Saturday, September 17, 2011


This is what my Friday nights have resorted to. Writing to the orbs, playing love songs on my guitar with a purring cat on my lap, drinking a glass of Moscato, listening to Frank Sinatra on pandora, and making eight servings of pasta because I am apparently incapable of eyeballing it and cooking for one.

I had a realization yesterday.

I'm an adult. I can do whatever. I. want. to. do.

Phew. What a freeing thought. I've got a degree and I have moved myself to a big fancy city! And now?

I'm debating going to grad school. Hmph. I've been quickly filling up a PRO/CON list.

Here are some of my concerns in the most raw dramatic form:

1) I've only been out of college for what, three months and I'm already ready to go back? Sounds like someone's been in school since they were five years old and now doesn't know what to do with her spare time. I miss being told what to do and when to do it. Finding opportunities and applying myself is a) exhausting and b) too abstract.

2) I must be looking for an excuse to move. I like LA. I just don't know if it's my place. Just like when I was living in England--- I loved it-- but when I got to Germany... there was an audible click in my universe. Everything made sense to me there. It felt like home.

I've never had that instantaneous click with LA. I've developed it, surely, and I'm sure I could get even more comfortable. But that's like an arranged marriage: start as friends and learn to love each other. No thanks, not for me. I refuse to settle. I want a city to sweep me off my feet. As well as men but that's another story. And I don't want LA to expel me like it has other friends. I want to leave on good terms.

3) If I want to be a writer-- then all I need to do is write. Right?

4) This would be ALL me. So here's to hoping that silly Magna Cum Laude title can land me some scholarships. But this of course is coming from the girl who didn't even know what that meant on graduation day, with the name card in my hand.

I've been chatting with several people to collect opinions. First of all I talked with my mother, whose main concern was DON'T GO INTO DEBT followed by DON'T GO INTO DEBT. Which is of course the most logical motherly advice but is still no fun. Then I talked with one of my best friends and mentors, Christin, yesterday afternoon. I met Christin my sophomore year at U of A. She taught my Rituals and Performance class and my life has never been the same. We became good friends after she asked me to co-write an original play based on the Federal Theatre Project that was produced last fall followed by developing solo performances in the spring.

Christin is one of my heroes. Strong, independent, beautiful, sassy. Everything I aspire to be. And she is EDUCATED. She of course supports me in everything that I do, grad school or no grad school. And I knew how our conversation would go. It was just nice to hear her voice. She listened dutifully as I explained my aspirations and concerns, then said, "Jenny. It sounds like you've already made your decision".

And she's probably right. I have. I want to go to grad school. I just want to make sure it's for the right reasons and that I REALLY know what I'm getting myself into.

I also spoke with two other women I admire: Gretchen and another mentor from U of A, Megan. Gretchen treated me to a delicious groupon dinner at the Fat Dog on Fairfax last night. She game me advice on every subject in life and I soaked it all in like the little impressionable sponge that I am. She also encouraged me to follow my bliss and to not follow society's or other people's expectations of me. Here, here.

Megan, a brilliant playwright from Iowa, always challenges me when I ask her opinion. She led a writing workshop I did last year to prepare for the play we were writing. She and I had a little phone conference this morning, bright and early. It's refreshing to speak with Megan because she has no bias and is completely objective when it comes to my life. There is no right answer with her. Which I completely respect and love. But the indecisive piece that I am desperately wants someone to tell me what to do. She reminded me that I am still very young and that I should go around and collect experiences and then look into it later. She congratulated me on my three odd jobs and said, "Welp. There's your material. This is the best time of your life! You're a floundering, attractive woman in your early twenties stuck in a super crappy situation! That's comedy. Why do you think Friends was so successful? Rachel was a coffee shop girl for crying out loud."

She's right. This all must be very entertaining or else no one would be reading my blog. But you can't blame me for trying to get myself out of it. Floundering wasn't exactly part of my life plan. I'll certainly embrace it for a certain amount of time while it's still hip and kitschy, but at some point I've gotta pick myself out of it.

I could hang around LA for a couple of years-- working odd jobs and scouring Craigslist for opportunities. But I'm all about seizing the day! My cup floweth over with gumption and ambition! I want to wander blindly into the future and make some decisions already!

There is no right answer. I get that. Do I need grad school? No. But what do I actually need in life? I could go wander through the mountains of Burma and shave my head. We don't need anything. But going to grad school would open a lot of doors for me and completely change my life course-- I suppose every decision does-- but this might lead me where I want to be.

If I had majored in Creative Writing in college, I don't think I would necessarily need to go to grad school. I researched a couple of programs at work today (I'm really good at multitasking... something that comes in handy when you work nine hours straight at a debt consolidation company everyday with no breaks). I don't know the first thing when it comes to writing. I probably have some amount of raw talent, but really, I don't know how to turn it into something substantial. Writing is a lot more left-brained than we think it is. It needs structure and the right tools to make it worthwhile. So grad school would definitely give me that. The courses are pretty incredible and just reading about them made me do a little dance in my rolly chair.

Being in a school setting might also give me opportunities to get noticed and put me in with the right writing crowd. ...If there is a crowd. Or if they're all like me--- sitting at home on a Friday night. Writing. How romantic.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Genius without education is like silver in the mine." A wise man, ol' Ben. It's there. I've got the right equipment. I just need to read the manual. Or pay $20,000 a year to access it. No big.

So where have I been looking?

I'm not going to lie. San Francisco. I love that city. I always have. I wanted to go there for undergrad but they didn't have the program I wanted. Out of all of the grad programs I researched today their's is closest to what I want to do. I also am looking at a couple schools in New York, too. Just for funsies. But I can really see myself living in San Fran, for sure. Being there this past weekend rekindled all of my childhood fondness that was laying dormant. I also like USF's tagline: "Educating Minds and Hearts to Change the World".

That's kind of amazing. Educate my mind, USF! And throw some financial aid my way, too, while you're at it! I want to change the world! Let me at it!

I'm only 22 years old and I have serious ants in my pants. I want to get stuff rolling already. But as Frank just said on my pandora, "Nice'n'easy does it, every time". Everything will happen in due time. I just love life and I want it to all start coming together already. But it is and I get that. Ezra told me to just let everything be what it is, whatever it is, and to ride the wave as it's happening. And I love him for that. General, ambiguously open-ended advice is the best.

I debated posting all of this. You'd be surprised how much of what I write doesn't make it on here. I'm sure what I usually take out is MUCH more interesting. Let's face it, it's all the juicy stuff, but there you have it. Another thing I'm sure I'll learn about writing: if you don't want others to read it it's probably what they want to read. Eh.

We'll see. Midnight kisses, all.

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