I graduated with my degree in English last Spring, and I have to say it feels good to have that accomplishment under my belt. I have a field and belong to a community of grads and writers, and it’s cool to connect with people who have the same interests as me. Attending events like BookCon has shown me how following my interests can lead me to meet great people and have lovely experiences.
In college, I had been able to do poetry readings and attend literary events. I realize that the fun of all this really comes from connecting with people and sharing my work.
I self-published some poetry after I graduated, fulfilling a dream I’ve had since I was twelve. The support I’ve gotten from others has been heart-warming and inspiring. Because it is self-publishing (and because it’s poetry), I have not sold a large amount of books, but several people have bought them. It’s given me first-hand experience in creating, marketing and selling a product. And I think, at 22 years old, it’s pretty cool that I can have that experience.
I started taking driving lessons, which hasn’t been my favorite thing. I enjoy driving on side streets, but I don’t like driving in traffic. I know it’s important to be able to travel independently, so I’ll keep trying. It would be nice, though, to move to a city where I could get around without driving too much.
I’ve read a ton of books since graduating, mostly YA fiction. John Green, Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, JK Rowling… all my personal heroes. I would love to start reading more classics, like The Canterbury Tales, Wuthering Heights, and The Great Gatsby. It would probably help if I used the library to save money, but I do love buying my books. I’ve also listened to music: Selena Gomez’s Revival, Sara Bareilles’s Waitress, and Bleachers’s Strange Desire. Then of course, there’s the shows I’ve been binge-watching: The Fosters, Chasing Life, Switched at Birth, The Fosters, Friends, did I mention The Fosters?!?!
Embracing my sexuality has been important for me as well. I started coming out as bisexual. When Ingrid Nilson came out, she said her world got a whole lot bigger, and I can really relate to this. I have learned so much about sexuality and gender, and I’m so grateful for that. Living authentically makes life so much better. It makes you face your fears, and that makes you brave.
Ellen says you just have to live your truth, and I agree with this. It’s all about self love.
I thought about going to grad school. I wrestled with the idea for a while. If I went, it would be to get an MFA in creative writing or an MA in English. I was stressed out because the application deadlines for the fall were approaching, but I decided not to go. I know school will always be there. I want to live life outside of school and accomplish things and find my way in the world.
So, now I’m just figuring out my career and my life and everything that comes with it. It helps me to get organized, and to take small steps. Small accomplishments make a big difference. And at the end of the day, what matters most is that you take care of yourself and try your best. So, that’s what I’m doing.