Finding Your Place | Transferring | Look At Me Now

I quoted this in another blog post, and I’m going to quote it again:

“Sometimes to chase after your future, you have to stop running and plant yourself in one place. Take a stand and fight for what you want. And know that even after the darkest of nights, the dawn will come. And you will find a place where you don’t have to hide. A place to call home.” — Carrie Bradshaw, The Carrie Diaries

This past year was a time for reflection and starting a new, and honestly, I have zero regrets. I remember almost two years ago, my family packed up our stuff in Medfield, Massachusetts and moved to Bristol, Rhode Island. I wish I had a better attitude about it, at the time. But it wound up becoming an adventure. Who knew that a year later from that I’d be switching schools, too? Transferring was something that was on my mind for a really long time. And according to my great philosopher, HelloKaty’s YouTube video, “If you’re not happy somewhere, or with someone, get out.” She also touches upon the complex and surely complicated process of transferring. To back up her argument, transferring someplace else is one of the most courageous things you can do. It is not a cowardly act. Everyone has their opinion, but I was certainly not happy. Being on the phone crying in the corner of the library is not healthy, whatsoever. And yes, it happened frequently. I knew that I would become a “double transfer” (as I switched high schools, too), but I knew in my gut and my heart that this was the right move for me.

For those of you who know me personally, you’d know that I switched my majors a billion times. Now, I can finally say, I’m 1,000,000x more confident in my choice at RWU. One thing that’s true about anything is that it takes time for anything to grow and find out who you are. It just took me a few more trials and errors than anyone else.

Listen, why am I telling you this? I was recently inspired by my poetry professor whom I talked to yesterday about poetry, and we both agreed that poetry would be my focus for next year, as I’ll be a junior writing my thesis and taking a senior seminar. This is not a “go to RWU!” ad, but I’m just saying the Creative Writing professors really influenced my choice to come and to take a shot at higher level classes and dip my toes into a few things. I’m now taking a Literary Publishing course, and I’m absolutely loving it. RWU students also reintroduced me to fashion: my second love (writing being the first). I’m slowly heading back into my Audrey Hepburn phase by taking a chance with vintage clothing, as seen here:

30708761_1655485241165333_3368409534467932160_n

I love playing with neutrals, as they are really in this season. I decided to put a little “spring” (and heel) in my step by appropriating my mom’s lace-up kitten heels — no, really, talk about vintage! Florals are definitely in this season, as well. And any printed pant with a v-neck sweater? Totes vintage and adorbs!

In short, I’m grateful to my parents for deciding to leave Massachusetts. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be interning at Rhode Island Monthly this summer!!! That’s right, I will be an Editorial Intern at the premiere publication in Rhode Island! ☺

Moreover, wherever one door closes, another door opens to a new opportunity (or more). I’m one step closer to becoming a published journalist and poetry author. My professor said my voice is really strong and authentic. I was right when I said I had dreams too big for that small town in Massachusetts, and Massachusetts at large. Sure, Rhode Island is not that much bigger, but I’m following and achieving my dreams more than I ever thought possible.

This is me, and this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. (Yes, I just semi-quoted that song from Camp Rock).

Personas

Persona: (n). the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others; a role or character adopted by an author or an actor; “person” — (Spanish translation); or, in poetry, the mask that the speaker wears.

These are four definitions of the word “persona.” I’ve never thought about this word until we went over it in my Form in Poetry class. We then reached into depth about how this word applies to our everyday lives. A person can put up a front and mask their emotions. That way they are pretending everything is okay. I then start to think: what kind of persona am I showing in my poems? My blog posts? On Instagram? I once had to write a sort of erotic poem for that class, and in my poem, I made a point to say, “I’m a virgin talking about sex, how does that sound to you?” That’s one example of putting on a “mask.”

Artists tend to put on a “mask” at all times. When Demi Lovato was on Disney Channel, no one knew she was hiding an eating disorder and addiction. The same thing with Miley Cyrus — she started out on Hannah Montana as an eleven-year-old playing a fifteen-year-old, struggling with anxiety and body dysmorphia in the process. As for some of the more complex artists like, say, Lady Gaga? The world may never know why she dresses up in ridiculous costumes. Or is she just being herself? She is who she said she is at the 2011 VMAs: theatre.

And that’s just the thing: we become our passions. It’s similar to the way method actors become and understand their characters. When I write short stories, I become and embody the main character(s) to try and get inside their heads. That is called “character development.” Or, when I wrote a poem dedicated to Henry David Thoreau, I had to crawl inside the head of a transcendentalist in order to create a cohesive, thoughtful ode to him.

As functionaries in society, we’re forced to hide what we don’t want our peers to know. I’m reminded of Elsa from Frozen: “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know” when she finally unmasked her power to freeze anything in her path and finally said (I know, we’re aaaalllll sick of hearing these three overhyped words) “let it go.”

the-office-no-gif-10

As much as I’ve grown to be sick of that movie, it proves a point. How many of you remember those dark days we like to call… middle school? And this is where I’m going to be flat out honest with y’all. In seventh grade, I went from not giving a you-know-what, to caring incessantly about my appearances. It was all because of this stigma from the town I grew up in: conformity and to be “socially accepted.” Funny, I just wrote a poem about my old town and how transferring high schools and eventually colleges gave me my own voice — my own identity. When we put on these “masks,” we’re essentially locking away our own voices from these outside sources who are too stubborn to take them into consideration.

But when I think about Louise Glück’s “Wild Iris,” and she puts on the persona of a wild iris trying to push through the dirt, it’s almost a source of empathy for the poor being. Let this, alone, be an analogy: we are all wild irises, emerging through earth’s thick skin trying to survive. We have instances which we may be “reborn” and discover ourselves again. At the end of the day, we are still writing our poems in first-person — so somewhere in the midst of all that, our voices and identities are still being conveyed in our poems of life. Our words may be used in the future to be studied, and who knows? Maybe a little-redheaded girl looking at poetry for the first time will wish she knew that source of wisdom.

What’s In My Backpack?

What’s up, A(pril)-listers? April here, and I’m going to show you a glimpse of this ‘busy girl life’ of mine!

A college girl is never complete without her necessities. Where does she keep them? Why, in her backpack, of course!

I was inspired by internet sensation, Katy Bellotte’s, YouTube video on what she carries in her college bag and what classes she is taking this spring 2018 semester. I was originally going to make this a CollegeFashionista article, but I thought I’d get up-close-and-personal with you guys on my blog, instead. I’m trying to build my fashion/lifestyle “brand,” after all!

Without further ado, here is what’s in my backpack:

To begin with, I might as well show you how big my backpack is. It has numerous pockets for my needs, so I never run out of space to put my things.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sidenote: my bag is by Kenneth Cole Reaction.

Now, let’s get down to business as to what a busy girl, like myself, carries in her backpack to survive throughout the day!

1.) Inspiration

image1 (12) One can use a little fashion inspiration wherever they go. I love to get my outfit/health/fitness inspo from magazines like Seventeen, Vogue, Teen Vogue, or Vanity Fair. 

2.) Wallet(s) and earphones

image2 (5)

My little furry sidekick, Sassy, obviously wanted to be in the pic XD. What a little diva! Anyway, one of my wallets isn’t big enough, so I carry two Coach wallets (both were gifts). One is for various types of cards, and the other is just simply for money (and used Starbucks gift cards, lol!). And when I pop in those earphones and play my workout playlist or any of my bangin’ Pandora stations, I feel unstoppable and I feel like I’m in a movie.

3.) Notebook(s) and planner

image3 (1)

As Katy Bellotte said in her video, “A person is only as good as their planner.” I agree with that wholeheartedly. I bought my planner at the RWU bookstore and it’s by Vera Bradley (as are the notebooks pictured above). I like how my planner comes with it’s own special “bookmark” and keeps tabs of the months. It also comes with little stickers that say “haircut,” “appointment,” “doctor,” “girls’ night out,” etc. So cute!

You might be wondering what classes I’m taking. If not, I’m going to tell you, anyways. I’m taking Literary Publishing, Form in Poetry, Marketing Principles, Public Speaking, and Literary Philosophy. I absolutely love my classes, oh, and for those of you wondering (or are new here), I’m a Creative Writing major with a minor in Arts Management at RWU.

*Not included in this post, but I also carry numerous textbooks with me… I’m a huuuuge nerd!*

4.) Lipsticks, gloss, and chapstick

image5 (1)

I carry not one, but four things of lip-wear in my front pocket. First, I have two lipsticks. The dark lip is totally in right now, and I love a bold lip color. One of them is a mauve (my new favorite color), and the other is “Gone Griege” (brown). But I tend to use one or the other when I feel like dressing up. For those of you who’ve seen me on campus, I’ve been going for the active look. So with that, I go for my pumpkin spice chapstick. Now, in terms of my lip gloss, I don’t like to wear it all that much, but when I do, I pair it with a more neutral lipstick shade.

5.) Pens, pens, and more pens!

image6

I recently got felt-tip pens for Christmas, and I’m absolutely obsessed with them! One can never go wrong with a great pen. There’s something about a really good pen that makes your words flow better on paper. For my creative writing classes, I like to use my purple pen because the purple is the color of creativity. I like to use my orange pen for my marketing class — it just has that “vibe,” you know?

***Things that are not listed that I keep in my backpack:

  • laptop
  • phone and laptop chargers

— must haves!!

#Stayorganized #StayCLASSy

xoxo, April ♥

 

 

Self-Reliance Being Put To Use: A Semester In Review

I have at least eight drafts that I want to write, but, unfortunately, they’re not the right ones. I just finished my first semester at RWU, and so much is going through my mind: a sense of accomplishment, a sense of fulfillment, and a sense of gratitude. Transferring was something I thought long and hard about, and I have had some instances of regret. But all in all, I think I made the right choice.

While I was making the decision to transfer, I was also going through a mental breakdown that, as you all know, landed me in the hospital. I still wanted to go back to school so I could get my bachelor’s and lead a somewhat normal life. Even my psychiatrist and therapist said to me, “you’re going back to school after all that!? Wow!”

There were a lot of reasons why I decided to transfer. But while I was looking at schools in Rhode Island, I realized I wanted a program that was writing-oriented. When I looked at RWU, I saw they had a creative writing program. I knew I wanted a seaside education, too, with access to everything. So, I thought that RWU was perfect for me.

Here are my top ten highlights from this semester:

1.)  Being appointed Features Editor of the Hawks’ Herald

2.)  Being a Writing Tutor

3.)  Going to Dallas

4.)  Writing two of the best short stories I’ll probably ever write

5.)  Writing countless articles

6.)  Joining Writers’ Anonymous

…………… and I’m sure there will be more to actually make it a “top ten.” I have more tricks up my sleeve to make Spring 2018 an even better semester!

I took my last final today. It was for Early American Literature: Pre-Columbus. As I was doing some last-minute cramming in the library, I looked to my left and saw Mount Hope Bridge (another perk). Throughout the course, we studied romantics and transcendentalists like my literary husband, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was a student of Emerson’s. Emerson, if you’ve ever taken American Literature in high school, wrote Self-Reliance. Self-Reliance is basically about being a non-conformist and forming your own opinions. Thoreau took this to heart and thought he would give this a try. He had his own garden in a tiny house by the water. I realized before writing this post that I am basically living that phenomenon at RWU and at home. It’s nice to write knowing you’re by the water.

Conformity is slow suicide. If there’s one thing I learned is to find your niche. And I’ll leave it at that. I’m still trying to relearn who I am, but I think I’m getting there.

 

image1 (7)

Happy Holidays! #stayfierce ♥