Hey! I'm Not Dead!
In fact I'm the exact opposite of dead! I am living life at such a ridiculously breakneck speed now that I haven't had time to sit down and get good n broody in several months. In the past few months I've:
* Traveled to six different countries where I did everything from shooting a crossbow in a castle in Prague to getting a nude massage (in a semi-public place) by a mustacioed woman in Hungary. It was awesome! And embarrassing!
* Absolutely fell in love with the current boyfriend. Not only because he's adventurous and likes to dance and takes me on red-hot dates to places like a science supply store and loves to spend Sunday afternoons curled up eating Dreamsicles and watching documentaries with me, but also because he is the most honest and kind human being I've ever met. I don't think I've ever felt this at peace in my life.
* Went to Lollapalooza where, during a Rage Against the Machine show, the woman beside yelled, "Hey! I'm coppin a squat!" and then proceeded to urinate (and potentially more) in the middle of a crowd of several thousand. I am pretty sure the aforementioned boyfriend and I were later pushed into that woman's urine. Though the incident happened a month or so ago, that thought makes me feel uncomfortable to this day.
* Continued to stay enamored with Chicago. That is reinforced every time I meet someone awesome as this guy or participate in something as delightfully absurd as this. In the past few months, I've gotten to visit a group that hosts a live-action vampire-themed role playing game, trap feral cats in crack houses, and discuss the future of broadcasting with a guy who could potentially replace human news anchors with cartoon ones. Sometimes I believe this place was built just for me.
* Was given tickets to see Bon Jovi, or rather the back of Bon Jovi's head, thanks to my nephew. While you might think that the best part of that show was seeing Jon Bon's feathered hair waft gently to a live performance of Livin On a Prayer, you'd be wrong. The best part was standing in a parking lot after the show, watching a woman so drunk she couldn't stand up try to convince a lot attendant that some Hispanic lady also coming out of the show was being sexually trafficked.
* Learned to cook...sort of. The majority of the things I've made have been so-so; however, I did make a pretty badass almond cake with creme anglaise and blueberry compote. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that I was more proud the day I made that cake than I was the day I graduated from high school. Don't tell my mom I said that.
* Had my first book published. This one specifically which is the sole reason that I've been so negligent on this here internet thingy.
I'm pretty pumped about this for a few reasons:
#1) Now I can go to a Barnes and Noble (in Virginia), point to that book, and tell strangers who don't care, "I wrote that" in a haughty voice. I haven't done that yet, but I have taken cell phone pictures of myself standing in front of the book on display. Don't judge me.
#2) This is the first step in a very specific life plan I have to write a bunch of books on financial aid, establish accompanying scholarship programs designed for single parents, and help as many economically disadvantaged students as I can connect with aid programs that will help them earn a college degree. Though there are any number of good reasons to focus on this cause - education is one of the factors proven to break the cycle of poverty; students with a college degree are statistically more likely to start businesses, volunteer, stay out of jail, give back to their community, and raise kids that do the same; those with a four-year degree earn an average of $1 million more in their lifetime than those who don't; etc. - the real reason is that my sister and I were both lucky enough to have a mom who made college an expectation, even when it was economically tough on her. Knowing what I know about financial aid now, it could have been less tough. Had we been aware of the thousands upon thousands of aid programs out there, we probably could have had financial help but frankly, we were all uneducated about the process like most families are.
If possible, I'd like to change that or at least start changing that. I think the book will help and in order to get that project off the ground, I'm pretty sure I will have to shut this one down. As a friend recently said, "Nobody's going to take you seriously if they know you sometimes photograph people's cracks." Check and mate.
So while Post-gradnothing.com has been a fantastic experience and I've met some amazingly wonderful people from it, I'm going to have to hang up writing about my own awkwardness in favor of a project way bigger than this.
Thanks for being so awesome for the past four years,
P.S. We finally got a goat!