Posts under ‘Conserved Conversations’
Tomorrow I’m finishing a five-week writing class that’s really shaken my confidence. The teacher never set out to break anyone down, and I suspect she’s hardest on people who have promise. Still, I’ve spent the last month second-guessing my voice and the way I’ve processed experiences, wondering, “Do I think like a writer? Should I repackage the truth into something it wasn’t in order to sell a story? How have I gone this long convincing other people that I’m a writer?”
Tomorrow I’m finishing a five-week writing class that’s really shaken my confidence. The teacher never set out to break anyone down, and I suspect she’s hardest on people who have promise.
Still, I’ve spent the last month second-guessing my voice and the way I’ve processed experiences, wondering, “Do I think like a writer? Should I repackage the truth into something it wasn’t in order to sell a story? How have I gone this long convincing other people that I’m a writer?”
It’s like coming out of a long-term relationship and realizing that you have to get naked in front of a stranger someday. We only realize how comfortable we used to feel once we don’t feel that way anymore.
When you put on headphones, the world turns into a music video. NYC’s the perfect place to do this, because people here are so unpredictable. Yesterday, I was minding my own headphoned business and exiting the subway station when I saw one woman angrily chuck a ball of paper at another.
The paper ball thrower was angry that the other woman bumped into her kid at the subway station. The kid, meanwhile, was fine and not splayed on the tracks or anything.
People bump each other all the time. Kids don’t look where they’re going, and parents often don’t watch their kids. So the world turns.
And the woman who had the paper ball thrown at her? Much smaller and younger than the other woman. Of course.
I hate to stereotype but I’ve found the people who are most defensive of their offspring on the subway platform are also the most likely to scream and slap them once they get on the train.
Today’s my 28th birthday.
To reference Sinatra, I’ll sum up the last year this way: “When I was 27, it was a very bad year.”
I’m optimistic that things are different, starting today. I’m stronger and wiser with experience. Things have been looking up for weeks. No one gets this much rain without eventually seeing some huge effing flowers.
And everybody knows it sucks to grow up. I’m not alone, and I’ve got exhibits A-C to prove it.
…you might want to consider this passage from Patti Smith’s wonderful memoir, Just Kids.
Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed.
It leads to each other. We become ourselves.
For a time Robert protected me, then was dependent on me, and then possessive of me. His transformation was the rose of Genet, and he was pierced deeply by his blooming. I too desired to feel more of the world. Yet sometimes that desire was nothing more than a wish to go backward where our mute light spread from hanging lanterns with mirrored panels. We had ventured out like Maeterlinck’s children seeking the bluebird and were caught in the twisted briars of our new experiences…
He too had a path to pursue and would have no choice but to leave me behind.
We learned we wanted too much. We could only give from the perspective of who we were and what we had. Apart, we were able to see with even greater clarity that we didn’t want to be without each other.
At some point we’ve all joked, “Who do I have to blow to…?”
The good news is that we were only kidding. Right? The bad news it that the only time I’ve ever said this (totally joking – I swear), I was thinking about my career. Because I think joking about sexual favors should only apply to personal growth and self-actualization. And that is not a penis joke.
I get a lot of questions – on this blog and elsewhere – about working in NYC. And working as a writer is a whole other ball of wax. Or beast. Or you know, difficult thing to write about and even more difficult thing to do.
I’m learning as I go. But it’s been easier than it could have been, because I’ve been lucky to get good advice from different people. And Pay It Forward was not just Haley Joel Osment in his heyday, so…
I’m now writing about work for a new career blog for women called The Grindstone. (Yes, as in “nose to the…” That grindstone.)
I pitched three regular columns: Working It, about the ballsy things people have done to get ahead; The Job Slut, a look at my career-hopping freelance life; and Career Crib Sheet, a summary of career advice from popular memoirs.
Please support my efforts by checking out my posts and liking, leaving comments, etc., if you are so moved. This helps me help others. It also helps me pay my bills. Two very worthy causes, methinks.
And if you have anything you think I should write about, let me know. Here’s what I’ve covered so far: