Writing

The incoherent rambling of a wannabe writer

Magazines have always been a favorite outlet of mine. Their glossy pages and giant letters called to me and encouraged me to pay the $5 for the random issue that stood out in front of me on the newsstand that day. That’s how I knew I wanted to write. I wanted to be one of the people whose names were printed in small black letters under a grand article title. I just didn’t know how to get there. So I interned. I spent every summer from the age of 16 to the age of 19 working in the editorial office of KIWI Magazine where I did everything from fetch office supplies to research holiday gift guides in June. It was not what I imagined. So I went to college.

In college I studied communication, focusing on journalism. I pretended I knew what I was doing when writing essays at 4am or when researching for an article about “BENNYs” for the school’s newspaper. But I could never say my heart was fully in it. I never felt complete after turning in a mock article. But I remember loving the research. I loved being given a topic and thinking of only that topic for 3 days straight; spending hours in the library researching and printing, I practically had my own computer there. But this was school. Life would surely be different. It was this thinking that lead to a new internship. My cousin’s girlfriend was working in the advertising department for a beautiful food magazine. She sold advertising space to mom and pop shops on the East Coast. She told me her friend in the marketing department was looking for an intern to help out for the summer. I decided to give it a go.

That summer was one of the best I’d ever had. I was almost an adult, I worked in an amazing office, I made a few friends, but was only allowed into the editorial office when dropping something off. Apparently there is a hard line between the business side and the creative side of a magazine. And that summer I was on the wrong side. So instead, I took home back copies and studied the glossy pages. I worked on their summer events and followed the magazine’s publisher around as if she were a god. I don’t think she ever actually took notice of me, though. Didn’t matter, I was where I needed to be at that time.

Next summer I graduated college. I was given the opportunity to intern there again, but turned it down in favor of a paying job… One I did not have yet.

July 2013 I was offered an advertising coordinator position at one of the biggest newspaper publishing companies in the country, so I took it. It really is all about who you know. I assumed I would work at the newspaper during the day and write at night. And that is how this blog was born. My first post was sent from my parents house in Naples, Florida the day before I flew back to New York to start my first real job.

But as days passed into weeks, and weeks into months my writing became almost nonexistent. By the following February I had sunken into a full blown depression. I wasn’t mentally prepared to work in a windowless office in a position that required absolutely no creativity. I was miserable and couldn’t even hide it anymore. By March I had booked a trip to Europe. My favorite place in the entire world was Rome, I thought it was about time I had gone back. After extensive googling and convincing, I bought a slightly sketchy groupon for a 6 day trip that would bring me to Paris for three days and Rome for another three. That November, with my boyfriend of a year in tow (much to my parents’ chagrin,) I touched down in Paris and squished the two of us into a train with the morning rush hour traffic.

The next three days we met Paris.

I visited museums and ate croissants. I was dumb and hadn’t researched enough, but it was fine. I was in Paris after all! We walked around the city eating crepes and ogling  fancy stores. On the fourth morning we woke up early and left our Moroccan themed hotel for the last time. We shuffled our way into Charles de Gaulle airport with sleep in our eyes and pillows in our hand. While walking to our gate, I passed the French version of the Winter issue of my old magazine, and it definitely caught my eye. Snowflakes covered the magazine name and every headline was in French, bien sûr. I needed it.

I have only ever bought magazines on the stand. I enjoy having the ability to buy whenever I please. I don’t feel rushed to read it and can take a month or a year if I so choose. But today something was different.

This afternoon, while reading the beginning of The Art of Editing No. 3 I was given the option to continue reading if, and only if, I subscribed to the Paris Review. I had always enjoyed the Paris Review but hadn’t been a loyal reader. But I was entranced by the article. The interviewee had my total and complete attention and I wanted to be her. I wanted to know everything there was to know about her life and her work, her career and her current whereabouts, so I subscribed.  I was given the option to subscribe for one year of four issues, or two years of eight. Each option gave me a “free gift” of interviews from over the years and neither was cheap. I have spent the last two years deciding whether I want to spend the $6 to subscribe to Conde Nast’s Traveler even though I check their site weekly, but this morning, I deep dove into a $95, two year subscription of a literary magazine that I rarely read.

Is this what a stroke feels like?

Yes ok, that was dramatic of me to say. But I feel different. As I get older, more of me is looking to become the elegant literary buff I wanted to be as a kid and less of me is looking to write. My book collection has grown 10 fold just from last January, and I haven’t even read half of them yet. I think it’s funny that now I dress in mostly black, with dark sunglasses and avoid eye contact with strangers so that I seem more mysterious. None of this is intentional now. Now it is just me, the way I react to being here, in a job that requires no creativity. I guess I’ve accidentally decided to let myself sink into invisibility so that when I do let out my creative ideas people are surprised, instead of expecting them the way they used to.

Reading and writing have always been my hobbies, they were my wheelhouse, so to speak. They were where I was most comfortable. But now I tend to gravitate to words that are already written; concrete ideas that don’t need me to develop them. I shy away from writing and it makes me sad. But writing isn’t something you’re just good at all of a sudden. You need to practice. I just wish I had more motivation to.

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I think I’m lost

Since starting a new job four weeks ago, a lot of my free time (not that I have much) has been spent panicking over my future. 

  • What will I do? 
  • Where do I go from here? 
  • How will I support myself as an adult? 
  • Do I really want to continue on this road?
  • Where does this road even lead?
  • Was this a mistake?
  • Why did I leave my old job?
  • Am I smart enough to be here?
  • Do I even know what I’m doing??

At any given moment, these and countless other extremely frightening  questions can be found swimming through my head, drowning any thought of happiness  or contentment. My brain swells with thoughts that threaten to keep me awake at night, staring into the dark abyss, uncomfortably aware that I might never make anything of myself. Of course I can’t begin getting comfortable at this new place. Everything is wrong. I’m not smart enough to be here. I’m not smart enough to be anywhere! I’m useless and talentless. There is nothing more disheartening then realizing that you are mediocre, that you possess no unique talents, and that there are plenty of other people who can do exactly what you do, only way fucking better. 

So then, the question becomes how does one make it through this unscathed? Or at least in one piece… Can I get better? I can take classes. I can go back to school. But do I really way to spend all my money for a masters degree in something I probably won’t like in 3 years? Could I even make it through the program? How much does a master degree cost? Would I be able to budget my time accordingly? I can’t commit to this… What if I don’t like it and don’t want to do it after a few days? Do universities offer refunds? This is way too much for me. 

My mind feels like a WWE wrestling match. Right now, any form of delight I might have had over now working in Soho, or living at my summer house, or even the God damn weather, is getting beaten to a pulp with a folding chair in the corner of the ring, with its head lolling lower and lower and it’s nose bleeding profusely. I can’t tell if I’m frustrated about not having a general direction to run in, or if I’m completely terrified of it.

Having a goal would help tremendously. But as you can see, I’m goal-less. The way I see it, I’m basically spitting in the wind, hoping it won’t come back and hit me in the face. But I know it will. Your career doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you want to follow the current with, if that makes sense. This is not a “go with the flow” kind of situation. I can’t just see where the stream takes me. Unless I’m wrong. And while it is highly probable that I am wrong, I’m still pretty damn screwed, possibly more then originally anticipated. Because if your career is something that you want to lift your feet for and follow the current, I might not be able to relinquish control long enough to. I like to pretend that I’m spontaneous and adventurous, but if I’m being serious here, the most spontaneous thing I’ve done all week was stop to get gas this morning on my way to work when my gas light when on earlier than anticipated.

So what do I do?

Do I spend the money, go back to school and hate the masters I’m only a quarter of the way through with? 

Do I try and stick with the current plan and work to be an advertising sales representative, even though I know full well that I’d be the worst salesperson in the whole universe? Or do I just quit, steal a cardboard box and sleep on the beach in Breezy Point for the rest of my life?

I have no fucking clue. Maybe I need a life coach.

Well I kind of have good news

I haven’t been fired yet. And from what I understand, the New York office is here to stay so unless I screw up a whole lot, I may just be able to stay.

That little heart attack last week wasn’t exactly fun but it did it’s job; as long as its intended job was to stress me out. Because if that’s the case, it succeeded with flying colors.

Some other nice news is that I might be contributing writer for a legit website. Like a real one. With actual readers. And writers that aren’t just me. I’m not sure how I feel about the website yet because I’m only allowed to write “listicles.” But As long as they publish my writing I’ll be ok.

I’m going to be published!

…kinda

Ex-Something

The weirdest relationships you can have with someone are those that are “ex somethings.”

Not ex boyfriends because you never really dated, but at one point you were involved and maybe even really cared about each other. There was something there and maybe the timing wasn’t right or the stars didn’t align properly, but the strange relationship you two shared was cut short. It makes the grieving process difficult. But it also makes seeing that person again very awkward. Should you hate them? Should you say hi? Or should you wait for him to acknowledge you? Was this something that was unavoidable, but both of you refuse to admit it? Or was one side not putting in the proper effort?

I guess that’s something you’ll never really know, huh?

I always figured that “if it was meant to be it would happen” bullshit was just that, but I was never sure how to process that. What if it wasn’t meant to be? What if it just happened? Then what? What was the point of the pain that weird little relationship caused? Why would fate bring two people together just to torture one of them (or both, who knows?) for the rest of his or her life?

But what if fate is just a figment of the imagination?

What if “fate” and “destiny” are just something people made up to have a scapegoat? Just someone to blame when things didn’t go according to plan?

My cousin, the other day, told me that when people make plans, God laughs. But this wasn’t planned. This was a mess from the beginning. So if that’s the case, if this mess was just that and is always meant to be just that, why happen in the first place? Why even allow the awkward ex something shit to take place?

Whose idea was this?

Maybe being young and naive has a lot to do with it. Maybe it was a test, a way to determine what would be important in the future. But if it was a test, I think I might have failed.

I could never get paid to write. I’m not consistent. Writing doesn’t flow out of me every second of every day. I have no control over it. It comes out in random bursts.
Like when you’re a kid
and you eat too much sugar
and you get a crazy sugar high
and you feel like you’re on top of the world and no one can get you and everything that happens is magic and you’re alive.

But then you crash.

and you’re tired because everything being that amazing for those 2 hours really took a lot out of you.
And you didnt mean to, but you gave your whole self over to the sugar and were like a pint sized Tasmanian devil for those two blissful, sugar-filled hours.

So now you’re down,
it’s over,
everything is back to normal,
you’ve stop twirling around your living room floor and ended up a laughing heap of chocolate covered nothing on your mom’s favorite rug.
You’re content with laying there.

But its not like it wont happen again.
You rest up because of the belly ache your mom warned you about.

And then,
you’re better.

You’re eating sugar again as soon as you can.
You’re trying to fit 20 marshmallows into your mouth at once,
those Halloween “fun sized” candy bars go down like water,
one after the other, until your head is spinning and you’re ready to tear up the house again.

That is exactly how I experience my desire to write.
All at once, then not at all. But soon it’s back, and everything seems like magic.

I’m a writer… I can’t fight that.

I love writing and I love being able to write. But most of the time I write in random places and forget about it. I am trying to stop the forgetting part. I want a place to decorate and make my own, almost like a home on the beach for my thoughts, like the picture. It needs to be cozy and happy and radiate love and positivity, all the things I try to put into my own home. My cousin has a beautiful wordpress and it inspired me to create my own. I look forward to coming back to this and adding thoughts and silly little things. Sometimes you need to just write, and that is what I plan on doing. Image