February 15, 2011

Pull Yourself Together, Lady

I have found I have been rather at odds with myself of late. I am finding it difficult to summon the energy necessary to try new things and places in these winter months, and as such am feeling stagnant. It is an unpleasant sensation. There is so much to do in DC, and I must admit I've, to some extent, failed to take advantage. At first my excuse was school, and now it appears to be school and weather combined. I swore when I arrived that I would try one new location every week in DC, but that quickly fell to the wayside, the demands of school and intrigues of my brand new social life effectively shelving my initial ambition. I find myself asking, What have I accomplished in DC? It's a stupid kind of question, and one designed to breed discontent. I am intolerant to moping, as those who know me well have likely been rudely informed, and suddenly I find myself a bit guilty of a thing I detest. So, in an attempt to annihilate my own will to mope, the following:

What I have accomplished in DC:
  • The completion of four rough drafts of new fiction, totaling some 56 pages of writing completely unique to my time at AU. This, after a full year of no writing, followed by a year of blogging and unsatisfactory and incomplete dabbling in attempts at fiction, is an accomplishment I can both abstractly recognize and exactly quantify. I have written something, and three of four of the stories are pieces I will undoubtedly return to, and refine. The work also represents a significant improvement than that which I produced in UC Santa Cruz's Concentration, and I am proud of it. "Wolf Trap", "Forest" and "Gravekeeper."
  • The reestablishment and strengthening of a friendship with one Michael Bierne. I am lucky to have an old friend in DC, and my relationship with Mike has proved an absolute pleasure. And he sent me a Valentine in the mail.
  • The creation of a solid group of AU friends, some of whom I met through my first fiction workshop, and some of whom I met through the magic of a true graduate student passion: drinking at the end of the day. I have my core group of often offensive but awkwardly charming man-friends (Steve, Marshal, Chuck) and one female peer in general snark, Kathleen. It may sound ridiculous, but after a year of watching most of my undergraduate friends make new friends while I languished in the senior-populated island of seclusion, making friends absolutely feels like an accomplishment.
  • Nesting. I mean this in both an apartment and neighborhood sense. I have my haunts, and though my comfort in said haunts is something I fear is now enabling my general laziness/stagnation, I am glad to have found my pub, my coffee shop, and my preferred Chinese takeout joint. I have a neighborhood flower shop that I visit on Fridays (they have a new labrador puppy named Gunner), a favored Whole Foods, and a favorite bartender (Chris, possibly the sweetest man I've ever encountered tending bar). My apartment is furnished, and though the walls remain a bit bare, it is comfortable and lived-in, and I am glad to come home to it at the end of the day/night.
I feel better having written these things down, stupidly enough. It's a silly thing, to have to prove to yourself that you are doing an okay job of things, but sometimes life necessitates some silliness. I am left thinking of the many things DC has to offer, and what accomplishments and experiences I hope to incorporate into the next six months. Museum visits, more film watching at E Street Cinema, dining, further neighborhood exploration, neighboring neighborhood exploration, the continued branching out into new nightlife spots, East coast road tripping, visits to my family in Pennsylvania, decoration of my apartment walls, and general living life type of stuff. I find myself eager for Spring and the energy I hope it will enliven in me, though I hope to face the final half (half!) of winter with renewed ambition and a lot less moping. I suppose this is me getting in the swing of the New Year, cliched as it may be. It's supposed to be 68 degrees this Friday, I have a nonfiction piece due next Tuesday, and I am ready to wrestle this general malaise into submission.


  1. I'm honored to be your snark, and I find that I'm failing at my new year's resolution to hang out with you more. So let's hit 2 birds with 1 stone and do something new and silly together, yes? Thanks, kbye.

  2. I know how it feels to grow into a place without necessarily realizing it's happening. When we moved out of Ditmas Park in Brooklyn, I was amazed at how much I missed being able to walk three blocks down to Vox Pop, or to the flower shop/bar, or the chinese joint across the street, or the 24 hour diner haunted by ancient creepy characters between midnight and 5am (but only if you're desperate). The people grow on you too. I miss not being able to walk to the train station without having to say hello to five people you know. Just a bit of Sesame Street Syndrome I guess.

    Hi Carolyn! Glad to read that you're thriving in DC, and that you're now back at Homagin. Live it up come-here style for the both of us.