Guys, I just submitted my manuscript to the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition, even though I’m sure it’s hopeless. I recently drafted a manuscript for my Creative Writing Capstone and also my last class of undergrad. It’s a collection of short stories following individual people going through a weird time in their life and how they deal with that situation and how they deal with themselves in that situation. It’s an overall weird time, but I’m totally in love with it and super proud of what I was able to accomplish. I really hope that this will get me some notice in the literary world and, if not, I hope that it gives me the confidence boost I need to push forward and continue to make strides in my writing endeavors. Regardless, please keep your fingers crossed until October 14th.
Guys, do you ever get distracted? I’m not talking like a little distracted? I mean, distracted long term? I feel like that’s been me for the last few months. I was on such a roll for a while, I was practically butter. (I had to, forgive me.) While, I guess the title is a little over-exaggerated because I can never pass up a good shenanigan, I think it’s time for me to get my focus back. If there’s one thing I’ll miss about school, it’s the fact that I needed to do half the things I did. I had a deadline and a reason and I think I lost that now that I graduated. I have zero self control apparently. I think it’s time that I start doing things that I want and need to do to get my life even halfway to where I’d like it to be. I want to write and I think I want to teach and I want to go to graduate school and so I think it’s time I start acting like I want to do all those things, right? We’ll see how this goes, at least.
(Yes, this means that I have yet to finish Gatsby. I know what you’re all thinking: aren’t you a Literature major and isn’t Gatsby like one of the quickest reads of all time? Yes, to both those questions. Trust me, it’ll be done soon and I’ll be on to the next read and we’re all going to have a real good time with my summer book list, I swear to you.)
With my big move approaching, I’m finding it much more difficult to say goodbye to people that I’ve surrounded myself with for the past a thousand years. “It’s not really goodbye,” said everyone I’ve been discussing this matter with. But, really, what does that even mean? It is goodbye. Yes, maybe it won’t be forever, but in this moment, who knows. It’s goodbye because I’m moving halfway across the country, unsure of when I’ll be back to visit. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines goodbye as a noun meaning:
1. a concluding remark or gesture at parting
2. a taking of leave
Neither of those definition have an implication of time. They don’t state that it means forever or that it doesn’t mean forever–it just means you’re leaving. And that’s what I’m saying. So please everyone, enough with the nice sentiments of it not actually being goodbye because it is. Trust me.
Anyway, I think I’ve told four people(?) that I’m leaving. Granted, essentially everyone in Texas knows that I’m coming down and are patiently (and impatiently) waiting for me to make my return, but four people(?) here in New Jersey know of my journey. And I think that’s because for a long time, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing and so I needed someone to talk to. But how do I go about telling everyone else? If it’s not really goodbye, it seems almost stupid to say goodbye then. But, at the same time, I owe a lot to many of these people that not even saying goodbye would be a completely dis to them as a friend. (Yes, I used dis, because it’s slang and I couldn’t think of another word.) I guess, ideally, I would like to tell these friends that I’m leaving face-to-face, but, again, at the same time, I just don’t see me being able to do something like that. It’s a terrifying thing to be sitting across from someone who has been around for so long and tell them you’re leaving. I couldn’t tell you why or even describe it to you, but it is. It is not a fun time. I guess my other options are as follows:
1. Group text individuals that I’m leaving
2. Create a facebook event that would let them know of my situation/invite them all to hang out with me before I depart
3. Throw a party and only then tell them that I’m leaving
4. Tweet about it
5. Subtly link this post to my facebook
6. Don’t tell anyone
7. Pull a Michael Scott re: The Office and tell people I’m leaving one day, but actually be leaving the day before
8. Send a group text while I’m already on the road informing everyone that I’m gone
9. Have my friends tell their friends and hope everyone is reached by the time I’m gone
10. Be an actual human/friend and tell them to their face
I think I’m having the biggest problem with this whole thing because, in all honesty, I’m no good at anything. I’m no good at meeting people. No good at saying goodbye to people. No good at deciding things. No good at following through with things (ps I’m still reading The Great Gatsby because things got crazy and I’m the worst). No good at hiding emotions. No good at not being emotional. I’m just no good. I don’t know how I’ve survived to see the age of twenty-two. Like, it’s a really good thing that humans won out in that “survival of the fittest” thing because I totally wouldn’t be around right now if it was based on a strictly individual thing.
Anyway, I keep finding myself getting more and more sad about saying goodbye. I feel like I should’ve done this a month ago, so at least, when the time came, everyone would already have some sort of idea. I say this because I didn’t tell anyone at my job until the other night when I asked a visiting manager about the steps I had to take to transfer. (I work in a store at a mall and it’s a great/terrible time.) I hadn’t told my permanent managers just yet because I wasn’t sure how that would work out for me. Tonight, the visiting manager mentioned my move to the others, because, well, he kind of had to. Upon learning this, my manager made a comment about me leaving and I literally almost cried. Like, it’s the most pathetic thing. It’s just a job, right? He’s just a manager? It’s not like I’ve been at this job for years. It’s been half a year. Six months.
And then I realize that it’s not important how long I’ve known him–or anyone else for that matter. These are the people that have helped shape who I am right now. And because of that, it seems dumb to say goodbye. Why would I say goodbye? Why would I even leave them? In the same respect, though, these are the same people that helped shape my decision to leave. They’ve shown me I’m better than all this place has to offer. That I deserve better than I think. That I can be more than I am. So why would I be afraid to say goodbye when they’ve all supported me through the years with everything I’ve done?
With every passing day, I come closer to the realization that this is the decision I’ve made and that there is no avoiding it.
“‘If you don’t know what you want,’ the doorman said, ‘you end up with a lot you don’t.'” (Palahniuk) There is some relevance of that to my life at this moment, I’m sure. I feel like throughout my entire life, I have had a detailed plan of my life. I know, I know, you can’t plan the future or whatever the saying is. I know that sometimes life takes some unexpected turns. I know mine has. But I think it’s important to have plans. For motivation, maybe? (What am I even saying, though?) I think sometimes it’s tough trying to figure out what you want, because sometimes what you want today is not always want you want tomorrow. And sometimes that’s not always what you wanted yesterday. Things change, people change, and it’s a weird and scary time. But I think just having some knowledge of how you want to turn out and how you want your life to turn out, is sometimes enough. Enough to get on. Enough to make the decisions that ultimately change the course of your life forever. (Dramatic, I know.) Maybe I don’t know exactly what I want life to be like in the future. But I think I know what I want to get from life. (Is this making sense because I’m trying really hard to pull everything full circle.) I think it’s because of this knowledge and this self awareness that I’ve come to a decision, finally. In only the matter of a month, I will be relocating to Fort Worth, Texas. And I think I’ve mostly come to terms with it and I’m mostly calm about it and excited. And I think it’s because of this knowledge and self awareness that I know that if I don’t at least take the chance, I’m going to end up with a lot that I don’t want. And I think mostly what I don’t want from life is to sit around constantly wondering what if because who really wants that? Things are meant to change and people are supposed to grow and decisions are meant to be made. Sometimes it’s tough and sometimes it’s scary but sometimes it pays off. And if it doesn’t pay off, there is no shame in coming back to the life you were once comfortable with. And I think it’s time for me to take the chance. I think it’s time for me to start seeing what else is out there, right?
I’ll finish my senseless rant with this (courtesy Charles Bukowski):
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughters. It’s the only good fight there is.”
This has some relevance to my life, I’m sure.
Now I don’t want any of you to get the idea that I actually went to the movie theater to actually see the movie (because I didn’t), but my older sister and I just had a revelation about how the casting of The Great Gatsby should’ve panned out.
Let me paint a picture for you. An unkempt man by the name of Robbie Hart is depressed after being left at the alter. He is a hobby musician and a wedding singer by profession. One of the waitresses at these gigs is a woman by the name of Julia, who, naturally, Robbie falls hopelessly in love with. Robbie discusses the matter with his right hand man Sammy, except they both agree it’s never happening because, naturally, Julia is engaged to be married to a really pompous, gross dude named Glen. (Julia is semi-unhappy about this for many reasons, most of all because his last name Guglia rhymes with her first name Julia and who wants that?) Along the ride, Robbie and Sammy meet some really cool lady named Holly who is much cooler and has much better style than Julia, but y’know, she isn’t as caring or something. In the end, Julia realizes she is just as in love with Robbie as he is with her so the two end up together after meeting Billy Idol on a plane to Vegas.
NOW, I know what you’re all thinking. Sarah, isn’t this just the plot of the hit movie The Wedding Singer starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? Yes, yes it is, but bear with me here. Wouldn’t messy long haired Adam Sandler make the perfect Jay Gatsby? Let me lay it all out here for you.
Jay Gatsby: The main man needs to be played by a mysterious, kind of hopeless guy. My thoughts are that Leo DiCaprio is way too charming for his own good. I never got that feeling from good ole Jay. But I digress. Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer is great. He’s charming enough where you’re rooting for him to get the girl, but kind of messy in a way where you’re like “no way dude is this ever going to happen for you.” He is hopelessly in love with a woman who is set to be married (I know, Daisy and Tom are already married with a kid, but relax), and goes to extremes to get her attention (Jay throws his big shindigs hoping Daisy will show up and Robbie Hart essentially plans an entire wedding just to spend time with Julia). While the two were never romantically involved in the past, do not even pretend that that plot line wouldn’t have worked just as perfectly in The Wedding Singer, ok?
Daisy Buchanan: Obviously would be the character of Julia Sullivan. She has allowed herself to be in a relationship in which she never seems fully satisfied. However, I think both women don’t fully realize this until they meet (or re-meet) the person she is meant for–Daisy with Jay Gatsby and Julia with Robbie Hart. I mean, I guess you kind of hate this character because you want her to be smarter about their life. The whole time you’re angry with both Daisy and Julia for being so stupid. C’mon ladies, get it together. (And I mean, on a serious note, who doesn’t love an Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore romantic comedy, amirite?)
Nick Carraway: I mean, I guess this doesn’t make as much sense as the obvious players in the film, but I think it goes without saying that Robbie Hart’s right hand man, Sammy, must be the character of Nick. While he doesn’t really do much himself, he watches everything happen in front of him and almost coaches Robbie through the entire love affair with Julia Sullivan. Also, I think he might end up with Holly(?) so that’s almost that Nick and Jordan. Which brings me to…
Jordan Baker: Is it just me or is Jordan Baker a total badass? I just want to hang out with her the entire time she’s discussed in the novel. Again, is it just me or is everyone wanting her and Nick to work out in the end? Jordan Baker is obviously played the character of The Wedding Singer’s Holly Sullivan. She is cool, calm, collected, and gets all the fellas. She can see the truth in the relationship between Julia and Glen because she’s Julia’s closest companion. I guess the only plot line that doesn’t necessarily work out as well in The Wedding Singer is that, at a certain point, Holly and Robbie almost get together, but that can easily be looked past, yes?
And finally, the main event, Tom Buchanan: I think there is ZERO argument when I say that Glen Guglia is the epitome of Tom Buchanan. And I really think that’s all I need to say. (Also, like Tom is most definitely a player, and Glen Guglia is, too. They are pretty sure that they can have their cake and eat it, too. Except they can’t. You can’t fellas.)
Writers I Would Fuck Guys, my good friend and writing companion has decided to compile a list of really hot writers. If you ever had the hots for your favorite author or wondered why a writer would be an ideal life partner, please check it out to find out if your writer crush makes the […]
(Scribner Classics edition)
I’ve decided that the first book on my reading list is going to be The Great Gatsby, because I think that’s the first book on almost everyone’s summer reading list. Anyway, I know mostly everyone was rereading the novel because the movie was premiering, but that is not what this is. I, unlike almost every human on the earth, am not excited about the movie because how can Leonardo DiCaprio even play Gatsby? I think that’s not allowed. He can do most things, but he cannot do this. (Don’t even get me started on that soundtrack, though.)