It’s been some time since I’ve reflected on where I’m at, and a lot has changed for me recently, in really good ways. I’m in an energetic, yet strangely reflective kind of mood right now, so why not write about where I’m at and where I’m heading?
It’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I wanna.
Sorry. (Not sorry. That song’s been stuck in my head all week.)
I recently decided to become a teen public librarian. Just typing that sentence is mildly exhausting, because of the number of personal statements I’ve had to write and rewrite this past month that explain, at length, why I made that choice. Long story short, I’m getting tired of working in retail, and I got really sick of being in a near-constant existential crisis and lowkey depression about what I want to do for a career. I went back and forth between a few short-lived ideas: editor in a publishing house—okay, that dream wasn’t so short-lived, but I don’t think it would have been healthy for me—art therapist, professional person-who-screams-about-how-much-she-loves-books, you get the idea. I wanted a job that feels meaningful, allows me to engage in the arts in some way, while also ensuring I have a roof over my head so I can pursue my passion for writing.
I’d never given becoming a librarian serious thought until I really made myself reflect on what I want to get out of my career. Something dynamic, something that engages the literary community, something that people have a real need for, and something that will keep me learning and growing. Then I thought about being a librarian for teenagers—I already adore teen books, and I think it would be really fun to work with young people and encourage them to read more. I already do it at work! The more I thought about it, the better it sounded.
Becoming a librarian means going to grad school to get my Masters in Library and Information Sciences (MLIS for short). I spent the last month or so researching programs and then flinging myself into the process of applying to them. It’s been a lot. But I finally feel strong, positive momentum to pursue something. I cannot begin to articulate how good that feels after nearly three years of feeling lost.
Another change that I made was I started keeping a habit tracker journal. It seems a little silly to talk about it in a paragraph following such a big, revelatory career decision, but I think journaling helped move my energy so that I was ready to take that plunge. A best-selling author I follow, V.E. Schwab, posts on Twitter about her life, her writing, and her struggles with mental illness. I love her for her honesty and realness (also, her books are fantastic). A few months ago, she posted a picture of her journaling method, and I was intrigued.
Since graduating from NAU and starting to work in retail, time started to pass really strangely for me. It became difficult for me to remember how I spent my days or what day it even was. I partially blame the inconsistent scheduling of working in retail. I knew it was unhealthy, and Schwab’s method looked like the perfect way to keep track of my time and hold myself accountable.
I’m now in my second month of using a habit tracker journal. One page resembles the one in Schwab’s tweet, albeit with many, many more activities listed along the Y axis, and then the following page is where I write to-do lists. Then I use one more page to write a little reflection of how I spent the month. I’m getting so much out of this. I feel like I accomplish more and use my time more effectively, I’m able to see visual evidence of strides I’m making to grow, and I have a much better grasp of time now! If keeping track of how you fill your time is something you struggle with, I highly recommend starting a habit tracker journal.
As far as my writing is going, I think I’m moving back into a place of eager readiness to dive back in. I spent pretty much all of my free time working on grad school applications this last month, and before that, I was in a fairly negative headspace about my writing. Now that my applications are done, I feel a lot of creative momentum building up. I really, really want to write my queer faery story and get a new draft out. It would be super fabulous to have a finished draft before school starts in the fall.
Also, I’ve had a girlfriend for several months now, and she is wonderful and a delight, and she makes me feel super safe and happy. Just felt the need to share that. <3
Overall, I’m feeling super hopeful for the future. Phew. I don’t know the last time I felt that way. It’s a truly wonderful feeling.
Writer, reviewer, bookseller, book nerd extraordinaire. Fiction reader at Waxwing Magazine.