The best part about growing up is that you get to actually live your dreams, instead of being told “you’re a kid” or “you’re too little.” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been writing since I was 8. But even then I was saying to myself, “one day, people will take you seriously [as a writer.]” One day turned into Day One, where I served as a coordinator for RISC (Rhode Island Student Collaborative.) Before that came Rhode Island Monthly, where I indubitably had the best summer of my life. And just like that, three years later, I am interning at Art New England and writing for the Boston Globe Magazine, as a “globe correspondent,” in relation to a class I’m taking at Emerson.
As I look back on the popular “for the girl turning 2–” posts [For The Girl About To Turn 21 | Moving Onto 22, For the Girl About to Turn 22 | Welcome to My Jordan Year (23), Does anybody like you when you’re 23? You have to love yourself, first], the lessons that I’ve learned and what I’ve experienced have surely molded me into someone who I am today. But the experiences haven’t existed without the people and the things and ideas that easily influence(d) me. What I know now, however, is that I’m not the girl who settles anymore, instead I learned how to be picky. I’m not the girl who watches Grey’s Anatomy anymore, and as you all know Sex and the City is my bible. But yet again, everyone has their comfort show, and that’s more than okay. It’s good for anxiety.
How I’ve grown as a writer, has honestly changed but also been somewhat lost from when I interned at RI Monthly. There’ve been those who have been with this blog since the beginning — a brokenhearted twenty-year-old, lost, and with no direction. I’ve grown in various forms of copyediting. I laugh at my own grammar mistakes now, which is all you can do, right? Doesn’t that add to the authenticity? There are also those who have grown with me along the way, maybe not so much at the beginning, but have managed to catch up like a Sex and the City re-run marathon. That’s what it’s been like for me, a whole re-run of my life just documented in a digital diary (hence why it’s called “The April Diaries.”) I invite you in. I also invite other people to share their stories with me, as well.
And just like that… the April Diaries has grown up.
I almost made this post today (Monday, May 20th), but by the time this post goes live, I’ll be less than 24 hours from my “Jordan Year” a.k.a my 23rd year of living, breathing, and thriving.
This may, unfortunately, be my last year residing in beautiful Rhode Island as I do plan on (hopefully) moving back to Massachusetts for law school, and I am finishing my last year at RWU.
I made a post similar to this last year, but I thought I’d do it again because… duh, it’s my life and I think I’m rather good at giving advice if I do say so myself. I was looking back on For The Girl About To Turn 21 | Moving Onto 22, and I just say, “damn how I’ve grown.”
So here’s to the girl about to turn 22 years old, this is for you:
- No matter if you’re graduating on time, or later than you expected, either is okay.
- Going along with that, don’t stress if you’re not graduating on time. Life happens/happened!
- Do NOT compare yourself. I’m not going to write that overly quoted phrase by whomever because EVERYONE knows what I’m talking about.
- There are people who are going to try to bring you down. Don’t listen to them.
- Also going along with that, there will be people who try to punish you for their personal B.S. Just know that you did nothing wrong.
- Do NOT be afraid to stand up for yourself and speak your mind when needed. If you feel that something is unjust, do something about it.
- It’s okay not to have a “cool job” over the summer, especially if you just graduated. I mean, hey, my mom waitressed for a year prior to getting her Master’s (and she really is the boss).
- You will find out what you want to do with your life. TRUST ME.
- Take your mom’s advice about self-defense and being safe. In fact, just listen to your mom. Period.
- If you’re going to argue something, be 110% prepared and know your facts.
- With that being said, don’t just be “opinionated.” You can’t call it an opinion if it’s not backed up with confidence and FACT. Don’t mistake confidence for arrogance and ignorance.
- Don’t be afraid to dip your toes into something new.
- Don’t give into peer pressure nor should you be easily swayed.
- If you know, you know. No one’s going to know what’s better for you than you.
- It’s not easy being positive all the time. You have to give yourself a break and shed a tear or a couple hundred.
- All families are dysfunctional. Yours is not the model of all things dysfunctional.
- You WILL realize that you have way too much respect for yourself to be treated as less than you are.
- Listen to your heart, except if you’ve been drinking. Your drunk self has no common sense.
- A thesis isn’t that bad, and I’m saying that as someone who already wrote theirs.
- Indulge in your creative side more.
- Please do yourself a favor and watch Grey’s Anatomy.
- Don’t be afraid to go back to your roots, even if you haven’t particularly missed them. Confront them.
Now, I officially welcome you all into my 23rd year! 🥂
Long time no post! Yes, I did take an unintentional hiatus from the blog, but don’t worry, your girl is BACK! 😉 I have spent well over a month working on myself and just being the best version of myself I can be. This includes realizing what I really want to do with my life. But in the past month and a half, I’ve realized there’s only one version of myself (despite being a Gemini.) That version of April is someone who knows her worth and her potential. I remember when I wanted to be a lawyer, thinking I’d fail the LSAT, so I gave up on that dream. Then I remembered the famous line from “A Cinderella Story.”
“Don’t let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game.”
Hilary Duff’s character, Sam, sees these immortal words after Fiona’s wall rips apart in her (or what was Sam’s dad’s) diner. But what Sam finally made clear to Fiona was that she had way too much respect for herself to be treated like, well, Cinderella! Sam always knew she was smart — smart enough to see past Fiona’s B.S.
Now, I have not taken the LSAT or GRE, yet. But this fear of failure has always been a prevalent demon in my life. Everyone knows my strive for perfection is clear-to-see. More recently, this included writing a whopping eight drafts of my thesis (… that I turned in Monday, May 6 😊 ). No matter how many drafts I’ve written, I know they were all 100% worth the strenuous nights and afternoons, yet it is rewarding to be done with my BFA in Creative Writing in just two years. LET THAT SINK IN. (Although I do have one more year to go.) What is amazing that I did not once shed a tear over my thesis, no matter how much I wanted to.
This quote also strikes a chord of truth in me when it comes down to my newly-minted career in RWU’s Student Senate. There was this almost-fictional character holding me back, but it was actually my “fear of striking out.” This was also true with dance auditions, which was why I’ve been falling in and out of love with dance since I was just a mere three-year-old.
Moral of the story: I know I said in FESTIVE FRIDAY NIGHTS: How To Make Your Dreams Come True | How I Realized Mine how I wanted to go into publishing. But if you know something just doesn’t sit right with you, don’t pursue it. Just like if someone doesn’t hear the value in your words, stop talking to them. My mom quotes my late grandfather all the time: “do the right thing.” And I’m about to do the right thing (for myself) in a matter of months: apply to law school so that I can be a voice for the underrepresented and those who may not be able to defend themselves. Don’t worry, I’m NEVER giving up my writing career for as long as I live. Nothing’s stopping me now.