What’s Up With You?

I expected my graduation (June 2016) to bring a rush of relief and new-found invigoration to my life.

Instead I wallowed. The last class finished and I had a nerve-wracking week where not passing was a real threat looming over my life. But I passed. I have my diploma, I can put Drexel University on my resume (despite having never set foot on campus).

And while I thought I would suddenly have free time, I’ve been just as stressed as ever. The job search is leading nowhere, I can’t seem to keep up with things at home, I’m exhausted, I started working out regularly (which sucks up a lot of time and makes me feel like trash), and I’m still working two jobs.

And I miss writing so much.

I have a dedicated writers’ group which gives me some much-needed fiction time and also a low-key social outlet. Unfortunately, life has gotten in the way of many meetings.

And that just seems to be the theme here: life gets me down, I get exhausted, I put off the things I enjoy in an order to siphon energy to the things you need to do. I’m not going to use Spoonie terminology because none of this is from a chronic illness, but the analogy of  “just not enough” is resonating with me. And maybe it’s depression but if it is it feels so different from the other times I can’t recognize it as such.

I’ve got some good shit coming up though. This week I’m traveling to NYC to see Hamilton; early in November I’m going to Germany and Iceland! So there’s stuff to look forward too, even though a jam packed schedule gives me some anxiety. I’ll sleep eventually!

But there should be some blog posts forthcoming. I’ve done a fair amount of travel in 2016- a lot more than in previous years. I’ve hit up Myrtle Beach and Atlanta in addition to the upcoming trips. I plan to do little write-ups about those places in what I hope is the not too distant future, though admittedly everything may have to wait until Mid-November when I’m back from Europe.

But here I am, I’m alive, this blog is not truly abandon, stay tuned for updates!

 

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2016 No Buy

I started a free trial with You Need a Budget today.

Hate the site, by the way. Hours and I still can’t figure out stuff that should be basic. I need a good budgeting tool and I want something with visuals. Recommend any if you have them.

To the point: After linking all accounts I did finally have a big picture. And that big picture is Not Good.

I don’t live paycheck to paycheck, I live entirely on credit. There are some underlying causes behind that, things that will be addressed entirely in my personal life. But there are things that I can do to help this situation, other than pray for a good tax return.

2016 is going to be my “no buy” year. No clothes, no makeup, no shoes, no books. No alcohol (*gulp*). I should put “prepared coffee” on this list but I am Only Human. There is only so much I can do!

Exceptions: I have a $30 credit at ModCloth I can put towards something, and if I run out of an essential item I’ll need to replace that (like if the washer eats all my black socks again), and I can buy whatever if I need it for a gift (I don’t do a ton of gifting). I only shop at H&M when I have a bag full of stuff to donate to their Conscious campaign for 15% off- I had one right before the new year so it will probably be awhile before I get another, but I think I’d allow that.

If people want to buy me drinks, I can certainly accept them. Oh god can I accept them (send me wine). If someone asks me to bring something to a dinner, I can count that as a gift. If we go to visit my parents I have to buy alcohol or else I end up drinking Franzia that’s been poured into a Sutter Home bottle and JFC I still want my life to be worth living.

So what can I blog about?

Well, Blogging for Books and the library are still viable options for acquiring books. I usually get at least one makeup product for my birthday that I can review but even if I don’t I have an incredible backlog!

I’ve been working on cleaning out, paring down, and getting out of debt- those are potential topics.

I have 3 cats now, who are full of shenanigans.

I hate writing about writing but if I make noteworthy progress it could be a post of two.

Pop culture continues to delight and confound, who knows what 2016 will bring there?

I’m graduating in May and hopefully rising up in the professional world- that should be an experience!

I can do some city reviews- nothing too exotic but I’m visiting for friends and traveling for conferences a couple times this year (another reason to save money) and should encounter some fun things.

Who knows! 2015 was all about gaining my footing, so 2016 is the year I begin the climb.

cvfd5r

I thought I’d let the cat title this one. And by “let” I mean “she walked across the keyboard and I didn’t have a better title in mind so hey, whatevs.”

This is the 2016 resolution/goal post no one asked for. But since I do better when I write things down and I’m generating content for this thing at an embarrassing pace, why not put it here?

  • Graduate in May: I’ll be getting my MLIS in 2016 if it kills me, but if I keep my grades up I can finish in May (technically the graduation date is in June, but classes end in May)
  • Apply for better jobs: I still love my job, but I’m overqualified now and will be extremely overqualified once I have the degree. I’ve already gotten a great start on this one: I did 4 applications over Christmas and have two completed cover letters that just need some reference confirmation before submitting. Hopefully I actually get a new job in 2016, but that’s not something I can control. I can control the application process.
  • Read 12 books: That’s one a month for 2016. Far from my lofty “read 100 books” goal of 2012, 12 books seems really reasonable given that it’s what I managed this past year (barely) as a year-round student.
  • Have at least one short story prepped and ready for submission: While I’ve started work on this one, I haven’t gotten it polished nearly enough. My goal this year is not to get published or even to have multiple submissions. It’s simply to finally put one piece out there. Expect more ambitious goals on this front in 2017!
  • Declutter: We’re moving this year. We don’t know where or exactly when, just that it’s going to be happening. We carried all this stuff up 3 flights of stairs and I don’t want to carry it down. Time to do a deep purge.
  • Eat better/exercise more: No fancy goals here. I don’t have to get it perfect I just have to do better than 2015. The bar is low, folks!
  • Finish a novel draft: Just a draft. No editing, no submitting, just putting enough words on paper to tell a long-form story with a beginning, middle, and end.

And that’s the long of it! Hope everyone has some great goals for this year. I’m ready to completely fuck mine up. Here’s to a glorious 2016

Where the Peace Ends and Life Begins

I spend a lot of time in my car these days.

Not driving. I’ve cut that down to the bare minimum. My near-monthly trips to NY/PA have evaporated, bridesmaid-related travel has come to a close, and my weekend plans are almost exclusively related to staying home and doing homework.

I’m a Folklorist, at least in spirit (since that degree endeavor failed). Liminality is a big thing in the field- it’s that space between spaces, when you’re walking down that aisle at a graduation or your wedding, when you’re waiting to give birth, when you’re not quite in but you haven’t jumped out yet. It’s such a frightening and momentous space to occupy that we’ve developed traditions and rituals to celebrate and ease the transition.

I’ve carved out this liminal space in the driver’s seat of my mint green ’05 Corolla. It is in this seat that I exist between two worlds, the working girl I am from 9-5, and the homemaker I am whenever I’m inside the walls of my apartment. And lately I can’t bring myself to open that car door and ascend the steps to the place I pay to live in because I’m not ready to face that part of the day. I’m not ready to talk to Manbeast, to deal with the cats, to be faced with the household responsibilities that fall on my shoulders, to do homework.

And in my car, in that liminal space, I can’t. I can’t do dishes, can’t write a paper, there’s no one to talk to and there parked under our carport are the only ten minutes of the day when  I don’t feel stressed and harried and upset.

Is it depression? It damn well could be, but if it is it feels so differently from the other bouts I’ve experienced that I cannot identify it. All I know anymore is that life in my car is so much easier to handle then life outside of my car.

 

What She Order? Crippling Self-Doubt and a Hailstorm of Deadlines! (That Shit Cray)

Oh Kanye, I take comfort in knowing I’m not the worst thing to happen to you- I’ve seen your fashion line. And I’m not apologizing to Jay-Z either, dude’s married to Beyonce, some lyrical butchering in a blog title is nothing.

So, where we at?

Finals for my second term of grad school have just begin. Last term they were cumulative projects, this term they are (both) specific take-home exams that I have a week to complete.

I am applying for a fancy new job. I love current job and in the grand scheme of things I am not actively job searching- however this is an opportunity to really advance myself and I can’t pass on it. There is not a hard deadline for applications, but I want to have my cover letter finished and polished by this weekend so that I can send my documents out into the world and stop stressing about it stress about it in a completely different fashion. Fortunately my resume is up-to-date from applying to grad school! I take comfort in knowing that if I don’t get the job I could continue to come to my current job and fulfill my tasks happily (if not without some disappointment) but new job is in a geographic location Manbeast and I both prefer and closer to some very important people to us.

Our lease ends at the end of April. The job I am applying for is in a different state and wouldn’t start til June/July. We didn’t really want to stay at our own place. One option is to move back in with my parents for a few months- they are in the process of moving themselves. Another is to start looking for a new place and hope we find out if I’m a finalist/have the position sooner rather than later. Or we can ask to extend our lease a few months, though we suspect that might go over better if we say “extend while I wait on this job, and if I don’t get it we will renew.” But do we really want to renew? We certainly don’t want to freeze and be poor again all winter! I know home ownership is fraught with its own set of challenges, issues, and expenses, but I truly want to be in a place where I don’t have to deal with the panic and worry of “do we want a new place and what happens if we can’t find an acceptable one by the time we need it?”

I’m poor. I’m maid of honor at my friend’s wedding in October, our electric bill is absurd (we have electric heat and utilities, and the power company our apartment uses raised rates by 40% for the winter). I don’t have the money to throw at things to review, even though there are a ton of items I want to try. I’ve been signing up for programs that offer samples for reviews, but outside of Blogging for Books haven’t had much success. I have a really small audience here, and while I’m trying to expand it brands just don’t seem that interested in helping a start-up. Of course, our electric rates should drop at the end of the month, and we’ll be able to turn our heat off, and that should make an incredible difference in our finances and open up the possibility to me purchasing some items for review! I also have some leftovers from Christmas (ugggh) that I can talk about, but surviving finals is hands down my primary goal right now. If you want to send me something, please contact me at irreverent.internet (at) gmail!

I like this blog and love writing in it, and I don’t like going long stretches without posting, but it looks like life’s going. Please send good thoughts my way for finals and this job (and figuring out our living situation!).

Little Topiaries

“There’s a sale, so I have to buy stuff quick.”

“We have no money.”

“It’s for the blog, I won’t receive the payoff if I don’t put in the time!”

*Silence*

“My blog is my topiary, I must tend to it!”

 

After the long weekend I don’t really have much to say. Plenty thing are upcoming but in the meantime… with all my weekend travel I don’t even have a real linkspam!

  • I’ve been using Duolingo to study Portuguese. It’s been a lot of fun and I am actually getting something out of it. They offer multiple languages (such as German, French, Spanish…) and they are working on developing a program for Russian, which I really can’t wait for!
  • Forbes drops the mic on the JLaw “scandal”
  • Forthcoming reviews of Hello Waffle, Notoriously Morbid, and Indie Craft Sampler (tending the topiary! Totally business expenses)
  • A friend and I are going to start work on a comprehensive list of themes and fandoms in indie makeup! I’ll be keeping you updated on our progress. Ideally we’ll have it done by the new year, but I’m not setting any deadlines.
  • Should hopefully have a new Pinteresting post for tomorrow! We’ll see if I cook tonight or just graze from all the Labor Day Leftovers.