University: Complete – Now what?

What Looms

Here comes the big graduation, and the question looms: Where am I going to fit in after university? In perspective with my two life goals, always write and always tango, I can go anywhere. Thankfully I have shorter term goals, like write publishable material and start a trip to dance tango in each state by the time I turn twenty-five. Luckily, I just got one poem published in my university’s literary magazine, so at least one of those goals is going somewhere!

My big goal now is to become active in the literary community here. I already participate pretty heavily in the tango community, covering classes, cohosting and hosting milongas, and teaching my own class with my wonderful dance partner. My future goals include:

1. Start going to (more) literary events.

Words are the best way to learn about each other. I’ve got this one down. I already go to events on campus (just went to a talk by Shawn Wong, author of How to Write a Novel in Thirty Years). I also go to Village Books down in Old Fairhaven whenever I can make time to go to one of their events (went to their awesome poetry month event; there is some huge talent in Bellingham), and I recently started going to one of their writing groups. I started attending the weekly poetry reading down at the Black Drop, and should be able to start volunteering there, and with other Whatcom reads events, this next week! I’m even putting together this spring’s undergraduate reading.

2. Find a nice place to keep doing tango.

I’ll probably keep teaching over the summer, but after that I’m giving up my nice free space so that a new generation can take over. Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute with some before-practica lessons and maybe even do some privates. Also secretly hoping to be invited back to guest-teach at my old class.

3. Keep working on writing!

I have two full length novels that I need to continually edit. One novel (my first science fiction—Squee!) that I need to rescue and finish from the battlefield that is NaNoWriMo 2012, and two ideas for collections of work that I should actually write and flesh out. I figure if I do the collections (group of short stories focusing on family experience, and a book of poetry focusing on revolutionary figures) I can send out the individual bits to literary magazines in the hopes of being published. I already have about eight poems done and am progressing well on four stories.

Romance

It's like spoons, except you lose an eye.

Eating with friends is just better than dates.

Hoo boy, the dating game is in full swing. The weirdest thing about trying to have a relationship with someone seems to be making sure everyone’s needs and wants are lining up. I always overthink, overanalyze, and wonder if my intentions are good. The line seems to be whether or not I just need to make out with someone, or if I’m actually interested in pursuing something more with the person in question. It’s sort of an uncomfortable place to be, because I don’t want to be that jerk who leads someone on, but at the same time I want to satisfy my curiosity about whether or not a relationship is actually possible, which sometimes leads to face-licking. My solutions to this include: Stop dating—which doesn’t sound like too much fun because normally things are pretty fun, I’m probably just in a mood; Wait for the One—my one serious relationship was with someone I was immediately smitten with, and that seemed to work out pretty well, but it came from spending time together and getting to know each other, you know, dating; Be a priest—I don’t think I’ve ever had an in-depth conversation with a priest I didn’t like so I think this marks the end of my listing capabilities. Oops. Nevermind.

Selling my Soul to Online Media

I never thought that trying to be marketable would be so difficult. Recently, I’ve made a twitter, tried going to so many events, and have been applying for jobs. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being a product, and I wish that wasn’t part of the way success seems to be slanted, at least according to the folks I talk to, and the books I read. In these moments though, it makes me happy that when I write, I write for myself. I write to express who I am and how I feel, and then transform that into something entertaining to go back through and reread. I write the poems and stories that I want to write, yes, but also the ones that I want to read. When I write it often feels like I don’t know what is about to come out of my hands, as if something else is controlling me for a brief moment. When that happens during tango, it means I’m having an incredible dance, a dance where all that matters is connection. No wonder I love writing so much since it is like that at least fifty percent of the time. I just hope in the face of trying to break out onto the publishable scene I don’t lose sight of why I do what I do.

The easiest place to fall into this trap is here on the blog. I could go on huge rants about what I think is going to happen to Clara and the Doctor, or my thoughts and feelings on It Calls You Back by Luis Rodreguiz—a book that looks critically at the way the flow of life just keeps pushing you forward no matter how badly you screw up, and how no matter who you are you can always get a second…third…forth…fifth chance at love—but those aren’t my favorite things to talk about. Okay, books are my favorite thing to talk about, but I’ll either do that in its own little blogpost or actually use my Goodreads account.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

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