships. Am I the clingy girlfriend? Is this blog like my way of calling and hanging up when you answer and driving past your house? Is it?
Alas, the siren song of grad school has once again lured me into the comfort of its academic bosom. Did I say comfort? I meant “stranglehold.”
Nonetheless, going back to school and also working full time means I have to give up a few things, like sleep and seeing my family. I read through my first week of assignments in preparation, and as a final farewell I invite you into the out-of-control train that was my thought process upon reading it:
“Wow, that’s a lot of reading.”
“This is all for one week?”
“Ugh, I forgot that writing papers means like, research and stuff.”
“Citing references? Ughhhhh.”
“AND use outside resources besides my textbook? What do I look like, a journalist? I’m a creative writer.”
“Well, at least I use APA style at work… the bibliography has to be in APA style, too?! Dammit.”
“WHY DIDN’T I DO GRAD SCHOOL IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING UNDERGRAD? Past Jessie was the worst person ever.”
“How am I still hungry when I just ate a donut?”
“I really should have gone to the gym today.”
From there my thoughts slowed down in confusion until they screeched to a halt completely. Probably some kind of defense mechanism. My brain, slowly turning to mush on my long sabbatical from school, just had a lot of words to compute. And words are hard. Yes, I’m a writer, why do you ask?
I’d love to tell you that I’ll be back on my break, but I’m afraid that would be like telling your ex-coworker you’re totally going to keep in touch. It probably won’t happen. But I’ll call you, okay? (I’m not going to call you.)
It’s that time of year, folks. Everywhere you look, there’s a list of the Best Such-and-Such of 2013. Well, I thought I’d change things up by making a list of all the mundane non-events in my life this year. So who wants to read the most boring, narcissistic list of 2013? No one? Okay, let’s get to it!
1. I have not finished editing my book
I’ve said for two years now I’ve needed to edit my book. And guess what? I haven’t! In fact, I barely looked at it in 2013. Right now it’s sitting on my flash drive, eating nachos and contributing nothing to the household. Get a job!
2. I haven’t found paid freelance work
I started this blog in order to gain some followers/admirers/people who will throw money at me. So far? I’ve got nothing. Zero. Bupkes. I even pimped out my LinkedIn account, you guys. Pimped. It. Out. Still nada. Of course I haven’t exactly been pitching any ideas to anyone, either. In fact, I haven’t put any effort into it other than bitching about the lack of jobs, really. But shouldn’t that count for something?
3. I started grad school, only to take a break after completing one class
I took one graduate class at Franklin University. (Just a side note that their abbreviation is FU. Ha!) I decided to switch to online classes since driving to campus every week was too much and the next class doesn’t start until February. So, to recap: I took one class from the end of August to mid-September then took a break for about 4 months. Because my thinkin’ parts hurt.
But I did get an A- in my first college class in twelve years, so that’s an accomplishment, anyway. But this post is not about accomplishments, so let’s move on.
You know how sometimes retro things are good? The Poconos is not one of those things. If I had to choose one word to describe the Poconos it would be swingerish. The whole place stank (figuratively and literally) of swingers. Not sexy swingers. Droopy, elderly swingers.
The carpet in our room had clearly not been updated since the 1980’s and smelled like mildew and regret. The round-shaped bed sat on a raised platform and featured a mirror on the ceiling, because of course it did. Oh, and at night, with a flick of a switch the mirror twinkled with tiny lights that (I guess?) were supposed to be stars.
The “romance” extended into the bathroom with a red, heart-shaped Jacuzzi tub. But what really made the bathroom extra special was the utilitarian tile, grade-school-sized toilet (visible from the tub for added sexiness!) and astoundingly unflattering fluorescent lighting.
Oh, but they saved the best for last, those saucy Poconosians! If you (somehow) tired of the dingy bathroom, a magical door led you into a room with a tiny swimming pool that was too small to actually swim in. Not that it’s meant for swimming (insert bawdy wink). Now get in there for some kinky water aerobics, you crazy kids! That’s if you don’t gag on the chlorine smell first. Or become disoriented by the inexplicable Roman bath mural on the wall.
And when you left the room (although why would you want to, amIright?) the staff was ready to assist you in any way by being rude, abrasive, and downright incompetent. The first night of our romantic getaway we arrived at 8p.m. and the dining room was closed. At 8p.m. But surely there was room service available, for couples who couldn’t bear to leave their Den of Venereal Disease, right?
No. No room service. We asked the staggeringly unhelpful man in a sequin vest what we could do for food, seeing as how we just drove 8 hours only to be turned away by a man in a sequin vest.
He suggested the closest town, which was (he said) 10 minutes away. THIRTY MINUTES later, we were still driving in the middle of nowhere. We ended up going through the drive through at McDonald’s for our first romantic dinner together on our anniversary. And that was probably the best meal we ate while in the Poconos.
The one ray of sunshine in that ill-advised trip was the revelation that if my husband and I could still have fun in a sticky shrine to the seventies, we’re clearly the perfect couple. Or swingers.