Summer Resolutions: A Follow Up

It was only a mere week ago that I posted five simple summer resolutions and, as it turns out, I am terrible at keeping them regardless of season and time of year. I’m really pretty positive that the five resolutions I set for myself are things I can easily do without any hassle or any feeling of having a burden. Like, reading? Hello, please, I should be doing that everyday anyway. What am I even doing with my life these days? I just feel so lazy and unmotivated and I can’t figure out a way to just escape it. (Drama returns.) I guess I thought even just making the list would encourage me to do something about my lack of productivity but I think that was mostly wishful thinking. Sometimes I go to sleep and I tell myself that I’m going to be productive the next day. And I feel good about that plan. And it’s nothing serious. Nothing that would seriously disrupt my normal routine of sitting on the couch. But then I wake up and I just feel so defeated even before I start moving and I can’t figure out why. I miss my boyfriend. I’m stuck in my job. I haven’t set up my room from when I moved back (three months ago). I have no space to just sit and write and think. I feel like I’ve been working hard to achieve what I want to achieve, but, at the same time, I feel like I’m nowhere nearer to where I want to be. And I know things take time and I know that things will not just happen for me with a snap of my fingers. And I like working hard and I like seeing the results of all my hard work. It just seems like I’m not moving anywhere. I’m not going backwards in my life, but I’m also not progressing and I am stuck and I can’t figure out a way to unstick myself. I hoped that once I can get started on reading and exercising and sitting outside and the rest of my resolutions that at least I’d feel positive and maybe even feel like I was progressing in a positive way, but if I can’t even get started on that, where do I start?

Advertisements

One More Thing (Stories and Other Stories), BJ Novak

Time for everyone here to be excessively proud of me because I finally finished this book and let me tell you: it was great. I’m sure everyone finished this is a day because you probably could, but I get distracted way too easily (but I’m trying to change courtesy my resolutions, I promise friends).

Anyway, BJ Novak is a triple threat because he’s funny, intelligent, and also a grade A stud, amirite? Now I know I’m really not great at book reviews so this one is going to be no different.  One More Thing is such a great time. The stories are casually written, unique, and hilarious. I was laughing out loud to myself at an airport when I began this book so if I didn’t look crazy enough, that definitely didn’t help my case. Much like my affinity for Kevin Wilson’s Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, Novak has won me over. But also made me hate him because I wish I wrote this book. Maybe we can work out a deal. If I was going to write an actual book that was actually published, I’d want it to be something like this. So now, naturally, I’m going to start brainstorming and then 100% copy him. (Kidding.)

There doesn’t seem to be a super clear pattern or connection between the stories and I’m okay with that. Maybe he actually had a connection and I missed it, but that’s bound to happen when you take 400 years to read one book. Regardless, it all fit together nicely. The very short anecdotes mixed between longer stories work really very well. He keeps you on you toes, but never loses your attention. The first stories (“The Rematch” and “Dark Matter”) basically had me rolling on the floor because all things are 10 times more hilarious to me than any other human being. His short anecdotes (“Romance, Chapter One” and “If You Love Something”) were also favorites of mine. But I think I have to give a lot of props to his final story (“J. C. Audetat, Translator of Don Quixote“) was a work of (dare I say it?) poetry. When I first started reading it, I was sure that I was going to be disappointed and upset that this was his final piece, but I was pleasantly surprised. It moved me, like many of Audetat’s translations moved others. Novak touches on writing and art and what it means to certain people and it was beautifully written and all beautifully said. Less funny than basically all the other stories combined, I think it ended the collection exactly where it needed to end. It added a different dimension to the collection as a whole, and I think he needed it. He needed to make such a statement after everything he had already said. I wish I could quote the whole story right here, but I won’t do that because you’d all hate me, but I will quote this one passage because I love:

He knew he wasn’t a poet anymore. Still, while he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to say, he knew exactly how it should sound. He knew the acoustics of his age, he knew the precise echo that greatness made within it, and now, as much as he loved–finally–everything in his life, all he wanted was to hear that sound. He needed that sound to pull him out of where he was now, not because he didn’t love where he was now, but because he did, so much, that he needed to find out if he could make a sound that could compete with it.

Ugh, I love. Ok, but mostly, at the end of the day I can really only come to one conclusion about the whole thing: I really just want BJ Novak to see my blog or my writing and think I’m really great and quirky and funny and then literally look up from his computer and say something along the lines of, “Hey Mindy Kaling, check out this girl. We should get her on the show. Maybe as a writer. Maybe as a cast member. Maybe she can play your best friend and then, ultimately, become your best friend and, in time, my best friend. The three of us can hang out a lot and meet up for pizza even. LMK.” Which seems fairly reasonable to me, yes?

 

A Summer Resolution

I’ve recently stopped myself from making New Year’s Resolutions and this isn’t because I don’t think they’re a good idea, it’s only because I’m literally the worst at keeping them. I always resolve to do something that will either make me feel better as a human or make me a better human and by the start of the second week, I just stop doing everything I had planned and I realize now that maybe that’s not super great? I don’t know, I’m just really lazy in the winter and so I think a New Year’s Resolution is just really bad timing for me hence why I’ve decided to make a few summer resolutions. (I know what you’re all thinking: how are you going to keep “a few” resolutions if you can’t even keep one at the beginning of the year and you’re right. I don’t know why I assume that I have any will power to accomplish more than one thing, but I guess I’m just hoping that as long as I keep one of the things on my list that I’ll feel ok about my life.)

1. Exercise basically everyday. No, I don’t mean that I’m going to join a gym. Please, I would die. Also I wouldn’t go enough times to justify spending money on a gym membership. I guess I just mean that I’m going to start biking or walking or doing yoga or hiking on a regular basis. Things that get me moving. I want to get in shape. And I don’t mean like “I’m going to lose 1001 pounds this summer” in shape. I mostly mean “I’m going to be able to walk up a mildly steep hill without losing my breath just looking at it” in shape. And as a very wise Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t!” So there’s that.
2. Sit outside. Mostly because I would like to look a little less pale but also because my doctor told me a while ago that I’m severely lacking in the Vitamin D department.
3. Read a book a week. This is going to be tough because I’m the worst, but I need to start reading more regularly. I love books and books make me feel better and help my brain feel less like mashed potatoes. Also I’ll have a lot more awful book reviews to post and then maybe I’ll be better at blogging which would be an incredible thing, amirite?
4. Write. Like my last post complains, I’ve only been writing when I feel like it’s good enough to write, but it turns out that everything is good enough to write if it feels good for the soul. I just need to start writing again whether it’s in my journal or creatively. Also would like to take more time to write letters to friends in far away lands because I love me a pen pal.
5. Drink more water. Because it’s one of my favorite beverages, also it’s good for you, also summer is hot and water is cold and that’s a good thing soooooo bevo l’acqua.

I, like most humans in this day and age, make a lot of excuses to make myself feel better about not doing anything ever. My favorite excuse is the fact that I’m always at the mall so basically there is no time for anything else. That I’m too tired from standing in a clothing store all day to do something productive. So time to eliminate that excuse. Time to work around that schedule to get myself in a better routine. A routine opposite of “it’s 12am and I’m going to eat this bagel and drink this soda and stay up till 4am watching Gossip Girl on Netflix.” Like, whatever the opposite of that is, that’s what I want.

Wish me luck, I guess?

On Writing Part 2

So I realize I’ve been whining A LOT basically for all of eternity about not being able to write. And I realize now that this is my own fault. It’s not because I work a weird schedule and it’s not because I haven’t set a writing schedule for myself. It’s because I’m the worst and am only now seeing that.

I have this gigantic white board calendar that I mostly just keep because I like to write on white boards with colored markers and on said white board, I sometimes write an “inspirational” or “motivational” quote in the ‘notes’ section because why not? As I was searching for one to write for this month, I came across Seamus Heaney’s On Station Island, which is great and also one of my all time favorites. In the poem he channels the voice of James Joyce (also an all time favorite) who says to Heaney:

“Your obligation
is not discharged by any common rite.
What you must do must be done on your own

so get back in harness. The main thing is to write
for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust
that imagines its haven like your hands at night

dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast.
You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous.
Take off from here. And don’t be so earnest,

let others wear the sackcloth and the ashes.
Let go, let fly, forget.
You’ve listened long enough. Now strike your note.”

The main thing is to write for the joy of it. And as I was writing this specific line, it hit me. I’ve been so focused on trying to write something that I think I could submit or get published–something that will get me noticed–that I’ve completely ignored the writing altogether. How terrible am I? The thing is, I can always feel the effect of not writing in my bones. It drags me down and I know this and yet here I am. I don’t think I’ve been feeling the effects fully because I’ve been distracted with other things, but my point is that I haven’t even written because I just can’t seem to get any idea from my head to my paper that I think will get somebody’s attention. I’ve lost track of doing what I love to do and that’s write. It’s never been a concern of mine if anyone will read what I write or if anyone will like it. I write for me and myself and my soul and my well being. Do I think that keeping a writing schedule will help? Yes, I 1005% think that if I had a regular writing schedule, I’d be writing my heart out, but I don’t think I’ll ever have a regular writing routine if I can’t remind myself of my passion. If I can’t remind myself that the words I leave on paper aren’t always for anyone else.

A Golden State of Mind

Image

Image
(cc: Pacific Sunwear)

If you had asked me five years ago if being in retail long after undergrad was something I wanted to do, I’d look at you and tell you to go home because you were drunk. Heck, if you had asked me a year and a half ago if being in retail after undergrad was something I wanted to do, I’d have the same response. As you all know, I have a love/hate relationship with the mall and, thus, my job. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve grown to love and connect with this company on a level I never thought possible. Being promoted, moving to Texas, and moving back home has given me the chance to work with all sorts of people in all sorts of environments, facing all sorts of challenges. Learning all sorts of things. But behind each individual and each experience was one thing: the passion we all had for what we were doing, whether we knew it or not–whether we accepted it or not.

I think for a long time, I denied the fact that I liked what I was doing. Maybe it was because I was so caught up in my dream job happening immediately that I forgot to look around me. Maybe it was because it felt like it took forever for me to get any recognition for the work I did and the love I have for PacSun. It seemed all very frustrating. The people I work with have had a lot to do with my newfound appreciation of the store and the company as a whole. They are all driven and inspired and passionate. They all make me want to do better and more. Work harder, stay longer, all the while still enjoying every bit of what I do. It’s made me want to learn more and give more and move up, in hopes that one day, maybe I’ll want to do more with this.

Not only have the people been such a driving force for me in my retail career, but PacSun recently launched a new marketing campaign which really hit me on a level I didn’t know I had. The company itself was born and raised in Southern California and embodies that lifestyle and attire. But the new marketing campaign illustrates that you don’t need to be born and raised in SoCal to have the same lifestyle and state of mind. From Anaheim, CA to Chicago, IL, to Austin, TX to New York City, NY, employees and customers are connected through the love and loyalty we each have for this company and this store and the experience we all share through it and within it. I think that’s such a cool thing. We are no longer detached from the people that keep us fueled. We’re all more connected than we’ve ever been before–more connected than a lot of retailers are to their customers. We’re all bonded by this state of mind–this golden state of mind. We all find it in different places and in different aspects of our individual lives, but we all find it.

As the new campaign video which was launched a few days ago states “…because where you start never dictates where you end, and by the time you get there, you’ll know no matter who you are or where you are headed, the Golden State Of Mind lives in those who search for it, find yours.”

You can see the full Golden State of Mind campaign video here:

 

Just Thoughts

I’ve been seeing a lot of people I follow on social media starting blogs and as I’ve been doing my fair share of researching (stalking) I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone else’s blog seems one thousand times more successful than mine?? I’m trying really hard to figure out why that is.

1. They all just seem much more interesting than I am. I sit in bed and whine about life and they go outside and take really artsy pictures and talk about diets and fitness and juice cleanses and I’m just not into all that jazz. But I guess I also shouldn’t be all about doing nothing all day??? I guess I have the really terrible book reviews every once in a while, but my reading schedule is basically a mess and I’m stuck in the middle of BJ Novak’s One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, which basically makes me the worst person ever because it’s actually a pretty quick/easy read. But literally, even if I was doing other things with my life, I just don’t see how I could write about it that would make it interesting? Does that fact even matter? Do I just write about it no matter what? I don’t even know.
2. I guess they also post more than I do which is mostly my fault because ok it’s not just my reading schedule that is out of whack, it’s essentially my entire life. You caught me. So maybe once I figure out my life I can start posting regularly and then maybe you guys will like me more? 
3. I was thinking that I guess I should start posting more about my writing / more of my new writing ideas because maybe that’ll be a good outlet for me because I haven’t written in forever so maybe like being on the internet and being here will lead to something? Again, I don’t even know. 
4. Ok and the last thing I can think of is that maybe they advertise said blog more than I do. I guess I feel weird having people I actually know reading what I’m writing? I guess I feel like nobody I know will actually read this because I can essentially just tell them all of these things and it’s basically the same thing. I also think they just have a strong social networking base than I do and it’s not fair. Everyone follow me everywhere and be friends with me on the internet. Let’s start a club. 

Someone please help me because I literally have no idea what I’m doing.