Tag Archives: goals

battling the buts

Confidence. That dirty bastard seems to be poking his giant, mangy head into my life these days. In fact, a lack thereof has always been an issue for me for so many reasons, really. But more specifically, I remember that being a theme in my teachers’ comments on my performance: “you’d do so much better if you had more confidence,” “your biggest issue is confidence,” “have more confidence in your work!” You get the picture. As if my lack of confidence in my body, my social skills, and myself were hard enough to handle back then; now we were throwing my strong suit into the mix.

So, in high school, confidence in everything from my formulas in math class to my paint strokes or color choices in art class was an uphill battle. I thought once I graduated high school, moved away to school, and began living (loosely) on my own, that I would shake most of that off like wreckage from a construction site.

Well, as it happens, I noticed this annoying little habit I’ve developed recently: when I meet someone for the first time, I talk to someone I haven’t spoken to in a while, or basically whenever I’m in any slightly uncomfortable social situation, and the topic of my post-grad plans comes up (thus taking any level discomfort and maximizing it by, oh, 1000), I always seem to respond with some vague description of my not-so-vague goals, followed by, “but yeah, I have no idea!” As you can see, I have an issue with my buts (and my butt, for the record).

Or say someone asks what I’m studying at New Paltz. I always respond in a confident voice, “I’m majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Visual Arts,” then wait a few seconds and sheepishly add, “but we’ll see where that takes me I guess,” as though my major/minor combination is so bizarre, or as if majoring in creative writing can be likened to majoring in friendship bracelet making.

In reality, neither one of these circumstances reflect how I really feel; I know exactly what I want to do, and therefore I have a legitimate reason as to why my major/minor combo makes sense. I hoard a lot of solid goals for the future up in my noggin. They change every day, sometimes every hour. But for right now, I’m working towards becoming an interior decorator (with my own business) and/or (eventually) a published young adult author. I figure both careers could be done from home, and neither are full time in regards to being cooped up in a stuffy cubicle with Casual Fridays. When I graduate college, I’d like to work in publishing for a few years (haven’t decided what area of publishing yet) and save up a lot of moolah and eventually get my own apartment. I’ve also started researching decorating and potential online classes I could take. While you don’t need a degree for decorating, I imagine it would probably help to have some kind of experience in decorating-related color theory.

But honestly, I’m not going to outline a long-term life plan – complete with presentation boards and WordArt, of course– every time someone asks me this question.

I’m just tried of being asked the same follow-up questions. Let me demonstrate:

“So you’re going to be an English teacher?”

“Oh, English? Like, English education?”

“Do you want to teach?”

“What grades would you teach?”

Et friggin’ cetera. I am in no way knocking teachers. One of my role models happens to be my eleventh grade English teacher, not to mention several members of my family are teachers and several of my friends at New Paltz are doing education. So obviously, no disrespect. I just don’t see why that has to be where everyone’s minds go when they hear I’m an English major. Sure, I guess it’s the most obvious? The more economically wise decision?  Okay, I’ll give you that. But then, I have to almost guiltily reply, “No…just English. I want to be a writer,” and feel as though I’ve just slaughtered an animal right before their eyes. It makes me feel like my choice is a giant “<” in the face of everyone’s expectations, especially when followed by a furrowed-brow response.

So, after two years of this hogwash, I’ve learned to put up yet another proverbial wall in my life. I find it easier to sound like some lost puppy of a soon-to-be-graduate than to have to explain that, no, I am not planning on becoming a teacher.

Either way, I need to minimize the “buts” in my life (and then maybe I can finally work on the butt). In fact, why don’t we go ahead and erase the preceding commas altogether? They serve no purpose. I need to learn a thing or two about assertion.

I bet we all could use a good detox in that department, whether the “but” is any general nay-saying Negative Nimrod or, if it’s a nagging feeling, a cloud of doubt holding you back from truly embracing all of our nooks and crannies.

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Filed under Introspection, Rants

a rebirth, of sorts

I feel like a negligent parent. This blog has now been in existence for well over a month and I have barely written a damn thing. Without sounding like I just make excuses for myself all over the place, I believe the reason I haven’t fully pursued my new goal of becoming an accomplished blogger is because, quite frankly, I didn’t know how to blog. Sure, I know how to push my fingers against the keys to make letters, then words, then sentences, then perhaps even a thought here and there. But I was unaware of what it took to maintain a blog – a little corner of the cyber world that I could call my own. I had unrealistic goals, such as trying to include as little details of my daily life as possible. Yeah, okay, Self. I’m pretty sure 98.643% of what I write about derives from my daily life, the mundane details of my mundane little existence. I thought that if I wrote about my experiences at work, or on the bus to work, or at the gym, this blog would qualify to rank with my high school LiveJournal (Love LJ, don’t get me wrong here). What I didn’t consider was how interesting I can make things – like the faint but ever-present smell of urine on 5th Avenue or the self-proclaimed “drunken fool” on my afternoon commutes – amusing, or even relevant. Clearly, with a limiting rule such as “omit all daily activity,” this corner of cyber world was headed nowhere fast.

Okay, so it’s settled. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I can admit failure. It’s just that I also have so many thoughts up in my noggin – that things works overtime all the time. And I was going about this all wrong. Not just what I wanted to write about. But how I was approaching it. I’d cuddle up in bed with my laptop after a long day of work/commuting/exercising/self-analysis and BAM! I was asleep in 5 minutes. Or, I’d be too engrossed with syndication (more specifically, Roseanne and Golden Girls) to want to think about my own life. Some people might call this behavior lazy. They would be 100% correct.

Well now that I’ve finally owned up to my laziness and pleaded my case, I suppose I should move this baby along. Perhaps start it off with the basics – the 4 W’s. Call me old-fashioned (or lame) but I find this always works when I’m at a loss for words.

Who: The name is Liz. I’m not going to bore you with a laundry list of likes, dislikes, and favorites. I am 21 years old majoring in English (Creative Writing) and minoring in Art Studio and Jewish Studies You weren’t expecting the last one, I know. I’m a non-practicing Jew but I’d to feel Jew-y somehow. I love to paint. And photograph the world. And create things in general. Huge fan of music. And food. And sleep. My goals? I have many, some yet to be discovered, but for now I’ll offer up my long-term goals. I’d like to decorate. Create. Until now, it seemed definite that my decoration dreams were those of an interior nature, but because of my aforementioned New York-style brain (never sleeps. get it? no? moving on…), I have started to consider other options. One example: a career in party decor. Centerpieces. Sounds lame on paper, but I spend all my time (and money) in Michael’s anyway. And I’m always the first to steal the centerpieces at a party. It seems logical. In addition to spending all my days drowning in ribbon and silk flowers, or paint chips and fabric samples, I’d love to write. Reword: I’d love to become an author. Get published, have my writing mean something to someone other than myself and my writing professors. As mentioned in my last and long-lost blog entry, that’s why I started this thing (see: Why).

What: I want to say everything. I want to tell everyone what I’m feeling, what I’ve been through, and how it’s all affected me, while keeping in mind both the elements of eloquence and realism. I want to finally be honest, as opposed to biting my tongue and reading half-truths off of cue cards. I don’t think there is enough honestly in this world, or at least my world. Think of it as a therapy session, minus the comfy chair. And the confidentiality, I guess.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the boundaries of what’s appropriate for a public forum and what’s not. However, I have spent most of my adolescent-adult life hiding how I really feel, in fear of the reactions of others. And as a result, I let people rule my life. And as a result of that, I guess, I have fair-weather self-image and lack of confidence to boot. A frustrating and unrelenting cycle: I let people walk all over me, so I never feel that I deserve what I want, so I let people walk all over me. Quick, someone please tell me if the chicken or the egg came first because my head is spinning! But seriously. What I’m getting at is that I need somewhere to release all this bottled-up bullshit. The fact that I still even have to deal with petty nonsense is bad enough. But if I can’t find a place in this world for my side of each story, then I may just have a stroke before I’m 30. And I figure if I can channel this passion into writing, I may just come up with something potentially prize-winning or best-selling.

Where: Here?

When: I’d like to contribute to my little nook of the world every day. HA! Who am I kidding? I spent an entire month a slave to syndication; I’d be lucky if I can conjure up a brilliant thought once a week. But I’ll push myself, for now, to write three times a week. Hopefully my life will get more fascinating as time goes on, thus causing an increase in updates. I have an on-off relationship with reading, so I’ll be throwing in my two cents in that department every now and again.

Why: I guess I sort of covered this category with, oh I don’t know, this entire post, but going back to what I was saying in Who, I decided to start this as a way to jump-start my writing career. I haven’t sorted through the details yet, like how I’m going to gain enough readership to achieve relevance in this world, but for now it doesn’t matter. I’m using this blog as a cathartic release. It’s about time I take life by the balls and run with it and stop whining (internally) about the fallen state of my life. Or my social life, to be more specific. I’d love to say that “I don’t give a shit about all a y’all!!!!!!” like some crazy person. I’ll admit, I tried it. But it doesn’t work. Thus, this blog. I can’t keep running from how I feel, but I can make life a little more bearable.

So in conclusion, I apologize to the blogging world for my negligence to my non-existent (for now) readers. I hope everyone who reads henceforth enjoys listening to my honest and hopefully enjoyable and occasionally humorous rants. Oh, and we can’t forget humor. Because no matter how intense and mind-numbingly unbearable life gets, I always try to smile through it. Even if it’s just a happy face on my Post-Its.

Until next time,
xx

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Filed under Introspection

First post blabber.

So, this blog has technically been in existence for about 2 days, and here I am, on Day 2, completely at a loss for what to write. Well, shit. I guess I should be begin with why I’m here. Well, I recently (2 weeks ago) arrived home from my semester abroad in London, ready to continue my personal and geographical explorations here in America. As of last week, I am officially a college senior. Last Tuesday, I started my internship at a literary agency in New York City. Needless to say, things have been falling into place for me for the past few weeks, and I haven’t had a spare moment to sort through it all. On top of all of the changes to my life currently in progress, I’ve come home from London with a bushel – yes, a bushel, I measured it myself – of motivation that, I’m presuming, I should use towards altering myself and accomplishing some of my major – and petty – goals that I’ve set for myself but only leniently monitored. Fear not, a list of these goals will be posted, post haste. However, I can’t promise that a few vent sessions or personal anecdotes of my day/life won’t slip in here, but I’ll do my best to make this as unlike my 10th grade LiveJournal as possible.

While I’m in the sharing mood, I’ll admit – to all 2.5 of you that I presume are reading this right now – that this isn’t just some monitor of self-discovery and achievement. I also started a blog because I love to write but, quite frankly, I’ve been too lazy these days to pursue it, aka to publish my work. I figure blogging is a way to get my writing out there without having to actually go through the pain of trying to publish it. Judge me if you will, but this plan works for me right now. Besides, getting published is one of my goals for this summer. Also, I have a lot of thoughts floating around in my head, and unless I write them down somewhere – or start talking to myself – I may just go insane. I guess that’s where those “vent sessions” and “personal anecdotes” come into play.

Anyway, that’s my story. Or at least part of it. I don’t want to scare everyone away right away.

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Filed under Who Cares?