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.
Ah, tax time. It’s the time of year that never fails to remind me I have the organizational skills of a 3-month old golden retriever. You know how most normal, functioning adults have some kind of filing system (I assume)? Probably something involving drawers and files and tabs and labels and other things I don’t own. You want to know what my system is? “Throw Everything In a Box and Promptly Forget About It.”
This usually works for me… except once a year, when the dreaded envelope arrives in the mail, bold type ominously proclaiming, “Federal tax information enclosed.”
Noooooooo! Not my W-2’s! That means I have to drag out The Box and sift through a year’s worth of receipts, bills and other paper miscellanea. It might as well be called Box O’Ambien.
Since my husband handles the tax appointment, a horrifying expedition that literally takes half a work day, the responsibility of getting all those nasty papers together falls to me. As awful as it is, it’s a way lesser evil than sitting in Tax Lady’s house for hours, listening to her conspiracy theories and slowly suffocating from cigarette fumes and dog fur. While doing taxes. That’s what hell is, you know that, right? Okay, maybe not the dog fur part. Because all dogs go to heaven, duh. Everyone knows that.
So I was filling out my 2014-2015 FASFA for grad school (my life is full of fun right now) and realized I needed my 2012 taxes as a reference. To The Box! No taxes. A pile of birthday cards? Check. Grocery receipt from an ice cream run? Check. Empty container with no clues to what it formerly contained (possibly ice cream)? Check plus! This is what I’m talking about, folks. How am I allowed to function in society if this is how I run my life? I’m like a kid who constantly spins around in circles, runs into a wall, then gets up and start spinning again. My entire financial history can be summed up in one word: Derp!
And my husband is worse at this stuff than me, if that’s even possible. How we found each other and what cosmic joke brought our dysfunctional brains together in marriage is something humankind may never know. Instead of balancing each other out, we’re knocking each other down, like a never-ending game of chicken.
My new plan is to place an ad on LinkedIn for a self-loathing, down-on-their-luck and (preferably) desperate accountant-type person to transform our finances into a mecca of organization. I don’t know what that would look like. A really fancy box?
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.
I have woefully neglected my blog this Christmas season. Even my last post was a rerun. What sucks is that I’ve had so many ideas for blog posts but have been too busy to write them down. Which means that my brain is overstuffed, filled to way beyond capacity and due for a meltdown any minute. So really, I’m writing this for my own safety.
I’ve had several people recently compliment me on my writing and tell me how funny they think I am—which is awesome. I love it. It gives me a warm glow similar to taking that first sip of wine. It makes me feel that all my nitpicky editing and agonizing over the perfect word has actually been worth it.
But then I remember how awkward and weird I am in person and that glow quickly turns to paranoia and self-consciousness. I do that thing where you just say words that don’t make sense just so you’re not standing in silence. But then you realize that what you’re saying is gibberish mixed with gobbly-gook and you say even more stupid things. Until your brain is screaming at you to SHUT UP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD but you can’t. So you finally stop talking but then laugh at things that aren’t funny until eventually whoever you’re talking to backs away, smiling nervously and probably blocking you from all social media like a digital restraining order.
It makes me really wish I could just carry around my laptop so that when people talk to me, I’d write the perfect thing to say and then let them read it. And we’d all have a nice, unawkward chuckle because I’m wayyy better in written form than in actual human form.
I think this is why I love fashion and makeup and all that girly stuff so much. Like a magician, I dazzle with my finery so they won’t notice my maniacal jibberjabber. Or people may just think I’m a vacant airhead. Which is a much preferable option than causing them to lock their car doors when they see me in the parking lot, I gotta say.
So my point is, I suppose, that if you ever meet me in person and find yourself wanting to wrap my face in duct tape, don’t worry. I carry an emergency stash just for that purpose. I’ll even help you!
This was supposed to be a non-working blog. A place where I display my wares and walk away, like those kiosks in the mall that sell stuff like soap made with salt from the Dead Sea. Then when you pause for a nano-second, because you have an eyelash in your contact or something, they appear from nowhere with a charming yet purposeful air. “May I help you?”
THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ME. I’m creepy sea salt lady.
But I couldn’t stay away! You know how hard it is for a writer to have an audience at her very fingertips and not write?
I have too much on my mind to not write. Let me take you on a tour through my thoughts. Watch your step, it’s sticky.
I got into grad school and start in August which is like a FEW MONTHS away and I’m freaking out.
I loved college. Loved it. But I also worked part time on the weekends, lived at home, and graduated over ten years ago. My brain has got a lot slower since then, I work full-time, I have a house, a husband, a family… ahhhhh! What was I thinking? How am I going to do this? What if I fail? What if I’m the class dummy? What if everyone gets it but me????
See above re: freaking out.
I’m trying to write a book and I can’t find the time/energy to work on it.
I wanted to finish my book before I went back to school. I had a plan. I was going to write such-and-such words a day—not an unreasonable amount, either. A totally doable amount. But I haven’t done it. I was on fire for a few weeks, then pffft. I wrote a book in a freaking month for NaNoWriMo, so I know it can be done. So what’s my problem? Blaaaaarg.
Lastly, the whole point of this blog was to garner some freelance work.
I’ve garnered exactly two things: 1) A woman asking if there are any job openings at my place of employment (there aren’t) and 2) another woman who wrote to me for marriage advice after reading one of my xojane articles. Do I look like f%^&ing Dear Abby? Go see a marriage counselor!