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Count to Ten.

I started writing a list, a list of what happens to your (my) life when you (I) defer graduate school, but it felt revealing and childish and saturated with complaints of fatigue. So I deleted the list. Now here I am. I wrote “blog” on my to do list today and, my gosh, I’m going to cross “blog” off the list.

I have a thing for lists.

Would it be incredibly annoying if I said I miss Alaska?

Anchorage to Seattle.

(I do, I do, I do.)

My dog is tracking a mouse. Meaning, a mouse is in my room. Right now. My dog sits. She licks her paws. She stops. She looks up. She circles the room. She sniffs under the bed. She pushes at the closet door. She lies back down. Freezes. Jumps up. This is my brain. Up, down, up, down down down, up, down. This isn’t supposed to be deep. I’m genuinely concerned about this mouse that is most likely a rat. My dog goes under the knife next week. I live on the second floor. Why is the mouse here?

My dog has hobbled around all summer and apparently this is because of a bad-bad knee and arthritis and muscle atrophy and torn ligaments and, if we don’t fix it, her other knee is basically guaranteed to blow. There are worse things to spend money on.

Considering I’m returning from a week-long/unannounced/unofficial blog hiatus, I guess it’s best to ease in gently. Talk about my dog instead of me. The last ten days have felt like, well, not ten days. But long. Long long long, yet not. There’s so much good and there’s so much I don’t know. I’m scared January will come too quickly and I’m scared it won’t come at all. I returned to my summer office job this week. A job I stopped going to early last month because I was so tired and I was so sick, which is why I deferred graduate school. But now I need money to make up for what I spent during in Alaska last week so I can still move to Alaska in January It’s weird to be back in a place I thought would be so temporary. It’s weird to still be here when I thought it’d be so temporary.

Griffith Observatory.

I was in Los Angeles with my mom on Wednesday for a book launch of an author who critiqued my first chapter at a writing conference in 2008. In her critique, she complained about how it was unrealistic that my abused sixteen-year-old protagonist didn’t like sex, which in retrospect wasn’t the healthiest feedback to hear at bruised and healing seventeen. This is irrelevant. On Wednesday, Los Angeles was hot and brown and exhausting. It was beautiful too. I can bitch and moan about the drought and the smog all I want, but I’ll always find the mountains and foothills of this region intoxicating. Still. I don’t know. I used to feel buffeted in cities. These days, too much time out of the house, too much time in a bustle, and I want to hide in a warm bus beneath my sweatshirt. Sleep and wait to wake up in a different, quieter place.

Some facts. My car hit 666,666 last Saturday. I’m snapchatting more than I should and abusing Tinder for entertainment. I’m still cavity free, even after 23 years of excessive chocolate consumption. For a few days I forgot how to spell cavity. It’s definitely not cavitie. In addition to drafting emails for the finance world, I’m now also a server for the rich and famous and newly married (yay catering!). Tonight my should-be Alaska cohort went to the pub on campus to celebrate the first week of teaching. I know this because of Facebook. Thanks, Facebook. I’m not jealous. Nope. This is my first autumn in Orange County since 2011. I sleep with my dog at my legs and a teddy bear in my arms because I feel quiet and weird, and keep waking at four to this dull pulse in my head. It’s confusing to feel so physically collapsed when my head is this absurdly happy and excited about so many things, because really there are so so so many things.

Like like like! Another Big Revision is happening, because something really, really quite wonderful went down and the amazing Rachel Lynn Solomon chose me as her alternate in Pitch Wars. I’m not going to even attempt to describe Pitch Wars, but it’s something good and exciting and an opportunity I didn’t at all anticipate receiving.

I’ll probably shut down this blog about a dozen more times between now and the end of the year. Blink and count to ten. I promise I’ll eventually show up again.


I Didn’t Move.

I’m in Alaska, but I didn’t move to Alaska.

Campus.

The decision was made over a week ago. An exact week before my contracted move in date. Not so much a decision, but a realization: I can’t move to Alaska, not now.

I kind of hinted at the issues in my earlier post, when I wrote that oh so awesome tangent about how in one day I’d decided I wasn’t moving to Alaska only to conclude I was moving to Alaska because fuck hesitations and fuck sane choices and blah blah blah and cheers to another maybe move! I wrote that and proceeded to feel sick about the decision, flip flopped and flopped and flipped, drove my family crazy, didn’t sleep, etc etc etc.

Coffee.

For the sake of simplicity:

I didn’t move to Alaska because my health isn’t what it should be. I didn’t move because the risk of my not making it through the semester was too high. I didn’t move because it wouldn’t have been fair to my professors or students or colleagues or the program as a whole. I didn’t move because every time I told myself I was going to go—that I WOULD move no matter what—I hurt, hurt so much. I don’t want to move and start grad school now, because I’m don’t feel like me and I know I need to pause and take care of myself before this next big thing.

Also! I must break my the habit of rhyming.

So I said goodbye to the idea of Alaska. Sent the email and called it The End, because I thought that by saying no to now, I was saying no to forever. But then my program emailed back and asked if I wanted start this January or next year instead and I said yes.

And that was that.

BUT, for some IDIOTIC reason, I still boarded my plane to Fairbanks, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t accept the fact that I wasn’t going to be in Alaska THIS WEEK after all of those months of imagining myself in Alaska THIS WEEK and I needed to come here. I simply needed to be here. Well, there, Fairbanks.

Golden Heart.

Because though I’m still in Alaska, I’m now on a train, not in Fairbanks, already eight hours out from Fairbanks. Exhausted and aching and confused and idiotically missing the place I should be claiming as home but I won’t be for at least four months, maybe twelve, and I’m overwhelmed by the land and the green and that lake I idiotically assumed was unnamed and the people who were everything good and offered some of the most greatest hugs and even the mosquitoes that managed to bite through four layers of clothing.

So now I’m on this train, rolling south to Anchorage where I’ll be until Tuesday morning. And Tuesday morning I fly back to California, because I didn’t move to Alaska. I couldn’t move to Alaska, not now, now last Wednesday. In California I’ll try to make myself better, healthy, and I’ll see my doctors and I’ll hopefully take advantage of the unexpected time and writewritewrite (or revise my past rewrite) and be present and trust this feeling that I did the right thing. Deferred. Deferring.

North.

I think the hardest part was letting go of my ego. The Big Fucking Deal of Moving to ALASKA. That was weird. That was hard. To accept that the scarier thing wasn’t relocating to somewhere so severe, but staying still. Since I turned sixteen, moving, going, leaving has been the answer. Right now, the answer is going back to bed.

So for at least a few months, I’m going to try to stay still. Because staying still is horrifying and because I think this fear is a pretty good indication that staying still is especially necessary at this time.

In Fairbanks, I was happy and I was tired and I promised I’d try not to die so I’m going to try not to die before I attempt my journey back. And that should be easy, as I like to think I’ll journey back sooner than soon, however you want to define soon.

So I didn’t move to Alaska. Not yet. But I’m here, Alaska-here, for a minute, so at least there’s that.


23!

Hi. I’m now 23. And I wrote 3000 words yesterday and I’ve added 20,000 words to my rewrite, which is way too many words–words that are going to require cutting–but I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy.

up.

But it’s weird because I’m 23.

23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23. 23…!!!???!!!


Cold Feet.

Yesterday I decided I would not move to Alaska.
Today (tonight) I decided I will (probably) move to Alaska.

Can I be human for a minute?

monday.

This summer hasn’t been easy. Panic attacks at a severity I’ve never experienced. Writing at a snail’s pace. Sadness. A stupid, overwhelming sadness. The what the fuck am I doing where am I going how am I going to pay for bed sheets and oatmeal and why am I going and why am I not writing and I don’t even like close reading so who the hell am I going deal. More than anything: I am sick. Sick. Sick. Sick. Pretending not to be sick. Denial. I won’t go into details, it’s nothing crazy or life threatening, but something that makes me weak every day, gives me the spins, makes me nervous about students and colleagues relying on me.

If you’d told me a year ago, I would move to Alaska, I’d be shocked and confused and very happy. And I think Past Me would tell Current Me to buck the fuck up and get on the plane.

But does past me know the whole story?

Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot

Two weeks from tonight, I’m maybe in Alaska. I may (definitely) need some wine.


Summer.

So July is relentless.

July.

I visited Mexico and got sunburned for the first time in 10 years. Grad school started early with a hybrid pedagogy course. Writing is hard. The heat makes me wonky. A summer flu knocked me out for a week. August kicks off on Friday and I’m on eBay bidding on parkas suitable for the arctic and soon I’ll be twenty-three.