Posts Tagged With: musings

A Midwestern Ex-Pat

It’s probably time I post something on my blog. As usual, I’ve been meaning to, but everything has been so crazy lately that by the time I get home and collapse on the couch, I don’t seem to have the energy to do anything but marathon Netflix.

Brief update on me: School is going well. I’m busier than I expected to be, which I silly. I guess I thought since I was only going half time it wouldn’t be that much more work. But I’m enjoying it, it’s nice to get to talk about publishing issues, and I think I am learning a lot. I’m refusing to give in to the common wisdom that when it comes to work, school, and social life you can only balance two. So for example, Halloween found me running to a meeting after work, then class, and then a really odd party in the Village. Tons of fun, but it’s quite possible I’m overdoing it. I can sleep when I’m dead, right?

With the holidays approaching, I’m really ready to go home. I think I said it before, but I’m surprised at how much I miss home. Partly I miss the ease, just day to day life in Ohio is easier, with cars and houses and normal things. And of course I miss my family. But it’s also the familiarity. Some days I feel like some sort of ex-pat. I’m still in the same country, but some days I feel so out of my league.

I never liked country music in Ohio. I thought it was a bit silly, and I could never relate to it. I listen to it more, now, and while I still can’t relate to much of it, I feel like I can better understand it now. That underlying nostalgia for the simple life, the fierce defense of the warm summer nights on a back porch with a beer or driving around in the open country with your windows down and no where particular to go. So when I’m feeling particularly out of place, or longing for home, I listen to country music. I think it’s a symptom of this weird transitory state. I’m not quite a city girl, my Midwestern roots go too deep, but I’m not really that Ohio girl I was anymore, either. I know I can always go home if I need to or want to, but I think in some ways I can’t go back. While it still does feel like everything is up in the air, like I’m still unfinished, I think a year here is long enough to change me into something new. Someone who needs the weird surprises of the city and the possibilities it offers. Someone who, despite the feelings of displacement here, would feel just as out of place in a quiet suburban life. Most of this I guess is just typical of life in your early-20’s; we’re all still cooking. But I think it’s true, that once you move away, you can’t go back to the way things were. We can never really return to Manderley.

Ok, that was supposed to be the end, but I can’t leave off on that awful, cliched, depressing note. So I’ll finish with this: I may not be able to go back, but I sure am enjoying going forward. The spontaneous late night concerts, the free events, the bizarre shows, the 24 hour biscuits (which are new, but I’m sure they will become a staple), and mostly the group of friends I have here. I may be in transition, but at least I’m not in it alone, and there’s plenty to do in the meantime.

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Adult Things in New York City

At BEA, I received a signed copy of “Make Good Art,” the book form of Neil Gaiman’s commencement address to…. In it, he talks about the “fraud police,” a term which I understand exactly. Living here, away from home, in my very own apartment, working an actual job in an actual office, I regularly feel like the fraud police are going to show up at my door. “Excuse me ma’am. We’ve been told you’re acting like an adult, which you are not. You’re going to have to come with us.”
At 23, I’m not sure when feeling like an adult actually happens. In the other Neil Gaiman book I read recently, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, one the characters observes that inside, adults are just children. So maybe all adults are just pretending. But it still feels like the fraud police are going to call me on my act, tell me that I’m not qualified to be an adult. Or even worse, that I’m not allowed to do some things because I am an adult. “Excuse me ma’am,” the faud police might say. “It has come to our attention that you have been taking blue raspberry lollipops when you go to the bank to make the deposit at work. You are 23, therefore it is illegal to eat things that will turn your mouth blue for the rest of the work day.” Or perhaps “As a 23 year old, you are not permitted to eat the oatmeal with the little eggs that turn into dinosaurs when you add hot water.”
I suppose adulthood isn’t not eating dinosaur oatmeal or having art in actual frames on your walls. But then what is it? Is it paying bills? Is it being a certain age? Does it feel like anything? I don’t think anyone has any answers to these questions. But I’m an adult now, and like the xkcd comic says, I get to decide what that means now.
And what I decide it means is this: Hot summer nights in the grass listening to the philharmonic with best friends and plenty of wine. Once the musical and the stage door after, fangirling Arthur Darvill. Late nights in the West Village. Drinks at Gallow Green with fortune tellings and charms. As usual, it was a busy and delightful couple of weeks, despite the heatwave. And tomorrow, I’m flying home for a week. I can’t wait!
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Just leave the Internet Alone!

Just leave the Internet Alone!

This article is perfect. It’s not the internet that makes us stupid or boring or wastes our time; It’s what we do with the internet. I hear people complain all the time about how social media and texting is dumbing down my generation. But it’s not. My friends and I (usually) use social media to engage in new ways, to discuss hot button topics and share knowledge. Twitter is a perfect example. Sure, it can lend itself to abbreviations and butchering grammar. But at least in my circle of friends, it leads to being creative; finding a new way to say something so it meets the limit. I realize I (and most of my friends) are weird in that way, but we’re not alone. Stephen Fry spoke about it on Craig Ferguson.

Sure, I tweet and post stupid things, and I occasionally play Bubble Witch Saga and waste time on Tumblr. But I’m also connected to my friends almost 24/7. And when I need to disconnect, it’s not that hard to turn off my computer and leave my phone in the other room. I do it somethings. But honestly, especially when it comes to the friends and family who live across the country from me, it’s kind of nice to be connected.

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