Friday, October 29, 2010

Go to Portland, Genevieve!

Some goals, I must say, are easier than others... like my traveling goals. I mean, I guess you do have to save the money to get there, but once you go, you can check it off your list. It's not a 100 step process that you're committed to for the long haul.

So here I am in Portland! I've been waiting to visit this mysterious, hip, trendy spot for a few years now. I've always been told that I would love this city, so when Sarah decided to move out here in July it was all the more reason to discover it:) It's kind of cloudy, with a bit of rain on the pavement this morning and I'm so excited to see what the rest of this weekend will hold. We have fun Friday night plans, Halloween parties tomorrow and a day in Seattle in Sunday. Ooohh the possibilities:)

Oh and don't forget it has been wonderful to be reunited with the BFF after 3 months. There's something to say about a person that you've know for 12 years, that has seen you live and grow through the ups and the downs, can read your mind before you even say anything and will still do the cast and reel with you in a crowd of dancing hipsters. I <3 you, Sarah:)

Now off to the adventures!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Wrong with Sarah

What is wrong with me?

There are many answers to that question but they all differ according to the context of what is being asked.  In this particular instance, I am alluding to the fact that no matter what I do, I get no thrill from writing anymore.  I'm sure you've notice my prolonged absences from the blog.  But I've also been neglecting my personal blog, my journal, and the fiction pieces I've had hanging over my head for the past two years.

It's like the minute the thought "I ought to sit down a write something" comes into my head, this switch flips.  It literally feels like a steel barricade comes slamming down, separating my creative juices from whatever receptors send them to my typing fingers.

The mere thought of writing used to get me so jazzed.  I used to go to Stellas at 6 am on Saturdays with my friend AJ and we would write for hours, except that it generally felt like no time at all.  I'd get so wrapped up in my characters, what they were doing and where they were leading me.  The pure adventure of it was enough to get me up that early on my precious weekends.  But now I have this steel barricade.  And this complete apathy towards writing.  But the more I remind myself of things like this last paragraph, the more I want to delve back into my practice.

I've moved, I've settled, and now I'm just wasting time.  I don't have any real excuses to hide behind other than, "I don't know what's wrong with me."  But the idea of just getting over it and writing through that barricade makes it seal itself even tighter.

Two of my goals are to finish a piece I've been working on and to publish something.  I have until March.  And really, I could probably man up and finish one of the stories I've been working on.  The publishing thing has got me a little weak at the knees though.

I haven't asked our readers for much help throughout this process, and maybe I should've a while ago.  But I'm asking for it now.  I'm probably going to need to some encouragement, inquires, and thoughts on how the heck I'm going to pull this publishing thing off.

And I have some questions for you all: Have any of you felt this way about something you loved?  It doesn't have to be writing, it could be anything you were/are passionate about.  Are you still struggling (maybe we could commiserate) or did you come out the other side?  I could use thoughts, tips, advice, anything really to get me out of this slump.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Failure is OK, Genevieve.

Well, October has been going at full speed and I've barely had enough time to catch my breath. Everything from life changing concerts to new friends to giggling when I shook Collin Hay's hand to dog training to writing/recording music to finding the perfect dress for $8 to booking some great bands to weddings to supporting my family in some recent hard times to just. LIVING. life.

I'm actually quite proud of myself. I'm not slacking. I'm not sitting back and wistfully hoping for change or for my goals to accomplish themselves. I'm out there putting myself on the line and I've realized that even if some of these things don't ever come to fruition, that's OK.

My mom recently asked me if I had ever watched JK Rowling's commencement speech she gave to Harvard graduates a few years back. I hadn't, so on her suggestion I sat down one evening to see what she was raving about. The speech was well... a swift punch to the gut... BUT in the best way possible. JK Rowling talks about how stepping out on a ledge and taking risk, with the potential of failure, is the better than sitting in a defined box and thinking there will be progress. Sometimes it takes frightfully big steps outside of your comfort zone to realize your true potential. And sometimes in that, you fall flat on your face. But you know what? I'd much rather die knowing that I gave my all to my passions than wondering, "What if?"

So, below I've attached the link to JK Rowling's speech. I hope you take the time to watch it and maybe embark on some potentially life changing failures.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jackie - It's All Up to the Man Now

Here's the deal. When you've been in college as long as I have, the Financial Aid people don't like it. In fact, they try really hard to make sure you aren't in college as long as I have been -- and generally, with good reason. However, I am still in school -- with my own good reasons.

I knew I was approaching the credit limit for financial aid assistance and had some plans in place for when it was going to run out. I thought everything was hunky dory for this semester when the school computer systems said my financial aid was planned to come through just like normal. I even got a postcard in the mail telling me that everything was in order.

But then it didn't come through and when I contacted them to find out I'm on financial aid suspension. You're shocked, right? Me too. I get good grades and I haven't reached the limit [thought I'm on the brink], so I was completely blindsided by this news. Turns out, they won't let you go over the limit, which is why I was put on suspension [without warning] now. The very friendly person answering my emails told me I can fill out a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal in hopes they will change their mind in my case and continue my aid. I filled out the form, wrote a personal statement and had to meet with my academic adviser. She's a rather busy person, so we had a brief email conversation about what was going on and I dropped off the form for her to fill out. That set got lost and I ended up dropping off another set a few days later. When I went to pick those up, they had been filled out wrong. After a third, successful, attempt, I walked all my forms down to the Financial Aid office yesterday and turned everything in.

I'm asking for prayers, thoughts or good juju -- whatever it is you go for -- in the direction of the person reviewing my case, because it's all up to the man [or woman], now. And I literally see someone at an old desk examining every word I wrote to determine of I'm worthy. ... Wow, I shouldn't think about that anymore. It's a little overwhelming. But on the brighter side, this person can both approve for me to get my financial aid this semester and can increase the credit limit to include the rest of my schooling education, if they see see fit.

Now, if they don't my financial goals are pretty much out the air because I'll have to come up with $4,000 in the next 9 weeks or I won't be able to continue my education. But right now, I have high hopes.

In case you're interested, I included my personal statement in the comments section if you've ever wondered for yourself what the heck I'm doing with my life.

Oh... and did I mention my check engine light turned on last week?