The snow made more of a sigh than a crunch as she gingerly set a booted foot out of her car. Hesitantly, she trusted her weight to the ice and got out, lugging a large, ripping book bag with her. The car made its swishing click as she locked it and cautiously made her way across the parking lot. It hadn’t been snowing long, but already everything was lightly dusted with white, as if the heavens had daintily sneezed all over the city. The fresh powder sighed with every step she took, but the soft sound was drowned out by the whirr of cars and spraying of dirty slush on the street beside her. The cold snatched at her red nose and played with her hair as she made her way up a block. A neon sign glowed through the grey haze. “Coffee” was all it read.
The lightweight wooden door creaked and a vacuum of air whooshed through her ears when she opened it. After pressing it shut against the cold behind her, she took a lungful of warm air and felt her body relax. The hushed tones of several people’s chatter filled the air before the startling grinding of the espresso machine sprang to life. It was followed by the wheezing of air rapidly running through milk as it was steamed, and all other sounds dulled into numbness. She did not need to contemplate the menu before she ordered a soy latté.
“Can I get a name with that?” The barista, at the ready with her pen, politely asked.
She glanced her way and smiled before returning her attention to finding her wallet. “Marcia.”
After the short blonde girl broke her five and handed back the change, she dumped all of it into the tip jar. The coins hit the glass bottom, nearly empty, with their own sound of thanks. When her drink was ready, she breezed by and snatched it off of the bar without looking. The door let in another puff of freezing air as she passed by it on her way upstairs to her favorite corner. The upstairs was smaller, warmer, and quieter. Only the abrupt grind of the espresso machine could be heard from downstairs. Snuggled in the corner was an old leather armchair with a small table beside it. She settled herself there, sighing and relaxing into the fabric as if she were saying hello to a friend. The ratty book bag tipped over on the floor, allowing books and pens to peak out, but it was the soy latté that she reached for. She held it tightly, cold fingers wrapped around the logo-less cardboard, and took a sip. The liquid melted in her mouth and soon flowed through her like a small river of warm gold. The book bag lay forgotten at her feet.
You know how people buy drinks for girls in bars? Why can’t people do that in book stores? Like if I’m looking at a novel in Barnes and Noble and some person walks up to me and strikes up a conversation and offers to buy the book for me there is a lot better chance of that working out in their favor
I’m going to reblog this until it’s a cultural norm.
Lets do it
plus less chance of drugs being slipped into your book
“A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face she inquired, “How heavy is this glass of water?” The answers called out ranged from 8oz to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If i hold it for a minute, its not a problem. If i hold it for an hour, i’ll have an ache in my arm. If i hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer i hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stress and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them for a big longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed - incapable of doing anything.” Always remember to put the glass down.”—Best thing I’ve heard all day. (via itssimplymeeeee)
I have been meaning to write this for a long time, but in the final weeks of an unbelievably stressful quarter, it has obviously been pushed to the back burner time and time again. But I’m sitting here at work in a nearly empty office. I finished my usual intern-y things that I do. Sorting the mail, checking e-mail, organizing things that I organized thrice in the past two weeks. The like. And Sarah, the only other person here and my fellow events intern, is busily clicking away at her computer. While I just reorganized the paper clip jar and the scissors for the second time this morning. And so, thus, at my wits end and waiting for Stuart or Mary to come in and possibly order me around a little bit, I have at last sat down to write this little update, if you will.
I have to laugh at myself a little bit now. I spent about a year of my life determined to be a double major. English and Communications. I loved them both and was interested in them both and so double majoring was the only logical conclusion, right? I remember it was devastating when I found that financially I might not be able to do that. I devoted a great deal of energy to planning a way to make it all fit. I have to laugh a little bit at myself now. Oh yes, of course double majoring makes sense for you, dear. You are just so academically minded and incredibly self motivated. And your career aspirations! Oh my! Those are large, and of course you need a double major degree in order accomplish them. Yes, yes, that is clearly the right path for you. Hm. I imagine this particular alter ego of myself to be a plump, blonde secretary in navy blue. And she’s looking over her glasses on her pert little nose as she nods like a bobble head while telling me all of this. Meanwhile there’s a girl in a sweater and long skirt in the corner with paint under her nails and coffee stains on her shoes. She is shaking her head and laughing a bit to herself.
I have been told that in the first year or two of college it is practically inevitable that your major will change. I assumed I was exempt from this. My whole life changed my first year of college. I somehow thought that perhaps my major would have the courtesy to stay the same. Since the second grade, the only thing I have ever wanted to be is a writer. As soon as I figured out what it meant to major in something, I was destined for English. I had “CREATIVE WRITING MAJOR” stamped all over me, and all over all of my documents. But ironically, I didn’t chose my school for the creative writing department. And by some small gift of fate, I ended up taking an Intro to Communications class and discovering an entire other world that clicked with how my brain worked. It was fascinating and I was hooked. I thought to myself, this is what I need to do! These two realms are perfect for me. And the plump little secretary inside of me approved, nodding away.
But then this quarter I was hit with some unfortunate blows; in direct opposition to what I was determined to be my first normal quarter of college. (Though I have realized there will never be such a thing for me. Indeed, is there for anyone?) After a level of stress so high that it may have reduced my lifespan by another half of the ten years that my stress level of junior year took off, I was forced to concluded some very pressing realities. I am not a particularly academically minded person. I take little joy from my daily flow of assignments, but rather find it in the times that I get to spend with people. I am not self motivated. I can be when I have to be, but having to schedule out every minute of my day weighs heavy on my spontaneous soul. Also, I have no career aspirations. I want a job that I don’t hate doing something where I get more interaction with people than the occasional question across cubical walls. So I am very opened to what God has in mind for me. I really do not need a double major to accomplish career goals I do not have. And honestly, most important of all, I have not been enjoying being an English major. I don’t mind reading and analyzing short fiction or even occasional poetry, but after just two of my six required basic literature courses, I am completely burnt out. My eyeballs want to fall out of my skull from all of the required reading I have had to trudge through. What’s worse, I don’t really read it. Merely scan it for the tiny pieces of information I need to make it through the next assignment. What a terrible way to learn to become a better writer! If I can’t even read these great works, how will I ever learn from them? Yes, I have become burnt out and frustrated by this path that I once believed so firmly was created for me.
So as it turns out, I am not exempt from the forces of changing majors after all. But I find a peace in seeing that God knew this all along. He brought me to the perfect school for me, knowing full well that I would not end up in it’s somewhat weak creative writing sector. He threw in a random class that birthed a passion in me. He connected me with people who can encourage all of this, who can see logic that I am sometimes oblivious to. Oh yes, praise the Lord for those people. And so, it’s time to tell that pert little secretary alter ego of mine to go take a hike. A long one. I found something far more suited for me. Something unexpected, but perfect. I’m going to be a Communications major. I plan to follow the communications research track rather than the communications journalism track. (Oh gosh, I think I would probably be about as good at journalism as I would be at computer design or some other foreign language like that.) And don’t worry, I’m not giving up on my second grade dreams. I’m planning to minor in creative writing. This will allow me to take all of the writing classes without all of the literature to bog me down. I will always be a writer, I believe taking this path is what will allow me to most grow in that with minimal frustrations. Finishing my education will take about three years and one quarter. Not that much longer to go, really. Which makes my heart flutter for all of it’s own reasons. And finally, next quarter I am only taking thirteen credits rather than the full load of fifteen. I want a little bit of time to put myself back together again after this frazzling quarter. I want to spend a lot more time with my floor, I want to read for pleasure, take more walks, and listen to what my spirit has to say. I also need a little more time to deal with my ugly little monster called grief. I’ve been neglecting that and I can feel it begin to eat at me.
Transitions galore! My, my. But I can see that this is the time for them. I am growing. I am learning. And I am experiencing some wild new things. But at the end of the day, I am still very much me. Emily. A writer. A people person. Hopeful. Thoughtful. Passionate. So here’s to a better quarter next quarter, and the unexpected turns that life takes.
The journal rejected my three pieces. I was a little surprised, I guess. They advertized that they really needed prose pieces, and I thought mine were okay. Oh well. I’m trying not to dwell on it too much. I guess if you’re successful your first time, you start getting a big head or something. So, on to the next thing. Just as soon as I figure out what that is. =P Finding places to publish short stories is really rather challenging.
Oh well. Speaking of challenges, I printed off the rejection e-mail they sent me. I’m not quite so bold as Fitzgerald as to display it, but I have it. I wonder which of us will end up with more by the end of our lifetimes.