Putting out content every single day is incredibly difficult.
I began a blog this summer with the purpose of critically investigating pop culture, the arts, among other subjects, with particular focus on the potential political impact of the arts. I began the blog for a few reasons: I miss my university classes and wanted to give my brain a work out, I simply enjoy writing, but also because I’m on track to make a career out of writing. This is a way to help me build my portfolio—creating a brand for myself, networking…all of those words that I hate!
My blog, kasiaredux, wasn’t gaining a ton of traction for the first two months, so I challenged myself to blog every day in the month of August in a project that I called Blogust (dun dun, the wordplay gorl strikes again!)
The problem is (as my father kept reminding me on his trip up to Kansas City this weekend) that I also need to support myself. I have a full-time job, but paying rent, bills, and food eats up almost all of my money. I’m a first generation American from a dirt poor family in Poland and Hungary, so I don’t have any help or inheritance or semblance of stability from my family. So I dutifully go to work, come home at 5, study for the GRE so that I can make it to journalism school, and then I write. And in the month of August, write and write and write and write. Then I get four hours of sleep, wake up, and do it all over again.
But I am so incredibly determined to realize my goals, even with my lack of resources and dumb pride that has prevented me from moving back in with my parents and saving money. Before, I’ve always struggled with the pressure put on me by my parents or professors along with my own, but this time the pressure is solely my own; I am propelling myself into full force to work as hard as possible because I’m intelligent and capable and I know what it’s like to work a full-time job that doesn’t give you any sense of fulfillment. It’s a killer of spirits, truly. This isn’t the American dream, this is my dream.
Jack Donaghy once said, “The first generation works their fingers to the bone. Second generation goes to college and innovates new ideas. The third generation goes snowboarding and takes improv classes.” Welp.
There’s also the fact that I moved into my new apartment at the beginning of August and didn’t have Internet for ten days (stupid, stupid Kasia), plus I had an unexpected Internet outage for the third week of August. So sometimes I just posted a link or some music because I had no other choice. Other times I wanted to spend a substantive amount of time researching a certain topic or post, but I only had a day to do so. Blogging every day whilst working 8-5 and prepping for grad school is a really bad idea.
But in true Kasia form, I did it, and I’m actually quite happy with several of my posts. My favorites: in one post about the Spice Girls and another about Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party, I argued that Girl Power is a legitimate form of feminism, even with its pejorative connotations amongst the circles that mock it. In another post, I responded to a YouTube video by Rosianna Halse Rojas about graffiti and legitimate/illegitimate uses of claiming space, in which I expanded upon her argument by using theories of the carnivalesque. This is the sort of topic that I might bring up in a discussion in Dr. Cotter’s class, but part of my rationale for beginning this blog and bringing theory to the Internet is to democratize that which is generally limited to those with access to higher education.
These are the posts that make me giddy to write more. I kept myself busy during August, which was necessary. Here’s to September and my favorite season (season of mists and mellow fruitfulness), and more hard work, more determination.
Every time I send a gargantuan message to my three best friends from Cambridge, I get so excited for a response that I am incapable of thinking of anything else.
Been feeling a little deflated lately because (1) I miss these ladies like hell (2) I miss Cam like hell and (3) I am really and truly not ready to accept that I am not going back to school in the fall. May was such a rush that I was happy to get graduation over with, but……. shit. I miss my professors and classes and the Senior House and three other Lit and Theory majors at William Jewell like hell too. At least I’m still in Kansas City and close to some of my other favorite people in the world who are still at Jewell… Still, though, I’m taking the year off of school working 8-5 and I already feel like I’m failing to push myself and work toward anything. I’m stagnant, in limbo, and it’s as if one of my greatest sources of anxiety is alive and well.
The fear is an exaggerated life of its own, though, and the truth is that I am working toward grad school, freelance writing and my own creative projects. These moods always pass. I just have to remind myself that to get back to the UK (or EU) and J & J & L, I’ve gotta go back to school and work hard, which isn’t remaining stagnant at all.
I once interviewed a friend about the blog he kept whilst he was abroad, and he said that he stopped writing because it returning to it would be as if he was trying to relive or hold on to the past. And of course there’s the whole high-school-curriculum-Gatsby moral (not to say I don’t like Gatsby—I’m just sayin’, the book is way more nuanced than any high school class could cover), and the Doctor Who lessons of accepting change. I’m not stuck in the past. I’m using my memories to fuel my goals and push me forward and explore and create, and I think that’s pretty healthy.
Looking for a studio or room in a shared house in Kansas City, preferably in somewhere in midtown (39th street, Westport) or south of the Plaza, in Brookside, near UMKC. I’ll consider other places if the price is right. It needs to be in MISSOURI.
I’m a twenty-two year old special education teacher, pretty easy-going, and I like to host the occasional get-together with friends. I am not picky about roommates. I’m cool with men or women, students or young professionals. Returning to grad school after a year, so a one-year lease would be ideal.
Keep me posted if you know anything or anyone please! Happy to meet new people.
Please email me at email@example.com. THX guys.
Today I visited the journalism school at Mizzou because I’ve decided that I love reporting and school way too much to handle this year off, and it’s time to get my master’s. I put on my professional voice and listed my academic accomplishments, including studying at Cambridge… I thought about Cam a lot today. And it still tears my heart into these stringy, disconnected ruptures when I remember how much I loved simply walking through the streets of that city to the centre, or to the English faculty for my supervisions, or even to far-out colleges for my supervisions. My romantic life hasn’t exactly been swell for the past year, but no man can ever break my heart with the same persistence and pain that a city can.
"place is absolutely essential"
I’m about to GRADUATE from COLLEGE with a B.A. in English literature and theory.
…that’s four years? that’s it?
1. I got a job! LIke a full-time position type-job! Like grown up people type job with potential for benefits and paid vacation time and (gasp) health care!! The position is a clinician to teach students with learning disabilities how to read—
I am going to try to freelance during my evenings and weekends because I still want to work as a journalist, and I’ll be applying for my EU work eligibility by waving my Polish birth certificate in the consulate’s face, I think. So eventually I’ll get back to good ol’ Europe, and I’m determined to be a writer. But unfortunately I wasn’t born into a family that can just support me as I try to figure things out, so I need a steady income whilst I continue to work my butt off to achieve my career goals. Slowly, slowly, but I’ll get there. Thrilled to start the Gen-Y post-college lull!
2. A guy with whom I “hung out” (for lack of a better word) for a little while back in February and March is apparently engaged to be married. I didn’t really care about this one, as he wasn’t a friend or close to me in any way, but… men sure do move on quickly from me. Thank God I always put myself and my career before my dating life, or I might go crazy.