Splitting the Seams

Month: August, 2014

On Being a Writer, Full-Time Student, and a Full-Time Worker

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School starts in just 4 days. I have all 9 of my books for my three classes. Being an English major, I expect to be reading and writing an awful lot, so much so that I probably will be the grouchiest this semester and have absolutely not social life or money. I may as well stock up on the ramen right now, but only the good stuff, the big packs of it from H-mart. Sake too. Lord knows I’ll be needing some of that sweet peach sake to get me through some of the longer night, and I’ll definitely need to invest in some kind of coffee machine that makes good coffee for the early morning I’m going to be having. I’ve got my back pack all nice and packed, my laptop is behaving again, and I’m spending my last few days of freedom with my boyfriend, his friends, and some of my own friends. I’m sure in a lot of ways this semester is going to be really great, and I’m sure it’s also going to really suck, but hey, it’s just another stepping stone to getting my bachelors and masters degrees. More debt in my wallet instead of money. Yippie!

Now my problem is this: all summer all I wanted to do was right. However, I work best in places like libraries, which, unfortunately, happen to be the places that tend to be closed when I’m available. I might also work well in an office area with a nice clean desk and no distractions, but unfortunately I work at a cafe and my room is almost always a mess because, let’s face it, I’ve degraded into a 13 year old who never makes her bed and leaves clothes and food on her floor due to laziness and boredom. I’ve become a slob. As I write, I can look over to my left and see my trash can overflowing, two cups of devours cappuccinos lying beside the base of the trash, and a bag carrying an old box of Wahoo’s burritos about 3 feet from it cause there was no space in the trash and no space around the trash either. I really need to dump my trash. 

My point is that I’ve had enough free time to be writing, but I’ve lost my determination and I’ve had trouble being able to focus. Clutter makes me unfocused and, unfortunately, so does heat. It’s summer in Southern California, and that means that for the last month the temperature has been around the high 80s/ low 90s. I work best in life and in writing when it’s somewhere between the low 50s and nothing past 70 degrees. I really do need to move North. I’m sure right now it seems like I’m making excuses, and it’s quite possible that I might be. The thing is that I’ve had 2.5 months to write, to work on my novel, my poems, and I haven’t gotten much done. I can blame it on the weather, on my work schedule, on my lack of cleanliness, to the fact that my computers love to not work when I need them most, but it really all boils down to me.

If I had my choice of career and I didn’t have to worry at all about money, I would choose writing. If I could choose where I wrote, I would choose in a small house with two rooms–one office, one bedroom–that way my clutter is kept away from my work space, and it would probably be somewhere cold where I can bundle myself up in sweaters and sweatpants and fuzzy socks and knitted blankets with cups of coffee or tea lattes nestled in my cold little hand. Perhaps the lack of clutter frees up my mind to create; maybe the low temperatures stimulate my mind more–I know for a fact when I’m sleepy and can’t sleep that my mind overflows with stories, with words; and if I got a steady sort of income, and one of comfort too where I wouldn’t be stressing about money so much, then I wouldn’t have to worry about going to bed at a particular hour or sleeping in late because time would no longer be a factor. 

These conditions would be ideal for writing, but these are not the conditions that I have. I have the opposite of these, and to top it off I also have a loaded work schedule–and the one dollar pay raise helps, but somehow I’m still lacking in funds because this breaks down along with that and all at once and it drains my bank account and then I have to start saving all over again, ever poor–a loaded class schedule, chores to get done at home, keeping my room’s mess at bay for ample study and writing focus, no sleep, no money for coffee, laziness that accompanies the lack of sleep and fitness due to lack of time, lack of time due to school and work and having a boyfriend and chores to keep up with, etc. 

I always feel like the world is against me, that there are so many other people so much more capable than I am and they’re doing it all. Most of them tend to be single or have a very understanding and supportive partner, but I haven’t got either. I haven’t got anything, and yet I have too much. It’s a difficult situation to explain. I really just want to move North and start all over. Writing while having a job and classes is tough. I’m determined to do it, even if I’m not writing my novel–though that is my focus–because writing is writing. I’m writing right here, right now, and for the last few days I’ve had poems pop into my head and I’ve been lucky enough to have had a pen and a piece of paper around to record them or enough quietness to recite them over and over so I don’t forget them. I am cursed, and I am blessed.

I am a writer. 

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Why You Should Always Have At Least Two Dreams In Life

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Everybody has dreams. We might not have them right away, sometimes they take a long time to develop, but everyone eventually chooses a path to follow. And I’m not talking about night time dreams either. I’m talking about desires, goals, things that will fulfill you in life, things to mark off of your bucket list (and I’ll be writing my bucket list pretty soon). In the last article, I talked about my new goals and dreams that I’d like to achieve someday. I also know that it is going to take a long, long time and probably put me in debt once or twice in order to get those dreams cause, let’s face it, nothing in this world is truly free anymore.

This article will be shorter than the last few because it’s very simple. Some people want love in their life. For some, Love is the goal, the dream. For others, their career is their dreams. My dream growing up used to be Love. I wanted to receive love and I wanted to give back love. As time went on, I realized that no matter how much love I gave to anyone, I wasn’t really getting the same kind of love back. Then I had my first boyfriend and I gave him everything I had, I loved him unconditionally to the greatest extent. He might have had the best love that I could ever give, and I say that because after we broke up–for the right reasons–I lost that dream of love. I wondered to myself, why is it that I give all of myself, every little piece so carelessly to these people who take it for granted, and yet I never seem to receive that same kind of love, even if I put it out there? There was always that saying, “what comes around goes around,” and yet I saw so many people in life who were not very good people, who did bad things, and yet they somehow got the easy life, everything paid for, love accomplished, and what seemed to be an undying love at that. How was it that I–who put so much of myself out there–got nothing back for it when all these people faked their way through and got everything they wanted? It had always boggled me. My dream was crushed and I didn’t want to dream it again.

But then I fell in love just one more time. I gave Love just one more chance. Love failed me yet again. Once more I put my whole being on the line and was punished for it. It took two years of pain and fighting with myself, but I finally gave up on the dream of Love. Instead, I did start focusing on my career, the job I already had, my writing, my school work–all the things that never really seemed very important because Love conquered them all. Now, I’m still with my second boyfriend who broke my dream of love a second time, but I think I got it figured out.

Besides love, the other goal in my life was to become an independent woman. I wanted this before I knew what it was. I wanted to be like Pocahontas, flying through the trees, rushing down the river, carving my own path; I wanted to be like Belle, smart, risk-taking, kind, curious. They were two of the most independent woman I had seen when I was a kid and are still, to this day, my leading Disney role models. For so long I was chasing after Love that I forgot about Independence. It’s not as if the two can’t go hand in hand, because they very well can, but somewhere along the way I wanted to be in love with someone who I could also depend upon with everything. I got smart as I got my heart broken and realized that no man would ever be as dependable as the man in my head. So here’s the verdict I came to: have two dreams. The goals can still be the same, or they can be different, but the path chosen is definitely going to different.

I, for instance, want to be a teacher/ writer/ editor/ coffee shop owner someday. My two dreams are the same, but in one dream I am completely independent, happy to be alone and on my own, unafraid to enter into a relationship, but not depending in any way on any one person who I considered to be my partner. Dreams number two is the same, but this time with someone who actually wants to share their life with me, their experience, their dreams. Having a partner in life would be amazing, but if I can’t find the right partner, then I don’t want to have to settle. The paths can intervene at any moment depending on who you meet and the choices that you make, even outside influences like the choices that someone else might make. This way, if you have two dreams–one where you’re happy with someone and one where you’re happy without–then how can you never not be happy if both dreams could  be what you ultimately want?