#Adulting: One Step At a Time

Since my last post in November, I have

  • quit my part-time job as a barista
  • completed my internship
  • moved to a new city
  • started a new job

And in case you’re wondering what place finally took me on…

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A M Montgomery 2017

You’re looking at the most recent Executive Fellow for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or CPB for short. Never heard of them? But you have.

Pretty much every program you watch on public television or when you listen to public radio, do you know who that’s funded by? Support Provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Viewers Like You. Thank You.

cpb

 

 

viewers-like-you

 

 

thank-you

 

 

 

I won’t say much about my new position except that yes, I did move for it since it’s in D.C. and yes, it’s a paid, full-time fellowship. And that’s all I will say about that.

I will say that I am in a new chapter of my adulthood. It’s weird.

Suddenly, I’m fully responsible for paying rent and utilities, dressing as a working adult everyday (which means dressing appropriately AND dressing fashionably), living harmoniously with three housemates who also happen to be strangers to me, shopping for groceries, maintaining relationships with both family AND friends (which is tough because I’m now near neither), figuring out what to do on the weekends or decorating my room, and the hardest part? Cooking for myself. Every single day. (but that’s another story for another time)

Truth be told, I’m grateful for these preoccupations as they are so different from what I was worried about pre-move (How will I get anyone to take me seriously?) and they distract me from the big worries I try not to think about (What will I do with the rest of my life? Specifically? Truly?) and the even bigger worries I can’t really ignore (How do we evaluate the state of our union with all of these changes?). As you can see, there’s a lot to think about.

But there’s a lot to be excited about as well.

I’m employed!

I live in the capital! (Where there are tons of free museums! Free!)

My friends are only a bus or train ride away!

My mother is proud of me!

 

I hope to blog more this year, about my trials of adulting, of navigating a new space with its own rules and customs, of figuring out my next steps beyond where I am now. Though, given how unexpected my life has turned out so far, I’m willing to keep an open mind.

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What I’m Listening To: (Podcast/Radio Talk Show) 1A on NPR (B/N: Thoughtful yet 1aapproachable way of staying informed about all the changes in the U.S., the precedent behind them, and their effect on people’s daily lives)

What I’m Reading: (Fiction) This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales; (B/N: Interesting take on a YA protagonist going from suicidal to becoming a DJ, but sometimes unclear characterization and cliched writing; trigger warning: suicide attempt, cutting)

(Fiction) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell; (B/N: You guys know how I feel about this author, but this is the first book of hers for adults that I’d read; Despite the tangle of misunderstandings and unrealistic mess it creates, the story is surprisingly heart-wrenching and the ending is surprisingly cute)

What I’m Watching Now: (DVD) Seasons 1 and 2 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (B/N: This show is hilarious, usually without being offensive, and stars a Jewish man, two Latina leads, and two Black men, one of whom is gay in the show, and the best part? The show focuses on these detectives doing their jobs, not their diversity as tokens in the plotline! I love every character, but would pay money to hear Captain Holt say “Velvet Thunder” in person)

Book Review: The Most Frustrating Cliffhanger I Have Ever Encountered

[The post was originally drafted on Thursday, March 6, 2014]

Have you ever just read a book and it just completely messed you up?

Well, seeing as it’s currently 1:49 in the morning and I have an 8:30am class later, I would say that I am currently in that state.

My eyes are burning, my breathing is thick like it doesn’t want to leave my throat and yet I am completely wide awake. Wired, as if I downed a week’s worth of caffeine, but too anxious to put any of this energy to good use like to do reading for classes or study for a midterm.

I can’t stop thinking. My brain won’t turn off.

The cause this week?

Two causes actually.

Eleanor and Park.

"Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell (Picture from Goodreads)

“Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell (Picture from Goodreads)

Yet another novel by Rainbow Rowell but this one is geared towards younger folk (think high school students) and it takes place in 1986. I’m not sure how much time I spent reading the book since I first picked it up from the local library but I can confirm that a part of me has been itching to read more and more since I began.

Eleanor and Park is about two outcasts, well, misfits, well, perhaps goodreads does a better job of summing it up:

“Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.”

And boy, does it pull you under! This book had me on a roller coaster of ups and downs the entire novel as it shifts between Park’s and Eleanor’s perspectives. I’d like to say that I favor one over the other (it depends on the point in the story), but honestly, I feel for both of them.

What’s interesting about this novel (something that Fangirl, another book by Rowell has in common) is that there are some loose ends that are never tied up. In Fangirl, these loose ends pertain to Cath’s mother and her relationship with Levi (and Nick for that matter). In Eleanor and Park, it is a whole slew of things.

Sometimes characters do or say awkward or clumsy things, which, as readers who are teenagers or have been teenagers, we can put aside because explaining these actions don’t really matter to the plot. On the other hand, there are many more parts of the story line that are left unresolved at the end of the novel, such as:

  • Did Park get his comics back?
  • Did Eleanor and Park do the deed?
  • What happened to the rest of Eleanor’s family?
  • How did Richie discover Eleanor’s secret?
  • Why did Richie write those things (and was there any prior incident for it)?
  • What happened to Cal?
  • What happened to DeNice and Beebi?

And the biggest, possibly definitely most heart-wrenching, infuriating yet somehow understandable loose end is the ending.

Yes, the ending. The last four words of the book are probably what are contributing the most to my insomnia right now.

This ending is also what makes me hesitate from giving this book as positive a review as Fangirl. It’s so ambiguous.

In any case, I still recommend the book. Nerds abound (music, comics, and Star Wars fanatics) will love its references. It may not be for everyone but it’s an exciting read. Rowell uses staccato syntax to punctuate each chapter like rapid gun-fire–noticeable and exhilarating. I think regardless of age or background, this novel will make you feel nostalgic (sometimes not necessarily in a good way) of high school and first romance or torn (or, if you’re like me, both!). This book has some pretty intense situations for the characters, addressing themes of sexuality, morality, gender-roles, self-esteem, and family values without being preachy about them. In fact, the majority of the novel is pretty sarcastic and funny or confusing (ah, just like the teenage years). I honestly couldn’t stop turning pages, even with the onslaught of assignments and sleep prodding me to stop.

I feel the urge to warn you of the excessive use of profanity and abusive language. It doesn’t detract the novel’s content but just in case, there you go.