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#grad school

rising from the dead to post some photos from a nursery i visited last week and the cute plants i bought for my own balcony! keeping them alive has been a real challenging considering this is the hottest summer in decades but i am trying my best. also, steadily getting back to my proposal research by picking up some light reading today. researching has been tough lately because i am having a hard time zeroing on a topic that i genuinely would like to study for my PhD so i am kind of all over the place right now. the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic and have no clue what’s going to happen in a few months from now is not helping at all. but trying to take this one day at a time. 

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Having just finished my first year of my screenwriting masters program, i wanna share this thing that I was told at the very start of the year that I have not been able to stop thinking about

they got all 28 of us screenwriters in a room on like the second day and straight up told us—

“you will suffer for your entire career if you make this into a competition.” 

they told us that, while we might like the write similar things, like in the same genre, or same settings—we’d never be in competition, simply because we were all different people.

from our big differences in life experience and in personality, down to our smaller differences in story preferences and writing style, it all made everything we all did unique.

and while we were all one of a million people trying to achieve the same goal of making writing a career—individually we were the only ones who could tell our stories. 

You are the only one who can write like you, who can draw like you, who can cosplay like you, who can sing like you, who can make art like you. Don’t ruin the love you have for your craft by comparing yourself to others, by putting yourself in competition with them just because you want to be “the best”.

And finally, here’s the tough love part that we all got reminded of constantly—

The moment you decide you are better than everyone, is the moment you fail. Because you will have closed yourself off to valuable critique. You will have inflated your ego so big that the second you get rejected you’ll spiral. You will have become so high and mighty that one day you’ll look around and realize you have pushed all of your peers, and your entire support system, away. 

There literally is no “best”. There is only growing with others as artists, supporting your peers, and telling your story in the way only you can. That’s how you succeed.  

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I’m entering the last month of my mphil program, about to cram an entire dissertation into the next four weeks, and I realized for the first time in my academic career, I don’t know if I can do it. Graduating from high school, graduating from college… I was not particularly proud of doing these things because I never doubted that I would do them. I worked hard, but I would not say that completing the degrees was hard. But now, I genuinely don’t know if I am going to get this done in time. If I do, if I pull this off, I will really feel as though I have accomplished something, but only because failure is a true possibility for the first time in my life. I might not make it. And that is terrifying.

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Today was one of those days where my brain said, “Yeah… that’s a hard no from me.”

I struggled to do work-work and did half of my homework which isn’t due until Sunday (because the summer semester began today), and now I’m sitting on my couch drinking a mai tai and wondering if I can get off the couch. All signs point to no.  My heart is too heavy right now…

Good news is that I can’t have The Blue House with the Yellow Door hanging over my head because I’ll want to work on that instead of schoolwork, so I’ll be finishing it ASAP.

It was not very smart of me to do a summer semester during a pandemic.  On the bright side, I just received another fellowship so it’s not all bad news. Hoorah! Also, I made a new friend which is nice. Hello @paperheartsandparachutes!

Also, also, I may have a baby murder hornet caught underneath a dishtowel on my window.  I’m too scared to check if it’s dead.  Murder hornet?  Not sure. But it was the biggest fucking wasp/hornet/thingy/whatever I’ve ever seen. (Definitely not a bee.)

*takes another sip*

How are you?  Tell me everything!

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