My birthday is in 12.5 days in which I will be turning 29 for the ninth time (37), which is in spitting distance of 40 which is close to death.
What an auspicious way to being an entry, eh? But, I figured it was the right time to sit down and do half-year update. Because interestingly enough I find myself at a cross-roads, one of my own choosing, A decision doesn’t have to be made this second, but, I need to write it out at the very least to sort it out.
Academically, the school year has been amazing. Going to library school has to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I ended the first full year with a overall GPA of 3.88 (B+ in cataloging, of which I proudly wear), I won the Graduate Student Assistant job at the library, which means that my tuition is now paid for AND I have a job manning the reference desk at the graduate library. For one of my classes, I ended up helping design and implement WordPress for a local Detroit museum and will more than likely end up doing my archival practicum there as the archivist loves me. (She’s also pretty awesome as well!) One of my professors has tapped me to work for her company part-time, making really good money, as a web2.0 consultant of sorts which could possibly land me as a full-time gig when I graduate if it works out. I won a scholarship and am also being pushed to fine tune some of my student papers to publishing worth materials and submitting them to appropriate journals.
Several of my classmates and I are founding a new student organization (a student chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild) and I’ve been tapped to take over presidential responsibilities of the local student chapter of ASIS&T. I’ve also been blogging over at Tech-Ink: A Librarian Collective about digital issues. I’m also the communications chair for the Graduate Student Union in my spare time.
Academically and professionally, everything is starting to fall into place.
Personally, things have been going on a more even keel. Lily and Pugsley (of ThePugKids) were surrendered to Ohio Pug Rescue when their temporary foster home fell through and I couldn’t take them with me nor could I find them a place temporarily until I could move into a place that would take more than one pet. This was heartbreaking for me, but, it was the right decision as their happiness and stability was my utmost concern over my own selfish need to make sure I kept alll three of the pug kids together.
I still have Wednesday (who has her own Twitter account) and not once has she shown any signs of abandonment by her siblings and seems pretty happy being the only pug in the household. I’ve ditched caging her at night (like I used to do when I had all three) and she sleeps with me on pillow mountain and has also taken it upon herself to wake me up every morning between 7-8am. Justin has taken a deep liking to her because “she’s lazy and I can respect that” but other than that, she turns 9 in July and she is still as cantankerous as ever. I love her even more so.
Life in Royal Oak has turned out to be pretty good to me and I’ve met a lot of awesome people. One of my girlfriends and I have started meeting every Tuesday for knitting night (and yet I’m still no closer to finishing any of my projects) and I hang out with a few other people as well. Most of the time though I spend at home solo as this past semester was really academically stimulating and I now love nothing more than doing nothing.
Justin and I are still going at it pretty strong as he’s been out to see me several times since I’ve moved for extended periods. It helps that he telecommutes for his job so he’s been able to work from the apartment while I go about my merry little way. The apartment is a little over 600sqft which is fine for one person and a pug but when he moves in in July, it will be a bit cramped. Graduation is set forth for end of August or December of 2010 depending on how I get those final classes laid out. And after that? Who knows? Justin and I have a zillion different life styles planned out for us that take us from living in a small English village to a condo in Chicago. Trips are being planned for far off exotic locales such as Florida (well, Key West) and beyond during our vacation times. A proposal and a wedding are sure to follow at some point. I just don’t know when. So over all, life is good.
I’m finding my way around Detroit and I’m fairly comfortable with the city. There are some parts, architecturally, that are so beautiful that it is heartbreaking and simultaneously so desolated and run down, it is also equally heartbreaking. I haven’t done as much exploring as I would have liked, considering that we’ve had such a rough and long winter (snows until end of April) that the idea of exploring just wasn’t palpable. But now that the glorious spring days are here, I’m totally up for it. I do miss watching my daffodils sprout and strut at Wilcox Park the beginning of every spring.
The cross-roads is that last summer I started a writing project of which I only completed one piece of flash fiction, submitted it to several websites for consideration only to find that the databases took a dump shortly after I did the submission and thus lost my work. By the time I found out, I was gutted and also too busy to re-submit and start over. So that project was shelved for the time being. Justin has always been my biggest supporter when it came to my writing and while he’s not the first person to suggest I could make a living at it, he’s been the most vocal and the most pushy about it.
For Single Awarness Day this year the only thing he wanted from me was a short story of which I never wrote. I had ideas™ but nothing ever really came to fruition. Lately, more so then ever, I’ve become envious of people I know who are living the writerly life. It seems that I keep running into people or meeting them digitally who create these fantastic worlds around their writing and the tentacles of their work stretch far and wide. Writing was always the one thing I thought I was quite good at, something I really, really wanted to do and it seems however that the more involved I become with this new profession of mine, the more intense and time-suckage it becomes, the least likely I’ll make a living as a writer – and not just a writer, but an author.
So even though I’m heading on this really great career path that I’m passionate about, there is still this niggling feeling that I need to stop absorbing other people’s work and create my own. This is not to say that I want to give up doing what I’m doing – not by a long shot, but I really need to figure out how how to make the two worlds converge. Lessening up my activity on Twitter might be a good start as well as starting to plot out what it is I want to write. Justin has always said that I could be a really great writer if I start actually writing again, doing something more than dropping non-sequitors in Twitter or writing provocative posts on my blog or other places. The talent is there but it’s waning and it needs to be fed.
I met a friend of mine for breakfast meeting the other day and as it usually is with me, we ended up spending 3.5 hours talking about everything. We both remarked that the tables around us have all turned over at least thrice since we sat down and the lunch crowd was starting to thin out. Much of what I told her about my life seemed incredulous such as the ex-highschool boyfriend who stalked me from Facebook last winter or the reigniting of the relationship with Justin again. Even I admitted wholeheartedly that if I didn’t know it was true myself (and had blog posts, friends and other methods of documentation at hand to prove it), I would have thought I was a total bullshitter. Katishna has always said that I don’t create the drama but that drama followed me where I went.
My life, in a lot of ways, is pretty extraordinary in a Lifetime movie kind of way. Cathrynne wrote of much of what I was feeling recently, about the confessional side of writing. Since 1996, I’ve been pouring out my heart and soul, laying bare everything that I was for the world to see and not giving a damn who saw it. Age, perhaps, has dampened that need for dissipation of the soul. There are some horrors in my life that I’m not sure I want to revisit quite so soon.
The relationship fall-out with TheEx, for example, still reverberates in ways I never expected. Steph, my expert on all things with crazy men, said that it’s almost impossible to think I would be completely healed in such a short amount of time considering the intensity and brevity of the relationship itself. I know she’s right, but me being me wants the fall-out to be over.
Before the winter semester ended, I spoke to one of my professors about going on for my PhD (which she does fully support) but I was worried that I would not bring anything new to the table of research. The best advice she gave was that one can always bring something new to the table, even in academia when it looks like everything has been researched to death, one can always bring a new or fresh perspective on an issue. I think writing is a lot like that – the basics of writing have been done to death, we know this. It’s the original voices and their perspectives that make all the difference. I admire a lot of writers in a variety of genres, so I know it’s possible to do this. I just now have to figure out how and that will start with the short story for Justin, because he asked.