An American Girl in Washington

Getting my life together

Posted in All about moi by AGinDC on 1 October 2010

I used to be super motivated and super busy all of the time.  In high school I was in the gym at 5.30am for dance team practice and stayed after midnight for theatre.  In college it was the same except I swapped dance team in the morning for crew (that didn’t last long).  In between I was always busy with classes, lunches, dinners, parties, friends, and mini projects that I was constantly starting and never getting done (Libra).  Then I joined Teach For America and I was at school at 6.30, working a second job all night and planning and hanging and lunching and dinnering on the weekends.  And every night I worked out and every summer I spent traveling and working two or three jobs and preparing myself for whatever was next.  No wonder by the time I go to law school I was exhausted.  Once I got the hang of 1L I spent more time watching M*A*S*H (yes, I love M*A*S*H, stop laughing right now.  Hawkeye rocks.) than being productive.  Sure, I started a blog that did pretty well and started writing for some travel mags sometimes and did an internship for a kick-ass travel writer, but it wasn’t that much and I still had countless hours to do nothing but watch B.J. and Hawkeye get into heaps of trouble at the 4077.  I took a lot of naps too, and occasionally thought about studying.  I was lazy and exhausted and had lost all my go-to motivation.  I figured this was a good thing, everyone needs a break and especially those of us who spent the first 23 years of our lives moving at break neck pace to keep up with some impossible goal.  I told myself that after law school I would get back to my old, waste no time, watch no television, get ish done self.

Then came the bar exam.

And I told myself that I could have a few more months off.

But now those days are gone!!  It’s October, my birthday month (which always makes me a little too self-reflective anyways).  In 19 and a half days I’ll be 3 years to 30 and I have done shite with my life.  And no, a law degree and a blog and a little traveling do not count.  This is Washington, who doesn’t have a law degree and a damn blog and a passport?  I have a million goals and a huge vision for how I see myself in the next ten years and even if I don’t make it, I can’t let Netflix be the thing that brings me down.  In fact, I should cancel my subscription…  well… maybe I won’t go that far.  We’ll see.  But, I’m reaching 27 with a damned good resume, a Michigan law degree, a great mentor, a few good contacts, and a job working behind the counter at a department store that I don’t even like.  What’s wrong with this picture?  I haven’t worked this long and this hard (and as most of you reading this know, this ish is not easy to do) to be behind the counter and not in front of it.  I thought it would be okay, and right now, while I’m counting each penny to pay my October bills and still haven’t been able to afford the $40 for my mentoring application, it’s okay.  But it won’t be okay for long.

October is officially “get off your ass” month.  I have half an outline for one book and a full (if a little stream-of-consciousness) outline for another.  I’m going to figure out what to do with them, write all of the things I’ve always wanted to, and even if no one ever wants to see them, who cares?  At least I’ll have tried.

I have a great resume and a few people who want to see it.  I’m going to make it even better, write a great cover letter, and actually get them out there.  I may not get a paying job right away, but an internship or volunteer gig is a great way to start.

I have a million little ideas and projects that I’ve always floated around in my head.  I’m going to get started.  I’ll start by writing business plans for each one.  That way, even if I can’t start now, as soon as I can or I meet someone who’s interested, I can just pick up a binder and roll out.

I’m going to say no to drinks with friends twice and use that money to send in my mentoring app and actually start something I’ve been wanting to do since the day before I got here.  No more time to be selfish, there are too many ways that I could share what little (what very little) wisdom I’ve picked up so far.

And finally, I’m going to work on getting a personal website finished.  I realized when I got here that I need to get cards made (even if they say “unemployed, call this number until the phone company cuts it off”) and professional head shots (why does everyone want a picture?  Weird.  But it is a PR kind of town) for which I will be using Craigslist, and a website to lead people to.  I have a lot to say and a lot that I can do and in 3 months to 2011 there’s no reason why I can’t use the technology God (read: Al Gore) gave us to show it off.

That sounds like a lot, but really it’s not.  There are 24 hours in a day and so far I’ve been using about 4 of them.  And two of those for eating and working out.  I needed a break.  Law school and the bar and quarter-life crises and three continents in nine months and shitty people and all of that took their toll.  A sabbatical was required.  But now it’s over, and I’m back in the lab at the University of the American Girl and ready to map out the next chapter of my life.

This is actually exciting!  What’s your October goal?



2 Responses

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  1. Marjorie said, on 3 October 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Howdy! Found your blog on a random search for I-can’t-even-remember-what but am loving your writing style. I can completely relate to your dilemma, although I’m even older than you are (which is kinda pathetic, if you think about it). That’s right — I’m 38 years old, just a few months shy of 39, and am also just launching my life. Well, relaunching, really. I’ve traveled the world, worked overseas, had a pretty good freelance writing career for awhile before ditching it all and starting a business, have been mentioned in the NY Times (who hasn’t, right?), blah blah blah…

    Anyway, it gets even harder to motivate yourself as you get older, so definitely do NOT surrender your dreams. You’ll find plenty more obstacles along the way, not to mention a million moments when you’ll want to quit and retire to the country with a doting husband and seven little kids (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but those are fantasies of escape for the ambitious, not passionate goals. So work your ass off, stay inspired, find ways to exercise your enormous creativity every single day, and do keep us posted on your lovely blog!

    Oh, and my October goals is to just write and write until my eyes bleed and my fingers break off. Big dreams start with small steps.


    • agindc said, on 4 October 2010 at 2:03 pm

      I love that phrase, “fantasies of escape”. That’s totally what they are! Now I’ll be able to identify what I’m doing and move on. Thanks for that. I kind of suspect that I’ll be constantly relaunching my life too actually. I don’t have the temperament to work one place doing one thing for the next 50 years. It’s inspirational to talk to women like you who are doing and have done the things I want to do and are still alive to tell the tale! Thanks for the motivation!

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