Adulting: People are people, unfortunately

People might not be wishing the worst for you, but they certainly aren’t wishing you the best either. There’s something about bettering yourself that makes people uncomfortable and angry. People have no problem assuming what I’m incapable of without giving thought to all the things I’ve already accomplished. Or if they have, it’s dismissed with little regard.

I’ve wondered why it is that people want to think of me as lesser than, less intelligent, less of everything than they are. I’ve concluded it’s a combination of insecurity, social conditioning, and a lack of desire on their part. You can say what you want about progress. In my eyes it comes in many shapes and fails to become anything more than a concept, like most things.

Sometimes I wish people would just come out and say, “I’m supposed to be better than you. I’m not Black.” This goes unsaid, but it’s clear in the way people behave and how they speak. It’s evident in the opportunities that aren’t given, in the invitations that aren’t sent, the lack of consideration to the way you feel…I could go on.

I’m not writing with an emphasis on eloquence or a desire to be politically correct. I’m writing with the intent of transparency and making my thoughts clear for anyone reading. In the past year I’ve come up against some of the worst kinds of people. Racists, misogynists, people who can’t shake their own misery who desire to suck everyone into it like an inescapable void. That’s a pathetic kind of life, isn’t it.

It’s takes more courage to be generous and happy than it does to be hateful and injurious. While I have the propensity for forgiveness, I believe forgiveness isn’t warranted on all occasions, nor is it applicable. I don’t need apologies. I need for people to stop being trash.

Thanks for Making Me a Reader, Dad

rockwell

Dear Dad,

I realized yesterday that I’m more like you than I thought. I mean along with the love of thrift stores, brown leather loafers, old movies, and bagels, you’ve had a hand in a lot of the things I value.

For one New York. I grew up with characteristics in the periphery: Yankee games, throwaway comments of your life here, trips to visit the family. When I was in high school, you offered to sponsor my ticket to go with the journalism class to New York. It influenced my recent move to New York actually, so this life experiment has a bigger stamp from you than I thought. Continue reading

I’m so Addicted to 2048 that I Now See It As a Metaphor for Life

2048

I don’t remember life before I discovered a little game called 2048, but I wish I did.

If you haven’t heard of it, 2048 is a tile mashing game you can play on your phone or online. Tiles come in as 2’s and 4’s and you slide the board left and right to match them up, so they double up until you get to tile 2048. (Thus the name.)

I’ve missed train stops because I was so absorbed in beating my own high score. I’ve tripped on the sidewalk because I thought I could play and travel at the same time. I have ignored friends I sat with at the bar just because I needed to keep going.

It’s a problem, and through my mania I started to look at the tiles, searching for a strategy. And through that strategy, I realized that the entire simple game is really about life!

Continue reading

Have You Surprised Yourself Lately?

pink_floyd_dark_side_of_the_moon_wallpaper_by_kevinhez-d5sbxas

I’m a fan of writing prompts. When I’m stuck, looking for inspiration, or in need of my mind to think differently, I turn to prompts and exercises from various sources. One exercise I came  across challenged the writer to produce something scary, something that has been prohibited by either yourself or our politically correct obsessed culture, and run with it. The idea struck me as there are so many topics I’d love to touch on and have never touched. The purpose of the prompt is to propel one’s thoughts forward in order to gain a fresh perspective on one’s work and what they are capable of, to create boundaries and break through them. The role of the author is to introduce and at times deduce meaning, so if I haven’t written anything lately that makes my  jaw drop, something that let’s me know I’m making waves not just sailing on them, have I done my job?

Continue reading

To Whom It May Concern: Beyoncé

beyonce gramy 615 reuters

Dear Beyoncé,

My name is Georgette. I never heard if you were looking for a possible back-up dancer, but I figured that I should show my initiative and offer my services.

You might wonder as to why I am writing to you as my resume lacks certain dancing experience, but that’s why I am a perfect candidate, Beyoncé. Think of me as freshly fallen snow just waiting for you to mold into the perfect snowman with kick-ass gyrations and that flippy wrist thing you guys do when you perform Single Ladies. I practice that on my own while I Swiffer the apartment. I think I’m quite good, but I know that under your tutelage, I could be great.

Continue reading

Trying to Keep My Clothes From Falling Apart (or: Life)

Everyday I wake up about five minutes before I leave my apartment. I brush my teeth, wash my face, and sometimes literally get dressed in the dark. If I have a lot of energy and positivity, I’ll put on some makeup and a few pieces of jewelry. If not, I’ll leave looking as-is and calling it natural.

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Lately, in the next couple of hours, I-

1. regret my decision of not wearing makeup in the fluorescent light of The World,

2. decide it really is worth it to buy a second (and third) cup of coffee, and

3. find 1-3 holes in my clothing. Usually in the seams, usually noticeable only by me, but sometimes just publicly undeniable.

Sort of like this, except not on purpose.

Sort of like this, except not on purpose.

I then ponder whether I can pull it off as lazy-chic?

This leads when I get home from The World, rummaging around in my desk drawers for the needle and thread I know is in here somewhere, and attempting to Fix Things. I stitch black thread onto my read sweater, crooked and inside out, and if it’s still doesn’t look any better at least it holds up. At least I can wear it a hundred more times until I get a job and can buy fashionable new clothes and an iron befitting a modern pioneer such as myself (I say this because when I was explaining this situation to Georgette, she mentioned Little House on the Prairie and it made my desperation seem cooler) (okay still not cool).
caroline-and-laura-ingalls-sewing-on-little-house-on-the-praire

Anyway, if anyone has these sort of clothes-falling-down-around-you problems, and not enough money to restock, here’s a link to Wikihow teaching you how to fix your clothes. Thanks, internet.

Dear Writer

Dear Writer,

Thank your for your submission to {city/nature} {review/journal}. Unfortunately, due to the large number of submissions (there are many of you out there, Writer, and most others are better) we are unable to accept your submission at this time.

We are sorry this took so long to reach you. We know you sent this to us four months ago with a determined brow and a note that said you respected us. In our note you told us a little bit about yourself. Don’t be uncivil—of course we read it. We read the letter about what your story was and who you were, and, yes, writer, we read your story as well. Do not blame us, Writer, for we read you.

We read about the freckle above your character’s left eye (Is that a freckle on your face, Writer?), we read the part about the playground slide and the flight to Paris. We read your childhood and your heartbreak and the way you hesitate as you type certain words. Were you pondering them? Were you wondering which ones would give your character, with the freckle that is undoubtedly your own, a chance to be read? We applaud you, Writer, for the attempt, and we regret that when you paused, you did not pause longer. Maybe that is what your story needs.

Or maybe it needed to be longer. Maybe you didn’t give us enough time to fall in love with your story, with you and your life and the life you wrote down with your hesitant words, and maybe if you had added that scene in the diner we would have understood.

Then again, Writer, we are a magazine published only quarterly, and there are so many of you, and it is more likely it should have been shorter. Maybe you should have erased the part that made you cry and kept it light, kept the dialogue and the comebacks and the way your characters (your family? friends?) loved one another.

Do remember, Writer, that you have our sincere compliments. It is not easy, we should know, to type out your thoughts and send them to be judged.  It is easier not to ask.

You have asked us though, Writer, in our submission form where you listed your word count and your title (Was it the title? No. It is nothing so simple). In our form that asked you to follow the directions exactly, and you did (thank you for that). Our form where you folded up your story and the girl with the freckle and sent her to us in the form of an open-ended question, to which this letter is the answer.

No, Writer.

Try again.

Pump Yourself Up with a Faux Resume

You know something? When you’re job hunting, not only do you feel like crap because you don’t have money to sustain your Oreo and coffee habit (this results in guilt), but you start to feel a bit down when you get no responses back.

It’s sort of like when you’re at a bar and when you walk up to that pretty dapper man over there, only to get turned down.

Just lots of times.

And in silence.

Potential employers just don’t need to contact you to let you know. The guy at the bar will at least talk politely to you (hopefully. If he’s a gentleman, at least). So after sending in resume after resume,  you’re left to feeling like crap in the silence of your apartment as you mentally try to cheer yourself, because no one loves you and your Netflix is down.

In the midst of sending out tons of resumes this week, I realized that possible employers won’t see a lot of who I am from what I wrote. As a result I created this graphic resume, which I’ve been wanting to make since I saw it on Pinterest like a nerd.

And I figured, I’d list everything out that I feel pretty good about or would want to brag about, because there’s no room on a real resume for it.

What do you think? I’d hire me.

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While this resume won’t work towards getting a career, it did help boost my sense of self for a good while. And I can always use it in that bar scenario, I suppose, just to give Mr. Dapper Man a better visual of Georgette.

First Rule of Resolutions: Keep Them.

I have a twenty times rule. By this I mean that if I am doing crafts where I need to hold a piece of glued paper down with my fingers to ensure maximum stickiness, I count to 20 Mississippis. When I tried to train my dog to give me her paw, I tried it 20 times in a row before I went about my day and returned to see if she remembered the lesson.

This all comes from some commercial or other that told a young, impressionable Georgette that you had to do something twenty-times before it becomes habit, like going to the gym or putting your car keys on the ring by the door. That’s just how we make things normal and less tiresome, I suppose.

Get it? Because Sister Act 2 was Back in the Habit?

Get it? Because Sister Act 2 was Back in the Habit?

Which is why I can’t understand why I’m awful at New Year’s resolutions. Consider I’m 24 years old. You would think that I would be in the habit of making resolutions and sticking to them. Of course that is assuming I started making resolutions right out of the gate . . .

Okay, so as memory bank serves, I became aware of New Year’s by age six or so. I remember climbing into my mom’s bed early one morning, snuggling into the fuzzy blankets only she used as she pulled me close and told me, “Happy New Year.”

That was a wake up call to Young Georgette. New Year? When did that happen? I just wanted to ask her for pancakes.

Mom went on to explain to a stunned me how she stayed up with my older sister to watch the year change, and this was an interesting phenomena. First, my mother and sister did something cool without telling me. Second, what did they see?

I suspected cute raccoons were there because I thought that all funs things happened that night.

I suspected cute raccoons were there because I thought that all funs things happened that night.

“Fireworks,” my mom explained. “Just fireworks and we count to midnight for the year to change.”

My six-year-old brain associated midnight with Cinderella, so the fairy tale aspect combined with pyrotechnics simply added to my disappointment and jealousy. So I sat up in bed and ordered my mother to tell me more of this holiday I wasn’t aware of.

This means I started resolutions around the age of seven. That gives me at least 17 years of failed resolution making, meaning I’m three years away of making this a habit. This is a snowball-ed conclusion, but it’s how my mind works.

This year needs to be different, and I guess succeeding in my resolutions is resolution numero uno.

#1. KEEP YOUR RESOLUTIONS, YOU!

I hear ya, Past Georgette. I know you want me to succeed and actually stick to these plans, but I don’t even have a five-year plan, unless you count me planning to watch Mocking Jay Part 1 and Part 2 in the next two years. That’s as far as those plans go really.

But really, Past Georgette, Future Georgette will do her best to keep these resolutions in mind, and you know why?

Because I’m only going to make two resolutions, not including this one. Does this one count? I’m unsure.

TWO!

TWO! and sort of a third one.

This puts me in a bind because now if I do not succeed at any of the following two, then I’ve shot myself about keeping this one.

Pretty neat trick, Current Georgette.

#2. WRITE

That sounds silly, considering that that’s what I’m trying to do and profess to love doing, but I want to push myself in 2014.

This year, I realized what type of writer I wanted to be and what I wanted to write—this too sounds slightly silly to admit, but it happens—so I want to focus on writing more often to develop better habits and to get my name out there. I contribute online for two sites but haven’t had many recent articles, so I’ll need to push myself to pitch more stories more often. I also want to work on my personal blog, and to build that up too.

Gotta concentrate like Brando and that cat.

Gotta concentrate like Brando and that cat.

I want to write humor and I want to do it online. I admittedly enjoy social media and talking with other people, so I want to be a part of a working blog (other than you, lovely Poor Writers). I already love reading certain ones, so I want to build my own clips along with building up my own voice.

#3. DO OPEN MICS

I am so reticent to even bring this up, and I have a strong inclination to go back and delete it—wait what are you doing pinky finger? You stop inching towards the Delete key!—but I want to do it.

Again at least.

One time more, if nerves don’t get to me.

shaking

For those of you who do not know, I tried stand-up recently, and along with this current pit-falling feeling in my stomach—Stomach, what are you doing? You just ate some cereal! Why are you not happy?—I nervously went on stage. Twice.

Right now, I’m trying to remember the successful high I had that second night when people laughed at the right spots and where I paid attention and paced myself, but I can’t. All I can feel is my stomach doing gymnastics.

I regret eating those two bowls of Capt’n Crunch right now.

But those are my goals. They’re pretty simple enough to remember, which is always good, and it also means I can remember them in a snappy way.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Let’s see how it goes, fellow poor writers.

And, of course, Happy New Year.