Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why I Left Dormify

I joined Dormify at the end of 2013, my first post was published on the 9th of September. I remember having butterflies and my heart skipping a beat when I got the email that my first post was published. And the excitement that ensued when I had my 2nd and 3rd posts published, all the way up to my last published post, on the 16th of April in 2014. 

I wasn't a Style Advisor for very long and I'm potentially blowing my chances of ever being on the better side with the Dormify reps for posting this, but that's okay because I'm finishing what they started. 

My two posts for the month of April, that were chosen to be published - I didn't just type them up and create visuals for no good reason, had not been published. I emailed one of our "bosses" (if that's what they'd like to be called) and asked why they weren't published. I offered to rewrite or tweek the post if that was necessary. But nothing, no response. 

Surprisingly, one of my May submissions "The Last Summer" (which was a post about your last summer at home before moving to a dorm or on/off-campus housing) was accepted. Again, I wrote up the post added my own visual, and yet again it was not published. 

I emailed my boss, trying to figure what the problem was and again I received no response. I checked my spam and junk mails, multiple email address in case I had emailed her on a separate account, empty and nothing. I was sure I couldn't have done something wrong because I was still receiving the weekly/monthly emails reminding the Style Advisors to submit their posts, the posts to check out, etc etc. 

By August, I gave up. 

I've officially transferred their emails to my junk mail and as annoyed as I was when I quit. I would do it all over again. I loved all the diy's and the Dormify products. I was given tons of sponsorship opportunities and honestly loved working with Dormify. And even though I still read the blog today; I studied business and professionalism in high school, I'm a business minor, this did not end on a professional note. Emails are important, especially in the digital era we're living in. I truly enjoyed working for Dormify, but I'm also glad I quit.

Update: I sent them a second resignation letter and I finally got a response. They've apologized for never getting back to me, invited me back whenever I'd like (which I probably burnt that bridge with this post), but didn't give me an explanation for my why my post were never published. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Creativity of my Entire Life

To write a good book, good essay, or anything written well at all, you have to have a captivating opening line. Something that will grab your reader and make them want to say versus feeling obligated. But how do you come up with a great opening sentence or scene? Is it better to start out with dialogue, some kind of interesting conversation, or bring in the surroundings with a narrative voice? Even movies need an interesting beginning, something to grab onto the audience that will keep them holding on for the next two hours. 

Some of my favorite opening lines: "We don't have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but what if we did, I could say that's what I want in life." - The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. Considering one of my biggest goals in life is to be happy (which I believe is one of the closest words to the opposite of loneliness), this one simple sentence grabbed my attention in full. The rest of her book is absolutely incredible, definitely one of my favorite books of all time and written in a way that I hope some day I can be nearly as good as.

"Maybe it all began with a bug bite, from a bedbug that didn't exist." - Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. I was already intrigued by this book because of all it's high praises, but that opening line had me. When I finished that sentence I had to keep going, I couldn't put it down.

"I'm twenty years old and I hate myself." - Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. How can I not read this book with literally every one talking about it? And with that sentence opening the book I had to keep going. I didn't hate myself when I was twenty, but dramatics is a kind of girl I'm not, reading a different perspective is always interesting.  
And my favorite movie opening line: "I remember that it hurt. Looking at her hurt." - Stuck In Love (2012) How can you not be captured by this? I mean Lily Collins and Logan Letterman and Greg Kinnear are all in this movie, but all of these characters are pretty quotable throughout the entire movie - at least they are to me.

The quote above was used in the movie and really stuck with me. I thought to myself, what all has happened in my life that I could create great opening lines with? Twenty years old, that was two years ago. What was I doing then? Fuck if I remember. Pardon my french, but how in the hell does what I've done for the first twenty years of my life matter so significantly? The past year and half of my life have probably been way better then most of what's happened in the first twenty. In the past year and half I've stepped way out of my comfort zone versus how stuck in my ways I was at eighteen or twenty. 

I can hardly remember my childhood, just bits and pieces, but I was happy. My teen years were reckless and full of arguments and heart breaks. After I graduated I had just turned eighteen and was completely lost of myself. How does any within those three sentence become something worth reading. I was shy and naive, innocent and isolated. I grew up pretty sheltered but within these past year and half, two years I've changed. 

Thinking of just the last two years I can come up with something captivating - or at least I think it's captivating. Proving Ms Flannery O'Connor wrong.

I'm not really sure where I was going with this post, from the second the blank page opened up I just started writing. But maybe that was the point; I've been meaning to write. Desperate to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper, er word document. My chaotic thoughts and endless feelings build this blog, helped me become the writer that I am, and hopefully some day will help me write a novel that doesn't necessarily involve the first twenty years of my life, but involving my entire life that I've enjoyed a pretty damn good amount.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why Community College Was the Best Fit For Me

I spent my senior year in high school head over heels in love with my then-boyfriend and my then-easy going classes. I was in a business academy, called Virtual Enterprise, where we had the opportunity to create and (virtually) sell a company. My job was director of marketing, since I was the director instead of the Pres, I got to do all of the creative work. Spell check and double check all of the written work the Pres had to do was correct and, my favorite part, design and create the booth we'd be presenting at our three conferences in Bakersfield, San Francisco, and our hometown of San Diego. All while being in love with my best friend, being confused about other boys, playing way too much beer bong, and going down to one of the most beautiful beaches San Diego has to offer, Sunset Cliffs (even the name is beautiful!), every chance we got. 

It's safe to say I was loving my life the way it was, loving it a bit too much to truly know what I wanted to do with my life when high school ended. All I really knew was that I was headed to community college. I didn't know, because I never calculated or asked my guidance counselor, that my GPA was a 3.2. A perfect GPA to get into almost any state school in California. Getting in was one thing but knowing where to go or what to major in was another.

So, as most of the students that went to my not-so-privileged high school, I headed off to Cuyamaca and Grossmont Community College for (what I was planning) two years to explore my options. I took classes like the History of Rock Music, classes in Greek Mythology and creative writing. After my first year of dropping and crashing courses that I wasn't even sure I needed, I decided to buckle down and start taking my required GE courses and take one or two elective type courses a semester - this included taking summer courses.

 My friends at the time didn't quite like that idea, they'd complain about my absence at parties and get together's. It was hard giving up my social life, but putting my education first was the best move I've ever made. I may have ended up loosing all of my high school friends, but I transferred to a different school, where my life-long best friend (Kalani) attended, and started finishing up my GE requirements.  

I started looking into different majors, different career options that I'd enjoy. Working for Billabong or Roxy is the dream, but it's only one of them. Being a detective, owning a restaurant, a stylist, a writer, an actress even, those are all dreams. Most of them I've explored; fashion student? Check, not going to happen. Detective? Check, too scared to be a cop. Restaurant owner? Check, currently work as a hostess, I've been a busser, room service attendant, server, cocktail server, cashier, pretty much every position. Restaurant is still a possibility. Acting? Neh, I'll live vicariously through Kalani while she chases her dream of being an actress. Stylist? Check, also fashion student. Writer? Check, I'm in the process of it. 

I'm currently a sociology student, studying my way to becoming an English teacher at a college, creative writing teacher is the goal. Community college helped me figure that out. If I had gone straight to university out of high school I'd be in debt, with possibly a major I hate. A major that I can't actually see myself in. I thought I saw myself as a baker when I was graduating high school, undeclared, then a sign language interpreter, undeclared, a stylist, and now an English teacher. My plans change, but community college has let me at the very least explore them, explore options that cost me time instead of thousands of dollars. I may be in my fifth year of community college, but I'm simultaneously getting my AA in sociology and transferring to university next fall (fingers crossed!). 

When people ask me why I'm still in community college, I tell them I wasn't ready to start college when I graduated high school. It took me three and a half years to find the right major.

That's when you can cue in the "good for you"'s, and the "that was a good choice"'s, even a few "smart, you saved a lot of money"'s. That's also when even if it's condescending or meant as an insult, I say thank you. Because thanks to my choice of community college I'm in a major I love, in absolutely no debt and ready for whatever comes next.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Exercise is the Key

After shutting down for a week from my worst writers block to date, and a heavy self doubt, I'm back with a lively brain and fully charge state of mind. I'm not sure what happened, or why writers block appears when it does, but I was stuck in a rut. A dark weird one that wasn't going away and forcing me to waste my days away on the couch watching Netflix, literally. I spent all of last week on the couch (if I wasn't at work or school) doing nothing but watching Netflix and Hulu Plus.  

I caught up on Jane the Virgin, Scandal, and finally watched Malificent, I started Manhattan Love Story and almost started watching the third season of New Girl.

Then this past Saturday, when I was working at a fashion show I was told I seem to have my life very together. And I wasn't sure how to respond. I had just spent almost an entire week sprawled out on my couch doing nothing but watching TV, all while I had this longing to go see my friends across town in PB and be active - yet having absolutely no motivation to do any of it. My parents have a pretty damn comfy couch. 

She said this to me right after I told her (basically my five-year plan) what I was planning on doing educational/career wise; which is to get my BA in sociology and my MA in English to become a college English teacher. She seemed to think I had my life so perfectly put together, she even said she wished she had known what she wanted to do when she was my age. But how am I at all put together? This is like my fifth declared major. 


Thank you Keira, because I was pretty damn confused with myself the rest of the afternoon. I have a plan, to get my MA and become an English teacher, but my life never goes as planned. If it did then God only knows where my life would be but I can guarantee I wouldn't be here. I probably wouldn't have a blog, I might not be at the job I'm currently at, or have the friends I love so much. My choices and plans change, constantly, leading me to believe my life is a bunch of goals hoping to become a plan to move toward something set in stone. 

Sunday afternoon, I got up off the couch and headed down to PB. The longing to be active finally turned into motivation when I realized I'm young and allowed to be chaotic and indecisive. At least I'm going to school, I have a job, I have goals, I'm doing something with my life. I jumped on my bike (which I leave at home 2.0 because it's a beach cruise and probably weighs as much as I do) and took a nice long bike ride along the bay and then back up the beach side boardwalk to clear my head.

And it worked. Who knew exercise was going to be the key to my writers block? That exercise was going to be the key to getting me out of my overly-indulgent-netflix-addicted-rut. I definitely wouldn't have guessed that a weekend full of bike rides and hanging out with some great friends would cure my writers block and self-doubt. Now hopefully I'll remember this next time Writer's Block or Self-Doubt coming knocking.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Bittersweetness of Holidays With the Family

Now that Halloween is officially over, the bigger holidays are right around the corner! Working in the restaurant/hospitality industry, I've worked thanksgiving and Christmas the past few years, only getting to hang out with my family for a couple hours. We'll see how my job schedule goes this year! However, I actually wrote this post last November, and even though it's pretty much the same answers nothings changed I really wanted to write this one up again, because nothings changed. I love the holidays and getting to be with my family for them is bittersweet. Getting to hang out with them and play with all of my nieces and nephews is the best, oh and the food is bomb (can't forget to mention the food!) but the interrogation that looms in the corners waiting to appear at the dinner table is completely bitter.

Don't get me wrong, like all situations in life, if I'm asked a question I'm going to answer it. It's just that these are the same questions I'm asked at every family party, and they're the same answers I always give. Let's face it fambam, my life doesn't change very much. I'm still in school, the general idea of what career I want to pursue changes about as often as food fads, I'm typically not dating anyone and if I am it's not serious enough for me to really talk about it.

My grades: Can I just leave this area blank? I'm in school, studying sociology to potentially work as an English teacher, that's all you really need to know. #MindYaBusiness

My job: I'm not at all comfortable talking about my job on here anymore. I'm not sure why I ever was when I first started blogging - I'm a hostess, what all am I supposed to tell you (or my family) about all job where all I literally do is seat people and socialize with my coworkers because it turns out we're all pretty good friends! 

If I'm dating anyone: let's just not go there. If I don't bring it up myself then I'm not dating anyone. My love life is as empty as a time square was during hurricane Sandy, and that was probably not the best analogy but it's late and I can't think of any other kind of "empty" joke or comparison. But I'm going to go ahead and assume that got the point across, my love life is empty. If it's not empty it's being pulled left in right by my emotions over a guy - but I'm more of the struggle in silence type. 

How school is going: It's fine. 

When I graduate: I'm a year and a half behind in school due to not knowing what I wanted to be when I first started college, and honestly just not being ready for college, playing beer pong with my friends, and overall being undeclared. Oh and deciding to go for a career that requires my masters, I've latched two more years onto this education train of mine.

So, if you actually read the one from last November - if you've been a reader for that long (I seriously love you) or you clicked the link above, you can refer back to paragraph two. I still don't want to talk about my grades or my job. I'm single, shocker! I'm in the transferring process again, and I still don't know when I'll be graduating (2015 with my AA, 2017 with my BA and either 2019 or 2020 with my MA, depending if I skip out a year to travel).

Do your family holidays bring on the interrogations too?