WHAT I LOVED: THE F-WORD

Throughout the week, I spend a lot of time online and off to consume information and stories that fuel me for conversations with friends, essay topics, and simply to expand my frame of reference. Most times, 140 characters isn’t enough to share what I love, so every week I will share what I read, watched, or learned for all the world to see. It’s also my time to “get real” with y’all. Let’s be smarter together!

The F stands for Feminism, everybody.

1. “My Mademoiselle Summer”

I started reading this article from the New York Times over breakfast on Monday. Written by Meg Wolitzer, it’s a nostalgic and lovely piece about her time with Mademoiselle magazine. As an “aspiring journalist” (which seems like an oxymoron these days), the article was a sort of time capsule of women writers in the 70’s and earlier. I admire all the writers she referenced in the article, which made me want to pick up another Didion book.

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Instead, I started reading The Bell Jar immediately afterwards. The only thing I knew about The Bell Jar before reading the article by Meg Wolitzer was its cover, as it is a common decorative fixture in Barnes & Noble. Five pages in, I have already highlighted almost every other line. It’s a roman-a-clef of Plath’s spiral into madness and insanity while working at a magazine publication. GIRLS meets Mad Men-ish?

TIP! If you don’t got the dough to buy a book, here’s a website where you can download thousands of ebooks, including The Bell Jar. Virtual. Heaven.

3. The Virgin Suicides

As a reward to finish off my productive Thursday, it only seems appropriate to watch some sort of feministically-charged film. Another episode of Sex and the City? I kid. Ironically, I watched The Virgin Suicides (based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides) for the first time. Sofia Coppola is kinda sorta my film hero. Okay, she is my film hero. Capturing the horrors and tragedies that is adolescence and high school, The Virgin Suicides was signature Sofia Coppola with some scenes that looked like my daydreams in high school. Rainbows and slow motion unicorns, y’all! I can understand why Rookie can’t get enough writing about it.

That’s what I loved this week. Is this a good thing to do?

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P.S. What did you love this week?

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HOW TO (SORT OF) START A BLOG

SUBWAYI’m seated in 14A of Delta 6205 en route to Madison, Wisconsin accompanying my mom on a work trip. If you had told me at the beginning of 2013 that my great, big summer vacation was a fully accommodated trip to America’s Dairyland, I wouldn’t believe you. Now, 30,000 feet in the air, I still can’t believe it, but everything is going to be okay. I am going to start a blog. It is going to be my magnum opus– the thing that will define my 20’s and all its mistakes. It will gain the vaguest amount of popularity, which will eventually be compiled into a New York Times Bestseller. Laptop sitting on the tray in front of me, earphones blasting Beyonce, and Delta-brand cookies consumed, I have nothing to write about.

This is my chance to be “one of those writers” whose only time to write and relax is on the plane; however this is being made extremely difficult by the mother-daughter duo sitting in 13A and 13B. From what I can identify through the small gap in front of me, it is typical mother-daughter bondage. The heavily eye-lined daughter decides to skip the complementary drinks and/or pretzels, salted peanuts, or cookies, which only means she is probably in high school and there will be one more package of cookies for me when the stewardess comes back. I will never pass up the opportunity for free food, even when it is only two ounces of canned orange juice. Out of her giant canvas bag, the mother has just pulled out what looks like an information packet from…University of Wisconsin. Of course! Her daughter is attending Freshman Orientation at University of Wisconsin.

For my Freshman Orientation, I simply took a 30-minute drive from my parents’ house to the college. Proudly and fully clothed in J. Crew, Orientation was my chance to be the gregarious and seemingly intelligent woman I think I am. I participated in all the group ice-breakers. I stood in a circle with all the freshmen who I shared a birth month with. The moderator told us to walk to the other side of the circle if the following conditions he yelled into the microphone applied to us. “Your favorite color is blue!” My favorite color is yellow. I stand still. “You live in Brooklyn!” I walk to the other side of the circle and shake hands with other people who cross my path. “You pee in the shower!” Everyone nervously laughs. I admittedly walked across. Because in college, I am going to be this outwardly open person. Ten minutes later, I meet up with two girls I went to highschool with. The coolest of the three of us says, “Oh my God. You totally didn’t walk when the guy asked who pees in the shower, right? That was so gross!” I denied, “Ugh, of course not!” Thus repeating my highschool life as a liar. Thanks, guy. Was that ice breaker really supposed to make all of our college fears disappear?

I shouldn’t admit to urinating in the shower, especially in my blog. Civilized people don’t like that, particularly the New York Times Bestselling people. My parents are reading this. I need to start using big words like pedantic or esoteric. I should probably look up their definitions first before I start sounding affectatious (if that’s even a word). The passenger behind me just pulled down their tray table. I turn around and it’s a mother and son. She’s wearing skinny jeans with her legs up on her seat, while her son bops his head to his black Beats by Dre headphones. Is he younger than me? The mother gets up to use the bathroom and notices the mother sitting in front of me reading University of Wisconsin materials. Her Beats by Dre’d son is also heading to Freshman Orientation. They share a nervous laughter and a unison “Oh my God!” So he is younger than I am. Both mothers begin chatting. “This better be worth it, right?,” says Skinny Jeans Mom. “It better be. It’s $50,000 a year. And she even wants me to get her the new MacBook,” Skeptical Mom points to Eye-Liner Daughter.

I got accepted into a $60,000+ University, which has recently garnered a spot on the List of Most Expensive Universities in the United States. I ended up going to a college where I received a full scholarship and the only money I spend is on overpriced CLIF bars (White Chocolate Macadamia, of course). My parents and I did the college tour thing. Being the outrageously outspoken person he is, my Dad took full advantage of every student tour guide. Interrogating them beyond wit’s end with questions fit for a Congressional Hearing. “You’re a Senior, so you probably have a secure job now, right?” “You’re telling me that a student picks my daughter’s roommate?” “Can I speak with the Dean, please?” In retrospect, I would still be highly embarrassed. And if a high school student’s parent were to ask me the same questions my Dad did, I would have jumped ship, aborted, and declared Def Con 1 on my university.

I need to focus! Concentrating on work seems so impossible when there are adorable, nervous college freshmen sitting in front of and behind me. Three years ago, when I was a college freshman, I thought I would be cool enough so that I wouldn’t have to start a blog, publishing angry words and feelings into cyberspace. Three years later, looking at a couple of teens who think they are too cool for each other, heading to live somewhere that is a three-hour flight away from their parents. These hopeful teens may read this blog or need my help one day…

“Make sure your seat and folding trays are in the full upright position as we prepare for landing.”

Wait! I have not written anything worthy of the New York Times Bestseller List yet! Back at the beginning, with a blank page. My bets are that the girl in 13A and the boy in 15B are definitely going to hook up. Meanwhile, the pathetic one in 14A attempts to write a blog that is probably not going to happen. I could use more cookies from the stewardess.

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SLEEP ALL NIGHT TO GET LUCKY

As the anticipated age of 20 hath approacheth, it is inevitable for me to check-in with my life. I should not be slipping off-track, but making sure I’m just the right amount of “off the beaten path.” Most of the time, I try to assure myself with my “consoling mind” that the path I am currently paving is the right one because it is my own. However, a pressure to compare myself to the people I look up to creates a pressure to imitate them.

12am

Every night at 12:00 AM, my iPhone alarm goes off asking me if I have accomplished my day’s duties. I try to make myself accountable. I make rules for myself. No Twitter for more than 30 minutes. Do not play more than five games of Dots. No sneaking into the pantry for sugary cereal. So, I set that alarm. Then somewhere between 2:30 and 3:15 PM, I have successfully made a textbook list of loopholes to my own rules (the same goes for my New Year’s resolutions). I can spend 10 more minutes on Twitter because 2 people favorited my tweet that I thought would be too intellectual. One more game of Dots. I won’t eat Frosted Flakes, but I will have two servings of the Quaker Oats Cinnamon Squares because they’re healthier. Okay, two more games of Dots. I am my own greatest enemy…and a strategic one at that.

Then as 11:55 PM rolls around and I am on my 79th game of Dots, I wonder how many plays or blog posts I could have written today. Mindy Kaling wrote plays in college, and yet I have none. Then my “consoling mind” kicks in thinking that Mindy did not have Dots when she was in college. If she did have an iPhone, then she would have totally been spending time on that game the whole day, too! Right? I hope so.

I have no published works on the Internet yet, which is the ubiquitous and most narcissistic complaint of every Millennial (and Journalism student). Then I think that Tina Fey was the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper. Great, so am I. Check. Lena Dunham grew up in Brooklyn. So did I…in the completely opposite side of Brooklyn. But anyway, check.

I like to start blogs and projects because my optimistic mind goes into overdrive thinking that I could totally get sponsors that will pay me for writing. I am not even close to getting there and that dream seems hopelessly far away. This essay, however, was not sponsored by the makers of Dots; however I would endorse it if you like to waste time. Then again, some nights I get lucky. Lucky enough to fall asleep through my alarm, never having to face the fact that today was yet another lazy day in the life of a Millennial.

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CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR MY NEW BLOG

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“Hey, I’m going to start a blog. I have too much to say and no one to say it to.” -Me, Jessica Joyce, 19

“You said that last year.” -Jack, Father of Jessica

“Be careful. Don’t talk to any creeps. Can they see your face?”  -Fe, Mother of Jessica

“Buzz Lightyear and beyond!”  -Brent, Nephew of Jessica, 3

“This blog sucks! Go put on some makeup!”  -The Internet, probably

“Your essays lack a sense of depth along with a poor and deficient writing ability.”  -Jessica’s New York History Professor with really bad hair

“Windows antivirus software has detected two spyware viruses in your system. If you continue, all current programs and documents will be lost.”  -Jessica’s Lenovo ThinkPad Laptop, 3