Hitting Hard

Not even two weeks in and this semester is hitting me hard. I knew it would. I knew weeks ago that it would, but I’m somehow still surprised. I am working all day and have somewhere to be almost every night this week. Every night in fact, if I’d like.

I’m excited for this semester, and for the opportunities it is bringing, but I can also see that I’m going to have to give myself a bit of a break. I’m going to need to be kind to myself when school and interning come before other things. Which I’m thinking will be often. Or at least… more often than I’d like.

Looking at my schedule and the responsibilities I have. The ones I’ve committed to for others, and the ones I’m committing to for myself. I’m deciding what takes precedence and what I’ll allow to fall away. It breaks my heart, but this blog is one of the ones that I’m going to have to allow to fall.

Lately I’ve been falling behind; scheduling posts to day they’re going live, skipping days, and half-assing my social media output. And I hate that I’m doing that. Even though I don’t think I’ve ever made any outright statements saying what my posting schedule is, I’ve been consistently posting four times a week for a year straight. Unfortunately, this space can no longer be my top priority. I enjoy blogging and I love the feedback I get (even though it’s small), but I have to allow myself to not worry about it anymore.

This doesn’t mean I won’t still be posting. It will just be more haphazard. I’m going to stop beating myself up over missed days. I’m going to work on balancing my school and intern schedule with other commitments I’ve made to friends and to my church community. Because, while I value my online connections, I value my in-person connections more.

If you’d like to stay connected, please feel free to reach out on Twitter or friend me on Facebook, I don’t think I know how to quit those. For now though, I’m relaxing my blog posting, and focusing on living.

This Will Be: September 2013

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September is my favorite month. Probably because it’s my birthday month. And TV premiere month. And Emmy month. And the beginning of school month. And the beginning of jacket weather (well, in normal climates). Gah, I just love September so much.

Things that will happen this month include a few things that were teed up in August that will come full circle in September. In September I will become a member of the church I’ve been going to. I will be starting my final semester in college, despite being hundreds of miles away from the college I’ll be attending. And of course, this month, I’ll be going on a camping trip that I am in the process of planning.

I constantly seem to be forgetting my word for the year, fearless. I realize that what I need to do is set an even more specific goal each month within the larger goal for the year. September will be to set fearlessness. That sounds a little bit odd, but looking at what I want for this month my goals seem to mostly be to set more goals. Is that silly? Maybe.

But it’s also really timely for me. The beginning of the school year always seemed like a more logical time for me to set goals then at the beginning of the calendar year. Coupled with my birthday, setting goals is the perfect goal for me this month. A month of goal setting and routine making.

Some routine setting goals include washing the dishes, making my bed, and doing quiet time every day. I’d like to go to the library once a week. Coincidentally, DVDs can be checked out for only a week, so if I get one DVD every time I’ll be all set to come in every week. I will also have a lot of scheduling to do once I get my syllabus’ for my classes (syllabi?).

I am also going to spend some time out of the next two weeks coming up with goals for being 22. It seems that the new year is the time to set specific goals for the year, and my birthday is a time to set intentions for the year. I’ll use this time as a way to check in with myself on my calendar year goals as well as ponder what I’ll be doing with myself a year from now.

What are your plans for September?  Any big goals you’re got in mind for the month?

Right Now…

Santa Monica

Shifting my life around to fit better in LA. A little nudge in that direction, a little tug here, trying to find the best way that my life fits here.

Planning out my schedule. This fall will be at least one, possibly two internships and 9 credit hours of online course work.

Organizing my finances. Because apparently I’m almost an adult now. Whatever that means.

Trying to get back into the groove of blogging, but I keep running into chronic lateness.

Spending days at a time without leaving the apartment, writing, tooling around on social media, and watching Fringe. A few other summer shows, but mostly Fringe.

Hanging out with one of my best friends who is visiting on her way back to Seattle.  Which involves…

Swimming in the ocean.  Not something I would have done on my own, but a lot of fun all the same.

Printing pictures for the first time on the photo printer I’ve had for over a year. Including some underwater pictures we took at the beach.

Yearning to get back into yoga, and getting excited whenever I see a studio relatively near me.

Wearing shorts and tank tops around the apartment, because it’s too damn hot for anything else.

Hating the heat. My body does not respond well to heat (sunburn, heat rash). I know I chose this, and I’m dealing with it, but I was clearly made for temperate zones.

Eating simple foods to keep the burners and oven off.

Loving my new shorty haircut.  I cut it all off to donate to Children with Hair Loss, following along in the #hairfohazel and #itgrowsback campaign that is happening around the new The Fault in Our Stars movie.

Riding my scooter new around town when I leave the apartment.

Going to fancy LA premiere parties. Like you do.

Describing delicious food as a “good life decision”. In and Out. Watermelon.

Spending less by eating in as much as possible and going to free things. Like sitcom tapings and parties with friends.

This Will Be: July 2013

Looking at my goals this month it seems that July will be very career and future focused. Which is exciting, but also a little intimidating. I hope that all this industry focus isn’t too overwhelming before I even begin. Though I suppose my anxieties can be saved for another time.

I started a new block of classes July 1, so I’m already on day two of the semester. This round is called Transmedia Development. When I’ve explained this to people I’ve mostly described transmedia as cross-platform development (developing stories that stretch over TV, social media, video games, ect). This month I’m going to learn how accurate that description is (or is not).

School in this city and industry means networking. I’ll be doing a lot of that this month, and I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’m unashamedly hoping that it gives me the opportunity to intern with a production company or media group I like. That’s goal number next, find a fall internship.

Of course, there will be a few non-school/industry things planned this month too. I’ve got the basics of my apartment down, but I would like to spend some time to make this new space more of a home. I’d also like to host some people for dinner or a movie night. I’m not sure what yet, but I love having people over and playing hostess.

After last month, I think it’s best I keep any vlog-making goals the same as last time. Since I will be focusing more on school, I want to be sure that the majority of my efforts are on my school work. So two videos. We’ll see how it goes.

Other than that? I will be headed to Comic Con for at least a day this month through my school and I’m wildly excited. I’m trying to determine what to cos-play as. Poison Ivy? Mrs. Reynolds from Firefly? (I’d have to cut my hair) I’d like to use my natural hair color, but if a character is red-headed, they’re usually all the way red, not halfsies like me. I know, first world problems.

There’s also a possibility that my mom and or sister will come down to LA to hang out with me for a weekend. I haven’t seen the sister since Christmas, so it would be awesome to see her, and fun to show off my new place. As complicated as my feelings are on this city, I’m starting to have favorite places that I’m simply itching to share with people.

What are your goals for the month?  Any wild plans for this craziness?

This Will Be June 2013 Edition

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June is the real official start on summer in my mind. Until college I had never gotten out of school until mid-june, so to me this is where summer begins. In the past few years summer has been travel and bits of school. There are no big travel plans for this years so far, but I do have a few goals in mind for this month.

I have been thinking about what I want this space to be and I would like to pull this online home together a bit more. This will start with a new ‘About’ page coming soon, and I hope to continue with more focused content. My goal is that I can pull this together a bit more by the end of the month.

I would also like to shoot, edit, and upload two vlogs. See my first one here, and subscribe to my channel here. I kind of love vlogging, but am working on building it into something that I’m more ready to share with the world.

I’ve also been doing what I’ll call micro-planning lately. Basically this means that before I go to bed at night I’ll look at my callendar and decide what I want to do the next day and schedule when I want to do those things. It’s been a great system so far, and it’s made me much more conscious of what I am doing with my time. I hope to continue planning as the month goes on, and ingrain it as a habit. It’s a good thing to be reminded of and I think helps me get more things done.

To be honest, there is only one thing that properly NEEDS to happen this month. I need to move to LA.  I don’t really have a plan for this yet and am just starting to feel the pressure to find a place to go.  My prayer:

Dear Lord, I need somewhere to live in LA. It can be a place for the summer, or a place for longer. It can be a place by myself or a place with a roommate. You know the exact place you want me to be, and it’s perfect for what I need right now.  Show me how to find it. Amen.

What are you all planning for this month?

Plan A vs. Plan A

My plan A:
Come to Los Angeles in late February for school.  After school, register for a summer course here, and online classes in the fall, get cleared to do this instantly, find a permanent apartment here in LA, and move in.  Volunteer until I start my summer program in July.  Build a community.  Buy things from IKEA.

At the end of summer take a road trip.  Either with a friend in her car, or with a crazy Uncle to get my stuff to LA.  Set up a full apartment.  Have a bit of a housewarming party now that I can cook things properly in a full kitchen.

In the fall, take online classes while interning, all the while building up my portfolio to apply for writing fellowships in the spring.  Apply and get into writing fellowships.  Get paid from said fellowships.  Finish school in December.  Graduate and walk in May 2014, right back to LA to start working.  Become financially independent.

Mom’s plan:
Go to LA in late February for school.  Come back to San Francisco afterwards.  In May go to Chicago to take a summer history class.  Return to LA in June to find a place to live.  Summer program in July.

God’s plan A:
LA for condensed spring semester.  Back home to SF for an unknown amount of time.  Volunteer?  Intern?  Class in Chicago?  Probably stay til mid-June before coming back to LA to prepare for Summer program.

*

I wish I knew what the future held.  But apparently God’s plan is only revealed on a need-to-know basis.  I guess I don’t need to know yet.  God’s plan is better than any plan I could ever have for myself.  Whatever God has for me will be so much better than my plan A.

Right now, God’s plan A looks a lot like my plan C or D or E.  Parts of it look terrifyingly like plan Z.  But I have to trust Him.  I have to obey.  Because right now I’m miserable.  And that’s never part of the plan.

Halfway Mark

I never really cared much about my half birthday until a few years ago when my friend and I decided that we were internally 7 and 5 respectively and we turned the next age on our half birthdays.  That said, I am “turning” 8 this year, specifically  last Wednesday was my half birthday.

That being said, halfway is a great place to check in with my goals for 21, the things I thought of when I turned 21 that I wanted to do during the year.  From this post, my goals were:

  • being intentional about my choices
  • establishing a habit of devotionals
  • scheduling time to get things done
  • routines for… health, beauty, photography, and blogging

How’s that for vague and ambiguous?  I’ll start with the things that I’ve done.  I’ve done very well with establishing a habit of devotions.  While I don’t know I would claim to have a routine for blogging, I have been keeping up with it quite well.  Meanwhile, photography has majorly stalled.  There has been no movement on beauty routines and any movement made on health over winter break has come to a screeching halt upon moving to Los Angeles.  I will claim to have been pretty good at scheduling over the fall semester, but that took a nose dive over the break.

As to “intentional choices”, the most ambiguous of them all, I’m really not sure how to respond to it.  I made the choice to come out to LA to do this program, something I didn’t foresee last September at all.  I spent a lot of time praying about it, and especially praying about where my life will go after moving.  Will I stay here or go back to Chicago?  As I’ve said multiple times through this transition, I have a lot of options and none of them suck (at least from my perspective).

But does praying over a decision make it “intentional”?  I’m not sure.  What about other choices I’ve made?  Since September I’ve gone to industry events in Chicago and LA.  I’ve made many knitted things and spent time with friends and family near and far.  I’ve gone home for Thanksgiving, and then spent two and a half months living at home.  I’ve started and finished many a television series.  I’ve planned and plotted a few of my own TV shows (both in reality and in the hypothetical).  What makes any of these things intentional?

The think that seems to be missing from this intention equation is what the intention should be leading toward.  It’s hard to have intent without a goal set in that intention.  So what was my goal in setting this intention last September?  Honestly, I’m not sure there was one, and I’m not sure what I would add to it now.  In intend to make the most out of the opportunities that have been given me, but that’s still not measurable.

Perhaps the best way to go about it is to say that instead of making my choices with “intention” whatever that means, I want to consult God when making be decisions.  That is measurable and solid.  With changing to that as a goal, I can say that I have done that so far this year, and I hope to continue doing it.

I don’t know what opportunities will be available to me in these next six months, but I know that whatever choices I make I want them to reflect God’s plan for me.  He has a perfect plan for my life and He will tell me what to do next.  I don’t know where it will lead, but I know He’s got this.

And who am I to mess with God’s plans?  Nobody, that’s who.

My New Collection

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From my road trip to LA. Real talk: I want to be Mary Tyler Moore.

These days I find myself lingering in the travel section of bookstores.  Even our local sports and adventure store has a travel book section.  I spend much of my time there.  I pour over the titles and imagine the places listed there.

While books often bring you to different worlds, usually those worlds are metaphorical.  In travel guides and essay collections the reality of these spaces is poignant.  Reading the descriptions of colorful fruits in a street market in Cambodia, I can’t keep from the back of my mind how easy it would be to hop on a plane and go there.

Easy is perhaps a relative term.  Once plans were made they would be easy to execute.  But until plans are made the thoughts will simply linger in the back of my mind.

I have taken to buying books of places I’m interested in going to.  It started innocently enough.  Just one book.  On a place I very well may go come summer.  But then…  Before I knew it, a trip to a bookstore wasn’t complete without a travel book tucked into my stack.

As strange as this new collection is, I couldn’t be more exciting.  I am already imagining shelves full of travel books; organized by places I’ve been and places I haven’t.  When I go somewhere I can hold tickets and mementos between the pages, a miniature memory book of all the was and all that could have been.

These books will be my favorites.  Of all the stories and tales that line the shelves, it will be the travel books–books full of potential for my own stories–that I will prize.  I can’t wait.

Looking for… A Place in LA

You know that thing where the more you learn about something the more you realize that you have no idea what you’re doing?  Yeah, my “search” for housing in Los Angeles has been a lot like that.  I started out thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal, but now I’m in a little over my head.

In a little over a month I am starting to take full time classes (like 40 hours a week) in a city I know virtually nothing about.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited.  Buuuut, there isn’t likely to be copious amounts of spare time to find the nearest Trader Joe’s or make sure I have internet access.  It would probably be good if I had some of that in place before March 4th.

There is a fall back plan.  But I don’t really like it.  It’s far from my classes and more expensive than I was planning on.  I guess it’s good to HAVE a fall back plan, but at the moment it’s not super comforting.

So internet, I turn to you to help me find a place.  And if not, at least I’ll have collected all my housing wants in one place.  I have a few lists of what I’m looking for and what I’m like.  If you or someone you know lives in Los Angeles (I’m especially interested in the Hollywood area) then link them here and we’ll see where it goes.

In a Single/Studio Space, I would want…
-washer and drying on site
-furnished space if possible
-air conditioning
-parking available (street parking fine, if usually available in neighborhood)

In a Shared Space, I would want the above and…
-wifi availability
-kitchen access
-my own desk

Move In and Business
-Hollywood, Los Felix and adjacent neighborhoods preferred.
-Available March 1st at the latest (earlier availability welcome).
-I can afford about 800 a month for a single/studio or 400 for a shared space.  If you have a higher or lower offer I’ll still hear it, but that’s my ballpark.

Me (cause if you have someplace in mind, you’ll want to know who you’re offering it to)
-21-year-old, non-smoker
-quiet and relatively clean
-television writing student looking for networking opportunities
-willing to cook at least once a week/pay part of rent in cookies
-references available on request

Help a girl out?

Recent Events

I made mention on Tuesday of “recent events” that brought the idea of Grad school to the table.  At the moment I don’t have any policy per-say about how much of my life I share with the internet.  There is nothing in my life that I am ashamed about, but I’m still not sure where the line is of what to share and what not to share.

Wherever that line is, my future plans have always fallen on the side that is shared with the internet.  Usually I try to make some concrete choices about what the future will be looking like before I go sharing, but this one is a bit of an undecided moment.  A two roads diverged moment of sorts.

One road is basically Route 66 and brings me to Semester in LA (SiLA) and a possible internship.  The second gives me a chance to study abroad, something I had always planned on doing.  Another option, of course is to stay right where I am, cozy and warm tucked into Chicago.  Both SiLA and Chicago could lead to grad school in England, but that seems to be a long way off.

Long story short I have lots of options for what to do with myself next semester, and none of these options suck.  Up until recently I also would have said that none of my options disqualify any of the other options, but I’ve recently found out that’s not the case.  Apparently if I want to study abroad then I have to do that in the next two semesters.  Doable, yes, but it throws off some plans I had.

All in all, I’m really not sure what the next few years of my life are going to look like, but I think I’m kind of excited for them.  Right now at least.  Maybe when I’m in the middle of it I’ll want to drop out a move to Brazil to run zip-lines through the Amazon.  Don’t worry internet, if that happens you’ll be invited for the trip.