Life as it stands

No “Currently” this month. I need a break from them. Instead, here’s my life right now. One big to-do list.

I am not writing enough poetry. I am daydreaming too much and writing stories in my head. Ever feel like you’re grasping towards something in thick fog? You can’t really see it, maybe make out its shape, but the nature of it eludes you. That’s me, right now. I’m sure I have something to say but it’s not even on the tip of my tongue, it’s out there somewhere in front of me.

Maybe it’s the springtime thing, but I desperately need to tidy up. I’m one of those people who has a laundry bag, but basically just tosses things in the general direction of the laundry bag, until there’s an untidy pile and the actual laundry bag has been buried far beneath the surface. I also have a pile of clean clothes that needs to be put away. Will it ever be put away? Or will I just go through each item in turn until they all end up in the dirty pile? Only time will tell. And my desk. Don’t get me started on my desk. I want to be able to take nice pretty pictures of my desk and show them off but my desk is currently covered in stickers and washi and those little bits and pieces that might be useful one day. You know… advertisements with pretty pictures on them, things torn from magazines, clothing tags, Magic the Gathering cards, bits of string… I can barely see my zen garden behind the stack of notebooks that can’t go back on the shelf because I might need them again in a moment.

Speaking of notebooks. Those of you who follow me on instagram will have seen my goooorgeous new A5 Chic Sparrow. I bought it, essentially, because I really like traveller’s notebooks but I also really like Leuchtturm1917s, especially for writing. They have big pages and page numbers and an index and dot grids. They’re really great notebooks for writers. But I also wanted to carry with me my writing commonplace/repository of ideas, as well as a writing journal. The result, naturally, is something more to stay at home than to come with me, although it fits well in a backpack and it isn’t too heavy. It also keeps my Leuchtturm from getting all dirty and banged up. The notebook cover, however, is the sort of leather that collects dings and scratches over time and becomes a beautiful and unique record of your time using it.

Look at this beauty, I’m in loooooove

I’m in a strange place right now. My to-do list seems to get bigger every week. I’ve been crossing things off, and then more and more things get put back on. And most of them are “you should do this soon” rather than “you should do this someday maybe”. I am really looking forward to the summer and getting some of the more “business-y” writing things done, like finally getting all the notes I’ve scribbled about lit mags written down in one place. I’ve been reading all this “how to pimp your stuff and be a freelance writer” stuff and man. People just say “Hey I have an article idea, want to pay me to write it?” and actually get hired. That blows my mind. Maybe that’s anxiety-brain talking, saying “other people can do this, but you can’t”. Anyway…

It’s the end of September. There is one month left of the academic year. November is NaNoWriMo, and December is Christmas shit, and then it’s next year. 2018 calendars and planners are out now, people. I have mine, sitting in a box. I have great and wonderful plans about how I will be using them. I am accumulating stationery for them. I am starting to formulate new year’s goals. Which is stupid because you know how many of my goals I’ve achieved in 2017? Fuck all. I don’t even remember most of them. I know I wanted to run 10k. There’s still time and everything, but I mean, god, self, sort yourself out. Get it together. The point of this paragraph, which I have only now reached, is that I don’t know if I’m studying next year. I know I want to do postgrad, but I have to email my graduate advisor to work out what I need to do in order to qualify. I’m finishing out my graduate diploma, but half of it was non-history stuff, and history’s what I want to do. Do I have enough history papers under my belt? Probably not. So I’ll have to look into that. “Email Grad Advisor” is one of the things on my endless to-do list.

History has been an experience. I’ve always been interested in it, but I’ve discovered I’m actually good at it. First history course I ever did was at 300 level. I got into that paper through classics, even though the only classics papers I had at 200 level were Latin. I’m still surprised they let me get away with it. I bombed the first essay, and rocked the last one. I saw my work measurably improve over the course of the semester. I’ve been getting great marks. It’s like this is something I have an instinct for, and I didn’t realise I had it. This is thrilling to me. Me, good at a thing?! Believe it or not! I want to push this as far as I can go. I want to do big scary postgrad and write a fucking thesis and everything.

But. There’s no financial assistance for postgraduate study. I’d have to fund things by myself, unless the government changes and things change with it (and we won’t know the results of the election for a couple of weeks). That means, essentially, that I’m looking at taking a year off and building up some savings. It’s probably the smart option. I just… really suck at making long-term goals and planning years in advance. I have, by and large, coasted through life with no real idea of where I want to be, just an idea of what I like to do. I plan about a year in advance and that’s that. With the degree, I’m really having to make choices about things I can do now to help me achieve a goal in the future.

I took on the graduate diploma basically on a whim. I wanted to improve my writing, so I took some writing courses. But I also thought that this one history paper looked interesting, so I sidled in and then oh shit, I’m pretty good at this. Chuck all the English papers out the window, I want to do history. And now I’m calculating my grade point average and wondering whether they give scholarships to part-timers. What the fuck happened?

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