Where I’m At: February 2017

Cheesy, I know. Hush. Source: pixabay

This month is already off to a wild start. February’s theme appears to be “mood whiplash,” as the past 40 hours have hit me with a range of wonderful and terrible things. I’ll start with the good things because they’re more pleasant to think about.

I submitted my first article pitches to two websites that I would love to write for! Not only was this an empowering experience, but it also taught me a valuable lesson: I don’t know how to write a pitch. Knowing how to pitch an article is pivotal to landing a writing job, so my freelance focus this month is to refine my pitches. The best advice I’ve read so far is this article from Writing Revolt, which lists the worst things a writer can do in a pitch. While it is a relief that I didn’t do several of these things (I don’t brag and I don’t beg!), there’s still much that I can do to build my writing confidence…and to make employers confident that I can do the job.

I’ve also received some good news on the teaching side of things. I am in the late-middle stages of the interview process for a summer teaching job and I was hired by a second tutoring company. I am also making progress on my first novel, having edited about a tenth of the draft yesterday. My editing process has been experimental, to say the least. I’ll elaborate in a future post.

Now it is time for the bad things. I was about 6,000 words into editing my novel yesterday when I heard the news that a friend of mine passed away. It was completely unexpected and devastating. She was also a writer who dedicated her life to helping people. She had incomparable wit and creativity. I met her at an open mic, and it just so happened my boyfriend and I were running an open mic last night. We dedicated the show to her memory, and many of us read pieces dedicated to her. The only thing I’ve been able to write since I received the news was a poem for her. That, and this blog post. Writing is my ultimate form of therapy, and I find myself very grateful for this blog tonight.

Today my boyfriend was a casualty of mass layoffs at his new office job, which stings because he was only four days away from finishing his probationary period. Next week I will help him job hunt because if I do have one expert-level skill, it is job searching.

I’ve tried to escape these issues by scouring my social media, but then my heart aches when I think about the political posts that I see. There are so many groups that I would like to donate to right now, so many arguments I’d like to make, and so many things that I have to say, but I’m currently in self-care and financial survival mode. But I am still (and always will) actively resist oppression. Work has actually served as an excellent escape, as it always feels good to help both children and adults reach their potentials. Becoming a volunteer ESL tutor for the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council has been great, as I have an opportunity to help refugees in my city with my language and teaching skills.

I’ve also been avoiding depressing pop media. I am a huge fan of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans, but I’m not emotionally ready to watch the latest episode. I know what happens thanks to a spoiler on social media, but this may have been the first time that I was ever happy to have an episode of a show spoiled for me. I have no interest in crying again, at least not for the next few days. But I am a sucker for devastating, tragic anime, which I’ll write a post about soon.

February is usually the bleakest month of the year for me, but it is also the shortest. It is easy to say, “Thank Freya this month will be over quickly,” but I know that is the wrong way to look at things. My boyfriend and I have been looking on the bright side, like how our schedules will now allow us to work out at the gym together. And we may also be both not working for our friend’s funeral service. We are now on new journeys, and I am optimistic about our prospects.

  • Current drink: Lagunitas Citrusinensis Pale Ale (if you can’t tell, I really like it!)
  • Current book: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • Current audio book: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Current music: ことなる Way – As Days Go By


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