Friday, May 27, 2011

Lucky Duck

My dad always says “I’ve got more luck than brains!” I grew up with him saying it, and it lost it’s humor long before I even understood what it meant. Now that I think about it, I don’t rightly agree with that. I believe more strongly in a quote from Cal Hockley (Titanic, DUH!):
A real man makes his own luck.
Or, if you scoff your nose at this brilliant film, I’ll give you a quote by a real person, possibly more respected than Billy Zane’s character in the 1997 historical fiction masterpiece. Benjamin Franklin said:
I am a strong believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
Whenever I think about people that I think are really lucky — the sucky copywriting student who landed a kickass job when her more talented peers didn't, my sister randomly being awarded a scholarship, my friends who moved to Germany and Jordan with grant money — I remind myself how hard those people worked to get to those places.

My sister for example, who has been rejected for what feels like 10 scholarships before getting this one. Or my friend, who has been learning Arabic for years. Of course he got a Fulbright, and of course when it ended, he was offered a job that'll send him around the world to travel. Because he speaks effing Arabic. (And because he’s awesome in general). Or a more trite example: I get amazing stuff at the Goodwill, like BCBG and Banana Republic dresses, and really cute heels, and brand new jeans. But I pick over every single thing in that store multiple times a week, so I see all the new stuff when it comes it and sweep it up.

For anyone waiting for a lucky break — and these days, especially for someone around my age, it’s usually job related — I don’t really think there’s enough luck out there to go around. It comes down to hard work, and repetition, and failing multiple multiple times before you succeed. Whenever I come across the folder saved on my computer with all the resumes and cover letters and portfolios I put together for the roughly gabazillion jobs I applied for over the seven months I was unemployed, I want to cry just at the memory of it. But, I have a great job now! Might I dare say my dream job? Yes I think so. I’m so lucky to have it.

* The only thing I can’t argue with is someone who wins a vacation via a sweepstakes. That’s lucky. I guess they deserve it by entering the content anyway. But I enter those things all the time and I never win. *

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Writer Who Doesn't Write

When I tell people I'm a writer, I feel like a liar. Yes, I write every single day, all day, at work, but I have a difficult time making time to write for myself. And, writers are supposed to read. I read on average, 1-2 books a month, but that's not nearly enough. I wish it were more like one a week.

I've been able to make myself read and write more at times, but only in spurts. I challenged myself to blog every day for the month of December and was able to pound out 31 posts throughout the month.

Saying that I don't have time isn't an excuse. It's like people who say they don't have time to exercise. I simply don't believe it. If exercise is something you really want to do, then you do it. "I don't have time to exercise" means "I don't make time for exercise." And it's the same with making time to write.

So what's the solution? To do it. Since I rarely have time after work (I'm at the gym, or at French class, or stopping by the store to get stuff for dinner), I'm going to start waking up a little bit earlier every day so I can write in the mornings. So see you tomorrow morning, and the next morning and the next. I have to get in the habit of doing this now before it's too late.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where's The Toilet?

This evening as I was leaving the gym, I was greeted by a frantic text from my roommate.

"Sooo just got home... the toilet is in the shower and the sink is in the living room..."

Now, we were expecting our landlord and his maintenance crew to be doing some work in the bathroom. They notified us they'd be doing some pretty major work to replace the ancient pipes, but he told us the only inconvenience to us would be that the wall would be ripped out for a few days. No big deal.

But the toilet in the bathtub was a big deal, as you can imagine. I called our landlord to see what was up. I tried not to make any assumptions and be as nice as possible, but I was secretly pretty pissed. He had no idea what the state of our apartment was and apologized a million times. He said he'd figure out what the deal was and call me back.

Turns out their work was taking longer than they expected, and the guys were still working on it, but were in a different part of the building. They intended to come back and finish things up for the night (ie put the toilet and sink back where they belonged). We just thought they had left everything all over the place and went home.

In the end, it wasn't that big of a deal. And I guess the lesson here is to never make assumptions. I could have been really rude to my landlord when I called to ask wtf was going on. But I was nice, and he was nice, and everything worked out. Now we can pee and take showers!

Monday, May 02, 2011

What's Blossoming?

April #reverb10 prompt: What’s blossoming?

I started writing this blog post and stopped, then started writing and stopped again several times throughout the month of April. I never finished it, because I didn’t feel I had any “blossming” things worth bragging about. Also, I don't think I liked the question really. All I could think of was flowers.

I felt I had to answer something HUGE. Four months into 2011, and I had to have accomplished something gargantuan, right? When in fact, nothing huge was happening. Except that I started a new job, which was kind of huge. And I stood up in a good friend’s wedding, which was also huge. But none of those things felt huge enough to make a big deal about.

The hugeness I wanted to celebrate was that I could finally do a handstand or that I had written a novel or run another marathon. Something that had taken time, but something that I could finally say “yes. yes it’s true. I did that thing, finally.” But I am nowhere closer to doing those things than I was several months ago. And when I realized that, I felt that I had wasted these months doing nothing. But that’s not true. A lot of things take time, and what matters is that I am moving in the right direction.

I can’t do a handstand but I can do the six postures of vinyasa yoga without resting.
I haven’t written a novel, but I have been inspired to write more.
I haven’t run a marathon, but I have been running once a week.

The things I am trying to improve about myself are things that take time and patience. I am typically not a very patient person, so I don’t like to admit that. Getting better at something just takes continuous practice, and as long as I am sticking to that practice, then I should be proud of myself.