Tag Archives: working

Life Update

One year ago today I had a day that changed the course of my life. I mean, if we’re being real, I’ve had one hell of a YEAR. But we aren’t talking about that today. We’re talking about a dog.

One year ago, I was mauled by a client’s dog. Really no other way to put that. You can’t make being used as a dog chew toy sound nice. And quite honestly, as angry as I was at the rescue, it was largely my fault. I touched the big scary crate the dog broke out of. I should not have done that; I should not have gone to where the dog broke out of. I know that now. I didn’t then.

I walked away that day with a torn up coat, shredded jeans, a bloody leg and back, and a massively bruised dignity. It’s still bruised. I don’t like when dogs I don’t know run at me. I try to avoid situations where there’s potential for a bite to occur. I used to have a passion for working with dogs labeled aggressive and I don’t have that anymore.

But what I will say for that day is that it woke me up. The idea that that dog had me so firmly I could have died if I hadn’t gotten out of the apartment…it was the catalyst to many things.

I was wallowing in the past. So I got a brilliant therapist who I have an amazing rapport with. I’ve done things with her that I never would have thought possible.

I was fully immersing myself in a career that wasn’t going to get me anywhere further. So I began to write, in earnest. More than I’ve ever written, which says a lot. I sent out essays. I got published a few times. I finished a second book. I’ve been more honest in my writing, but scared to share that here.

I was not happy with my life. So I began to change it. And I’m still not happy with it, but I am making strides towards where I’d like to be.

I have new goals now. I’d like to publish more. I’d like to change my career slightly. Own my own business maybe. Still with dogs, but more training. I’m most interested in service dogs right now, specifically psychiatric service animals. The real kind, not the fake I want to bring my dog on a plane kind. I might not know how to start a business completely on my own, but what I learned this year is that I can, if I so choose.

I came to New York City for grad school, and I love this city more than anything. I have no desire to leave it. But grad school cost me a huge portion of myself at a time when I’d barely begun to get to know who I truly was. I forgot what I was really all about. And I’m finding that out again. I’m a writer first. An activist. A speaker, even though it scares the shit out of me. I love dogs. I want to help people.

I want to do for other people what’s been done for me.

So one year ago, I got mauled by a dog. And I woke up.

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Life Update

Greetings!

I’ve largely abandoned this blog lately, but I haven’t forgotten it. I’ve been having a hard time with what to write and what to put in here. It’s difficult to get things together for publication, and I’m such a perfectionist that anything I write is eventually up for a shot at the great circuit. And anything published here cannot be published elsewhere. Truth be told, I am writing now more than I’ve written in a long time. It genuinely isn’t that I’ve forgotten y’all. It’s that my work is unfortunately elsewhere in the writing realm.

I have a new therapist named Lisa. She’s pretty fucking amazing. She’s really been encouraging me on the writing front, so you can blame her for my absence. This post, the winner of the most honest I have ever been in a blog award, was because of her. I’ve never had this kind of relationship with a therapist before. Literally every detail of my life is an open book when we talk; she knows more about me and the deep recesses of my brain than anyone ever has. And by talk, I mean write. Lisa is the most important person in my life right now, but we have never even met–and I’m okay with that (for now, anyway). It is easier to be open in writing than it is in person, at least for me.

Why did I decide to start therapy again, you ask? Couple reasons. One, I got bit super badly by a dog. Read about that here. And here. It freaked me out tremendously. The bite was bad; the attack was bad. I had a hard time working after that, especially with new dogs. Two, I’ve been told I need to be more reflective in my writing. Adult me and child me need to have some conversations. Soooooo enter Lisa. If you live in NYC and you want to start a therapy relationship in writing, she’s a gem.

I am still walking and training dogs. I am still working on my new book. It’s going well. There is a complete draft for the very first time. I blame Lisa for that too. We’ve been talking lately about the why behind my writing. Why this story/these story/this construction? Why am I so afraid of my own work? Why? Because the end is scary. Because I want so desperately to tell all my stories, to make people understand, but I also feel trapped by it. Ending it creates a door. I want to end it. I want to move on. I want to write MORE.

I want to be better at updating here. I say this all the time, but I really do mean it every time. I’d like to write more on my obvious themes of sexual assault, but it’s hard. I don’t know how open to be here. I don’t know what stories to share, what to tell, what y’all are willing to hear. I don’t know how honest to be. I’ve been considering starting my own website, just to have it. I’d like to create a community of sexual assault survivors, a safe place to talk, share. Hang out behind the safety of our screens. I’m also interested right now in branching more into training service dogs.

I told Lisa the other day that I just want a lot of things. A LOT of things.

All of this to say, I have not forgotten here. This blog has meant the world to me for many years, despite the lack of writing within it. Please forgive me?

Please keep reading.

Cheers, friends.

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Square One

So I got fired today.

I told someone today that I was ready to pack up and go home to Wisconsin because the city had eaten me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t come here for a job. I came here to write. It was not the most fantastic of jobs, working for Barnes and Noble. (I can say the name in writing now that I no longer work there and am no longer bound by their “do not blog about us” rules.) It did have one perk though. People.

N told me last week that working there has been good for me. She was right. I got to know a group of very awesome, incredible people from all walks of life and (literally) all coasts of the country. I loved my cashiers. The actors and actresses. The artists. The readers and writers. Even the ones I didn’t talk to much. I still have a post it that one cashier stuck on my station a few weeks ago of the Gilmore Girls characters; I stuck it to my wall by the light switch.

I will miss them.

I’m a massively shy introvert; I hate having to meet new people. So without a job, I probably WON’T. Or at the very least, it’ll be a lot harder. I’ve lost my little network that, no matter how much I hated my job, really did mean a lot to me.

I take my firing as me being a threat on a lot of different levels. The bogus reason given to me for my termination simply isn’t important. The truth is, I saw too much; I knew too much. I was too good. It’s that simple. I was GOOD at my job. I hated it, or rather, I hated the place. But I was GOOD. They’ve lost me, over something dumb and completely fictitious, as my investigations this evening have revealed.

I came to New York to write, but everyone here keeps telling me that I will make no money doing that. There is little money in nonfiction. Absolutely none in memoir. I knew that coming here, and I always said it didn’t bother me. But now that I’m in the real world, I doubt my degree. I doubt what I will use it for. It seems pointless sometimes, this idea that I am writing things that won’t sell. Writers now have to write for the market, the market controls the writer. You don’t cater to the market, you don’t thrive. My writer is a particular niche, and it’s one I’m good at. It’s difficult for me to break outside of it, and outside of it is where the world wants me to go. Why did I go after a degree to…write? The more people tell me the money isn’t there, the more scary my degree seems. I need something else job-wise, and that blows. I rehash my choices now, my slowness at looking for something else. Or the even bigger choices—did I pick the right school, the right city? Should I have gone somewhere where I didn’t have to work? Every time I think I know, the city bucks back. I haven’t learned how to ride yet. I haven’t learned how to stand up for myself. I haven’t learned how to be properly angry.

I’m back to square one now. A writer in New York City with no job and no discernible source of income. I may take out an additional loan until next semester to supplement my pathetic savings. I have an interview with CBS on Tuesday for a part time internship. But in the meantime, I have time. Time to be a student. Time to think. Time to write. Those are the things I came here for, the good things. The things I do awesomely well. By myself. With the cat. Nothing wrong with that.

Until I start talking to her and she starts answering back. Then we have a problem :).

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