what these percolations produce

23 Aug

It’s 12:30 AM.

I’m sitting in my parent’s living room, typing on a brand new laptop that I’ve named Hubert.  Hadeus has breathed its last breath, pretty much.  There are a couple of twitches left in it, but I am saving these for the necessary removing of Important Documents, like my father’s recipe for tomato soup and the self-indulgent poetry I wrote for a class in college.  Hubert is a good little machine so far, and I’m grateful for it.  The keyboard works, and I’m able to listen to music without methodically pressing on parts of the chassis to make the wires connect properly, so I am satisfied.

The last several weeks have been…something.  I’m not sure what, yet.  Taylor has been gone on a lengthy road trip to the east coast, and the silence in our apartment promotes the kind of introspection that I’m not sure I need right now.  Maybe it’s just the school year starting without me, for the first time in my memory, but I feel…something.

How eloquent I am at 12:35 AM.

Here is my position: recently graduated college with a degree in creative writing.  Yes, I probably should have gone for a degree in something more useful, like education or business or Chinese, but the fact was that I didn’t think I could graduate in anything besides writing.  I didn’t have the tenacity or the patience to endure something that I didn’t already like.  And what would that have led to, anyway?  A career in education or business or China, none of which appeal to my basic nature.

It remains, though.  I graduated with a degree in writing because I was already somewhat of a writer and I needed a degree in something.

So here I am with a degree in creative writing, and a job.  The job is something I haven’t discussed here at great length, mostly out of a desire to keep it.  It really is an interesting job full of diverse people and unusual situations, and as the secretary I sit in the center of it all, pulling the strings that cause tremors in far corners of the office.  And why am I that secretary?

Because I needed a job somewhere and I knew I could do it.

The point I’m getting at here is that my life has, thus far, been a life of little risk.  I have my narrow range of talents, and I have outlined my future to exist within that range.  Most of the things I do, I do within my range of pre-established success.  I dress in red because it doesn’t wash me out.  I wear my hair cut to about my jawline because I know how it’ll look in photographs.  I do my dancing in the bedroom, because I know nobody’s in it, and I cook chicken with seasoning salt and oregano on it, because it’ll taste like chicken with seasoning salt and oregano when I finish.

These revelations, having come in my empty, still apartment filled me with a sort of frantic adrenaline that sent me to my parent’s house for the weekend, where I promptly cut off all my hair.  I now look a bit like a saucy sailor boy, but I am still a saucy sailor boy in a life of little accomplishment and less ambition.

Something has to change.  Something has to happen.  I need to enact one of my Wile E. Coyote style hare-brained schemes, and I need to see it through to the end.  I need a project to complete, with a deadline, and at the end of it all, I need to feel…something new.

I suddenly find myself with a drive to grow and change and complete something that might fail miserably.

The question now, is what?


Posted by on August 23, 2009 in Uncategorized


16 responses to “what these percolations produce

  1. Lauren From Texas

    August 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    You will find it, girl.

    It freaks me out (in a good way) when you say things like “graduated college with a degree in creative writing. Yes, I probably should have gone for a degree in something more useful, like education or business or Chinese, but […] I graduated with a degree in writing because I was already somewhat of a writer and I needed a degree in something.”

    That is so me.

    I wrote a paper for a Creative Writing class in college. The professor posed a question: “Why do you write?” I then wrote, over and over, (mixed in with other things, of course) “I write because I can’t help it.”

    Right now is just a transition period for you. You are going to find something that makes you feel fulfilled. Whether that ends up being your career, or not, is besides the point.

    I like my job, but my job does not define me. It’s not who I am. When I blog, I feel like that’s the real me. I feel fulfilled when I blog, and when people respond. So, for right now, that’s all I got, and I’m clinging to it for dear life.

    You’re going to find your way. It just takes time, a lot of patience, and a lot of blank Moleskine journals.

    Best wishes to you, always.


    • saturdayjane

      August 24, 2009 at 8:41 am

      You know, I feel wonderfully blessed to have so many great internet people in my life. Here I have Amanda, who is where I am right now, and here I have you, who has gone through it and come out the other side. You make me hopeful, and that’s lovely.

  2. amanda

    August 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Oh honey, do I know what you mean. I recently had a minor nervous breakdown because I know what you mean.

    We’ve entered adulthood at a really terrible time, and because of this, instead of us blossoming and reaching for greatness with both arms outstretched, we’re crippled by circumstances beyond our control. Blame the boomers; I do.

    I’m right there with you when you say “Most of the things I do, I do within my range of pre-established success.” I am frighteningly risk-averse, but I’m quickly learning that right now all I need is a bit more courage and to take those risks.

    What I’m trying to say (however in-eloquently) is that I really, really feel your pain. I’ve found some strange, beautiful, frightening cliff to jump off of; it came to me in the middle of the night and dogged me until I dangled my toes off the edge and acknowledged it. Your project will come to you and it will be beautiful and frightening and magnificent because it is yours. It will be there when you are ready.

    • saturdayjane

      August 24, 2009 at 8:39 am

      You know, you are on the top of my list of Internet People I Seriously Need To Have A Cup Of Coffee With. 🙂 It’s nice to know there are others in the same boat with me, and I’m not the only one getting jittery and panicked.

      I am totally thrilled to see what your project is, by the way! 🙂

      • amanda

        August 24, 2009 at 11:52 pm

        I really, really need to trek up to Portland, don’t I? 😉

        • saturdayjane

          August 25, 2009 at 9:58 am

          If you do, I will totally put you up.

          You know, in my awful apartment.

          In Corvallis.

  3. Jacob Peterson

    August 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Want to join my paintball team? Or enter the nearest rodeo and take up Bull Riding…. either are acceptable choices.

    • saturdayjane

      August 24, 2009 at 8:37 am

      How about both? Paintball on the back of RAGING BULLS.

      • Jacob Peterson

        August 24, 2009 at 9:53 am

        Wow….. you are more hardcore than I ever thought capable! Okay, I’ll get the paintball stuff and you get the bulls!

    • rubybastille

      August 24, 2009 at 12:15 pm

      YES PAINTBALL. Let’s do this.

      • saturdayjane

        August 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm

        If we do it on the backs of raging bulls, as per the plan, we can call it Paintbulling.

  4. Kitty

    August 24, 2009 at 3:04 am

    I feel you. First of all, let me tell you that I’m very jealous of you and Lauren. I wish I had the guts to have gotten a degree in creative writing, but I just couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t “practical” enough. I got a degree in journalism instead, which I enjoyed, but I still wish I had been brave enough to go for what I really wanted… So don’t knock yourself down. You’re bolder than you think!

    Second, in case you don’t know or are not sure, let me tell you that you are genuinely talented. I LOVE your blog. LOVE IT. You have a strong voice and a great sense of humor. When people ask me what my favorite blogs are, I mention you and Dooce in the same breath. Keep at it!

    Third, have you ever freelanced? There’s a pretty good market for it right now because so many magazines can’t afford to pay full time staffers. Pick up a copy of Writer’s Market if you haven’t already. Join an online freelancing organization – there are a bunch to choose from. Just go for it. Getting published is always a thrill!

    Finally, I have a very special bloggy project in mind for both you and Miss Lauren from Texas. (Love you too Lauren!) More details soon my lovelies!

    • Anonymous

      August 24, 2009 at 8:35 am

      Miss Kitty, it is 8:30 AM, and I am sitting in my office at work. I just started, and I thought I would look at my comments, and I need to tell you that you have just MADE MY ENTIRE DAY. 🙂 Whatever project you have in mind, I am IN, darling.

      • saturdayjane

        August 24, 2009 at 8:36 am

        Oh, heh, that was from me.

  5. Vanessa

    August 26, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I know how you feel. I got off the path to medical school early on in college when I realized that that path was full of things that make me miserable (mostly math in any form) and that I’m not good at. I chose to go with an English major– my concentration is in Journalism– because it’s what I’m good at and what I’ve always felt passionate about, but it scares me to think of where my major is going to lead me (and even when I was briefly pre-med, I planned on also majoring in English despite the huge headache it was going to be to take all my classes). It feels so limiting but so open to possibility at the same time. It’s scary, because I don’t know exactly what I want yet. I wish I had a plan like I did when I wanted to go to medical school and be a medical examiner; it was a very straightforward path with a very straightforward outcome, but it didn’t work out. Now I’m left here thinking “okay, I’m good at this, but how do I use my degree, and cunning, and skill to actually parlay this into a well-paying career?”

    In a way, I feel like my move to an English major has been my risk. I wanted to go to medical school and get a career that was pretty guaranteed to make me the big bucks and provide me with a lot of stability. There was a time I wanted that badly, but there was also a time where it made me miserable and I just had this sickening ache in the pit of stomach telling me it wasn’t right. I just had to make a change, and that was making writing for a living my main goal, and THAT is taking a huge risk, if you ask me.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is that see how you’ve maintained the status quo in one sense, but also consider that you’re trying to make it in a very risky profession already. That takes courage all by itself.

  6. Amanda

    August 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t know if these are any good but they could be worth it.


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