I’ve been feeling great all day.
“TOP OF THE WORLD, MA!,” as it were.
Every day just proves all of my fears are unfounded. I wish Ma was still alive so I could share with her everything I’ve done in the last two years: the spoils of my travels, the tales of new friends and places. All of it. If I could, I’d recount every last excruciating detail because I know she would love to hear everything.
She wasn’t a huge fan of my decision to move away to finish my bachelor’s degree. After all, I kept trying to escape during high school, and we all know how I botched my chances at Boston University. There were no good reasons to believe I could succeed in San Francisco. I’m not sure she ever understood the enthusiasm with which I would pack up my things for a new locale, yet she accepted it and never stifled it.
Ma would be so proud of me right now. No, scratch that. She most definitely is proud of me. I don’t think there was ever a moment when she didn’t feel that way.
Even I didn’t believe I could succeed if I moved away from the South Bay. In a sense, I relinquished good opportunities: amazing networking possibilities, possible internships at the Daily Breeze or the Press-Telegram without any effort, etc. Actually, shortly after moving here, I received an email from a former adviser in which she informed me that she recommended me for a copy editing/design job with the local daily newspaper. I felt like a huge imbecile. A former colleague from my community college paper got the position and she is still there, moving up the ranks. (Just a note: I feel no ill will here. To be perfectly honest, at the time she completely deserved the position, more so than me. Her skill set completely blew mine out of the water.)
I knew I would have to start from scratch. I had to prove myself again and forge new professional contacts, juggling a part-time job and a full-time class schedule all the while. A small part of me relished the challenge. That part of me felt I could flourish anywhere. The fear was always there, but it was initially minute.
Life here just started to pick up when Ma died. It was during my first semester, but rather than wallow in my sadness and guilt, I kept moving forward. All of the suppressed stress finally caught up to me. I couldn’t find a job to help me pay rent and other living expenses. I didn’t know anyone here and no one knew me, so I was terrified of applying to any internship. Most internships were out of the question anyway because the majority were unpaid, and there was no way I could work for free and still have a roof over my head.
Dark times, indeed. My second semester at SF State was awful. I don’t know how I passed any of my classes, let alone completed any of the assignments in publication lab. My situation only improved after I decided to study abroad in Ireland for the summer. Those five weeks thoroughly changed my disposition. It reawakened my interest in, well, everything.
Now I’m back to feeling like I can do anything. I have one internship under my belt, one in the bag, and I’m a serious contender for two more PAYING internships. My writing has been published in a couple of well-known San Francisco organizations and I’ve established solid connections in fields I am strongly interested in.
Nothing to worry about anymore, other than what will be my next adventure.
And now that I’ve hastily finished this, it is time for bed.
“You’re quiet, but I love you.”
Yeah, I actually get that a lot. I don’t remember who shared this with me this week. Regardless, it was much appreciated and made me smile.