PERSONAL

My Most Triumphant Return to Blogging Ever

…Hooray?

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So it’s been almost a year since I’ve updated this blog. Which, you know, isn’t the greatest thing when you’re supposed to “love” all things writing–blogging included. Still, the fact that I’ve returned to this specific blog at all is unexpected. By all accounts, I should have started a new one with whatever blog name catches my fancy.

Instead, I’m back here. Still as long-winded and absent-minded as ever, but with the opportunity to restart. And to be honest, I’m not sure what that should entail. See, for the past week or so, I’ve been casually scrolling through the different website themes. “Just looking” and nothing else. Why? Well, I’m at a loss on what it is that I’m supposed to write about.

The whole idea behind writing a blog–for me–was having a platform where I don’t have worry about writing something that’s off-topic. Because this entire blog is “off-topic”. Yet, I find myself wanting some sense of structure. No, I’m not a book blog, but dang it’d be easier.

But screw it, I didn’t sign up for easy–I signed up for absenteeism.

I kid. Kind of.

With the new year literally hours away, the time for romanticizing change has never been better!

Sweeping declaration time: this blog will get back on track. Tomorrow, my goals for 2018.

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PERSONAL

A Recovering Optimist

An optimist is somebody that goes, “Hey maybe something nice will happen.” 

Why the fuck would anything nice ever happen?

Louis C.K.

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When I was a teenager, I was (a) angst-ridden, as many adolescents are and (b) a self-proclaimed optimist. Angst always attempted to undermine Optimist Wendy’s convictions.

One of the questions I struggled with was whether the source of my optimism mattered–whether it had any effect on the end results. Was it still optimism if it only came about because of force? Was it still optimism when it came from a disingenuous place?

At the time, I liked to believe that my optimism was that much more potent because it came from a place of conflict. Surely no one believes that good things will happen out of sheer luck and without an ounce of doubt. Choosing to believe in the best takes resolve. Resolve that I don’t quite have anymore.

It isn’t that I consider myself a pessimist. It’s too easy to be a pessimist–a cynic. Certainly not a perspective that’s ever seemed at all attractive to me. What good comes out of resigning yourself to gloom and despair? According to a friend, you end up either right or pleasantly surprised. But I have trouble accepting that. If you come from a negative thought process, can you truly appreciate when good comes around? I’d think that you’d spend your time wondering, “What’s the catch?”

Or even worse, “When is the other shoe going to fall?”

(Yes, apparently I’m convinced all pessimists think in clichés.)

Still, I’m hardly an optimist. It’s taxing–it’s exhausting to rationalize why certain things happening are actually blessings in disguise. In truth, to be an optimist you have to both believe that good things will happen, but also concurrently believe that things happen for a reason. And that, to me, just isn’t true. Sometimes things just happen and there’s no rhyme or reason for it.

Sometimes things go great and sometimes things just plain suck.

If forced to label myself, I suppose that the appropriate title for me would be realist. I don’t resign myself to a depressive future, but at the same time, I’m not convinced that everything will be rainbows and sunshine. Reality is what you make of it. All you can really do is trudge through the obstacles and celebrate your triumphs.

And yet…

A part of me still wants to be an optimist.

Huh.

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DISCIPLINE, PERSONAL

2017

I’ve spent approximately 10 minutes (no joke) trying to start this post. Do I start with a generic “Happy New Year!” as I’ve done in the past? Do I make the obvious observation that every year begins rather the same–filled with hope and promise?

Or do I cut corners and simply begin?

My thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions have changed over the years. Some years I think they’re a ridiculous notion that prevent people from self-improvement year-round. Other times I think, who cares? If it gives a person the push they need to make changes in their lives, what’s the harm?

It just so happens that this year, I have goals and resolutions. On top of that, I’ve also chosen a word for the year. (Who am I?)

When I first heard of the concept, I was a bit skeptical. The benefits of referring back to a word like balance or simplify were lost on me. They just seem like flowery words that a person uses to seem deeper than they actually are. They are words that have lost their meaning over time through improper and overuse. Put simply, they are words that don’t resonate with me.

I didn’t want a pretty sounding, but empty (to me) word. The goal was to find one that spoke to the higher truth of who it is that I want to be in the new year. And not just the new year–but from here on out.

Which is why the word that I chose is:

persevere (verb.)
continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.

It was the latter part of the definition that sold me: “with little or no prospect of success.” That perfectly encompasses the person I once was–the person I so desperately wish to be again. I want to be the kind of person who chases their dreams even when it is impossible to visualize success.

And as I type this, I only begin to understand exactly how true that rings. I want to be foolish when it comes to my aspirations. To feel exhaustion set in and rejoice that it comes from a worthy endeavor–from something of value and meaning to me. I want to give all of me to that which I love.

What other reason is there to live?

So now I transition to the other part of this post:

Goals/Resolutions

Resolutions are “firm decision[s] to do or not do something.” Goals are what we ultimately are striving for. Thereby it seems that resolutions are more about intent? Regardless, here’s what I hope to accomplish in 2017.

Write 150 posts.

This averages out to three posts a week. It’s a goal that I have every year, and every year I fall incredibly short (which is funny because I’m short. Get it, get it?). And yes, this post was supposed to go up on Monday, a sign that ordinarily would not bode well for me. Still, here’s the post anyway.

Plus I’ve still got two more days for two more posts. It’s fiiiiine.

Some smaller, but related, items: update my about page and social media accounts.

Read 50 books.

Hooray for repetitiveness! And self-explanatory goals!

Two things I would like to add. (1) In order to become more cultured, I also want to tack on the goal of reading one book from the TIME 100 list. (2) I won’t shy away from abandoning books. There are too many out there to waste my time trudging through one.

Watch 50 movies.

Over the past couple of years, movies have become more engrossing for me. My newfound joy was in large part my best friend’s doing. It’s a great pastime and I don’t feel as though 50 is too far a stretch considering I saw 30+ movies last year (that’s just counting the new releases, not the new-to-me films).

An addendum to this, as with the books, is that I hope to watch at least one movie from the AFI 100 list every month. Again–to be cultured and whatnot.

Reach goal weight of 110.

Weight has consistently been a struggle for me. About three years ago, I was about 15 pounds away from my goal weight. Then life, and the cons of a long distance relationship, happened.

But with a plan in place, I’m reaching my goal weight–and maintaining it.

Transfer to a four-year institution.

For the past six years, I’ve struggled with getting a higher education. First, I got kicked out of UCSB after my first year. Since then, I’ve floundered around at community colleges for god knows how long. But I’ve floundered enough that it might be possible to finally transfer to a “real” school. It might take a long time, but I will get that diploma.

This last one is perhaps the most frightening of all–

Get a literary agent and publish something.

And just as it was with the introduction to this post, I’ve spent about 10 minutes debating whether I should leave this in. It’s scary to not only put into words, but put out in the open. Because now it’s not just a crazy dream. It’s a crazy dream that I will actively pursue.

Though I still plan on finishing school to get a degree in accounting, I’m not going to become complacent just living with that. I will not settle for my plan B.

Welcome, year of no sleep.

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BLOGGING, PERSONAL, WRITING

In the Event Someone Reading This Knows Me IRL: …Hi?

Today’s post is brought to you by the illogical fear of a girl whose got a public blog.

(I will never get tired of that lede. Or misusing the word lede. Never.)

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Fun fact: For as many blogs as I’ve neglected, I have never shared them with anyone who knows me in real life. In fact, that’s always been a point of paranoia–which I counteracted by removing my identity as much as possible. There was a moment back in high school when someone came scarily close to discovering my blog. My response? Frantically log on a school computer and make my blog private.

Now see, that move actually made sense. I was smack dab in the middle of my teenage angst–all I wrote about was my unrequited love, terrible teachers, and every embarrassing topic I possibly could. Want a crash course in oversharing? Visit my terribly named blog.

Except don’t, because it’ll hurt your sensibilities.

But this blog? This blog has posts that I’ve given thought to–ideas that I stand by. Inconsistent posting schedule aside, I have nothing to be ashamed of. And yet the very idea of discovery still unnerves me. (Which, of course, is why my domain is the same as my social media accounts. What? I never said I was smart…)

It’s an interesting phenomenon to want your words made public and still refrain from sharing them with a captive audience. Yet, there is a chance, no matter how seemingly insignificant, that someone I know is reading this. The oddest thought, of course, being that it’s a mere acquaintance.

So I’ve decided to take this as a long winded opportunity to properly welcome anyone who actually knows me. Hi there–welcome to my blog.

You’ll notice that I don’t write with regularity–indeed even missing the entirety of November. That is not on purpose. The lack of a set and proper subject matter, though, that is on purpose. I’d like to think that with this upcoming year, my blog will gain structure, but it probably won’t. It will, however remain an evolving soapbox (said with a drop of sarcasm, I promise) and stay true to its word. Loose with Keys will always be recklessly verbose and mildly self-indulgent. It will always capture the ramblings and occasionally nuanced thoughts of a work-in-progress.

It is my integrity manifested.

It is a place where I say pretentious things like “integrity manifested” without considering how idiotic they sound.

If you are reading this and know me, know this: what you have before you is a catalog to my mind. Even your 15 seconds of feigned interest are enough for me. If you are reading this and know me, know this: the moment you mention any of this–deer in headlights.

Back to my regular posts then.

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PERSONAL

The Practicality of Childhood Dreams

At the age of eight, I found the love of my life. From that point on, whenever someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered with, “a writer”.

From that point on, my parents wore a tight smile, hoping to distract from the worry in their eyes. It was a look that drove me to announce in my junior year of high school that I changed my mind–that I was going to pursue a more traditional route. It’s a look that still shadows over me as I contemplate life in 9-5 intervals.

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Do what you love is replaced with do what you’re good at. I’m good with numbers, good at accounting, surprisingly enough. It’s what I’ve claimed to want to do for the past year or so. But when I think about spending the next 40 years doing that, day in and day out, I feel a creeping sense of despair.

In the long run, surely it won’t matter. It’s a just a means to an end–the real joy will be my personal life. I can always write in my free time.

But doesn’t everyone say that? Will I really bother to make the time? It’s what I love, and yet sometimes this blog goes unattended. My novel gathers dust. Having that balance between figuring out a realistic job prospect and chasing your dreams is difficult. My mind is almost one-track at times, trying to find a favorite where there is none. Until I get to the point where I’m at now–pursuing not one or the other: standing still.

My circumstances make me think that I can’t commit to such a reckless and selfish path. How simple it would be to say that I’ll live my life for no one but myself! How simple it is to dole out that advice and assume that there is no situation that could possibly supersede your pursuit of happiness. And, in fact, it is that simple. If all you want is your happiness, it’s incredibly straightforward.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have minded holding down a minimum wage job or two. Living with a less-than-desirable roommate who hates me, but needs me for rent. Collapsing into bed to get maybe three to four hours of sleep–all for my writing. All for the slight chance of a yes.

And now that I work an overnight minimum wage job, that willingness hasn’t dissipated in the slightest. Now that I sleep an average of four hours a day, I know that if it weren’t for my responsibilities, I’d take off. I’d pack up my things, head to the middle of nowhere, and sacrifice myself for my love of words. Even knowing that all I have mediocrity–whether in reference to my skill or possessions–it’d be a just trade.

Maybe even a trade made in my favor.

So for now, I stay in limbo. Caught between my sense of obligation and my desire to be more than just a girl who does what she should do–honor be damned.

And in the meantime, I’ve got my blog.

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