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“life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints”

i thought i wanted to write a “year in review” post, catalog my triumphs and foibles – and i’ve had an even share of both. but, eso si que es, c’est la vie, et cetera…

i’ve extrapolated about the major things and mentioned the minors. i am actively thinking (😉) of the quickly approaching year, but… as i lie in the tub with a glass of wine – pre-gaming for my coquitos – and listen to “inútil” (“useless”) from the in the heights original broadway cast recording, i’ve decided to simply to lay this year to rest.

had some first. some lasts. met people who have forever changed my life just by touching it. let go of others and am grateful for the consistent ones. if anything, i’m proud to say this year i left it all on the mat.

this was my arc of character development. 2k16 will be all plot and action.

one last thing –


can the universe send me whoever exists who is as similar in every possible aspect to lin-manuel miranda – except let them be single?

kthxbye.

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on doubt, inspiration, and doing better.

writing has been…slow going. ever since graduation, all those stories that had been bubbling up and demanding attention i couldn’t give them have kind of disapated. i mean, there’s been one, two ticking about but not anything terribly urgent. back in 2012, i wrote a novel in five months. granted, it’s been in editing since then but it was that story. it begged to be written. i even got a tattoo to commemorate it.

  (a red ace – not a heart)

a few weeks ago, my mind traveled back to that original story. what do i do with it? is it the same story i want to tell? what do i want to keep? change? (hey, if stephenie meyer can genderbend twilight, why can’t i?) can i make it better? can i do better?

concurrently, nikki lorenzo’s a capella mash-up of nina simone’s and the beatles’ “blackbird”s keeps springing up in the back of my thoughts. especially the juxtaposition of the lyrics “why you wanna fly / blackbird / you ain’t ever gonna fly / so blackbird fly”. a few posts back, i called it the musical embodiment of doubt, a feeling i’m well-versed with. the song was brought back to mind when an overly talkative customer told me not to listen to doubt. i responded that doubt can be a good thing because it helps me solidify what i’m doing. if i question myself, i give pause to make sure i’m doing something for the right reasons.

to further drive things home, i have been obsessed with lin-manuel miranda’s broadway musical hamilton. the act i finale song “non-stop” has the line “how do you write like you’re running out of time / how do you write like you need it to survive / how do you write every second you’re alive”, which is, like, damn. yaaas, how do i get on that level? how do i match alexander hamilton’s zeal for the written word?

i realized it’s not just the musical i’m fascinated with. it’s the playright/composer/lyricst/actor miranda. he took a book he saw as vacation reading and made it a sold-out, acclaimed musical breaking records and boundaries. how fucking mind-blowing is that? everyone i talk to cannot escape my telling them to look into hamilton. people i work with, friends, family members… everyone. it feels like not only a catalyst but a bookend of an era, really.

about ten years ago, i watched the film thirteen, co-written by nikki reed. as an out of sorts teenager, i didn’t know what the hell writing meant to me. i knew i loved reading and was interested in telling my own stories. i knew i was excelling  in my english/language arts classes and i never complained about the papers we’d get assigned. ever. but what the hell did i, as a fourteen year old girl, have to offer to the world? what the hell kind of story could i tell?

and then i watched thirteen. and saw what the film did, the conversations it opened. yet for me…i received confirmation. what i feel and what i think is completely valid and my age doesn’t discredit any of it. if there is one person i give credit to for why i took my writing seriously – it’s nikki reed.

and now i’ve got lin-manuel miranda (and by proxy, the ten dollar founding father without a father, alexander hamilton). and with twenty-five finally in full effect, it’s time i take myself seriously. what’s the point of doubt if i don’t put it to work? know better, do better, right?

now that i’m officially finished with college (i got my bachelor’s of arts in the mail this past week), i am a full-fledged adult. like, i know i have been for years but now i feel like it…? well, at least now i can fully enjoy my twenties. who cares that it’s half over.

time to take advantage of the next five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes and then some.

   

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what’s the story, morning glory?

i have carry-on luggage that is very black lodge, cheap coffee that cost three bucks, and a window seat. hamilton plays in my ears because i’m not too apt to cry to adele in front of a bunch of strangers on this plane, okay.

flying for the first time in a few years – and the first time myself – is whelming (ya know, not exactly overwhelming but almost). but it’s about time i start enjoying my twenties. it’s half over anyway.

it’s almost wheels up. cheers!

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wait for it…

i quit my job. 

okay, well. i gave my two weeks notice. i am still firmly at my first two jobs, but the third job, the only i got offered right after graduation…

everyone is talking about worth. the media, my eloquent as hell friends, my mom and i often have conversations about discovering our worth. and in knowing my own worth, i know i am not the right fit at that third job. 

i was hired because i’m good at writing grants – and i am – but i don’t write grants all day, everyday. i hold up a counter (and joke with customers saying i get paid to drink coffee and appreciate art). i do more, i did do more. inventory, customer service, and all that, which started to become monotonous…? and then yesterday i was told i “lack initiative”. ironic given that this past weekend i was frustrated because the girls at one of my other jobs do the bare minimum. they lack initiative. 

i have a strong work ethic. i pride myself in working hard so to be told the contrary? well, that stung. but when my supervisor sat me down and said “things just aren’t working” in that fix it or get fired way, something in me received confirmation. the massive anxiety i’ve been feeling for the past month hasn’t been unwarranted. 

i’m not enough.

i’m careful to not say “good enough” or “doing enough”. i am good enough. i’m intelligent, pretty damn great with customers, a quick study, and i do have initiative. plenty of it. if those qualities aren’t being recognized, then i’m obviously not the right person. i am not enough – for this job.

it took me a moment to figure out what i wanted to do. do i keep working there even though i would end up miserable (because, ya know, self-fulfilling prophecy and all that)? if i leave, where do i go? i do still have bills to pay because, ya know, in debt college grad. i couldn’t just leave and figure these things out afterwards.

i’m on the cusp of 25. i’m allowed to leave a job that isn’t utilizing my potential. i’m allowed to remove myself from an environment that isn’t going to benefit me. time is money and in this case i’m not a worthwhile investment for them and vice versa.

this isn’t me getting my feelings hurt and retaliating. however, this is personal. not against them, but for me. what i thought was an opportunity to further my career in the arts turned out out to not be. not really. but more than that.

art isn’t enough. art is my be all, end all. it’s why i get up in the morning and what keeps me awake at night. to quote scandal, art is “my hallelujah, heroin, and reason to breathe.” my job meant i got work for (another) art focused non-profit. it’s art…but it’s retail. i loved it for a while but i need more.

and already i’ve gotten the passive aggression. when i say i’m picking up hours at my first job, i get the “oh, you should be looking for another job where you can write grants all the time…” as if i’m taking two steps forward, one somersault back. but the thing about knowing your path is knowing you can’t tell everyone, despite what they assume.

to quote the song “wait for it” from lin-manuel miranda’s hamilton: 

life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints. it takes and it takes and it takes. we keep living anyway. we rise and we fall and we break and we make our mistakes. and if there’s a reason i’m still alive when so many have died, then i’m willing to wait for it…