Hey, What’s Up, Hello: Introducing the Blog

Hello, internet people! It’s nearly the end of January, so the whole “new year, new me” mania is in full swing. Regardless of where you stand in terms of making resolutions and setting goals in the new year, it’s hard to escape the sudden influx of healthy food displays, gym membership advertisements, and social media posts where people talk about who they’re trying to be this year.

My 2019 Fitness Vision Board

This blog is a little bit like that, but also not like that at all. What does that mean? Well, let me explain.

In May, I received my MFA in Creative Nonfiction, a goal I’d been working towards since graduating from college. I worked three jobs throughout grad school while writing a thesis that dug deep into my own romantic history. As much as I loved grad school, this combination left me exhausted and burnt out.

After graduation, I did not pause to catch my breath. Instead, I jumped right into my first full-time job and teaching two college classes, not to mention being in a relationship for the first time since I’d moved to Pittsburgh. If I thought grad school had been hard, this new life took it to the next level.

I was tired. I was overwhelmed. I gained 20 pounds and often struggled just to put clothes on my body in the morning.

On top of it all, my social world had minimized itself to microscopic proportions. When we graduated, nearly all of my friends moved across the country. This left me in the all too confusing position of needing new friends as an adult, but not really having the time or energy to even begin figuring out how the heck you do that.

I felt this panicked pressure to feel happy and lucky and grateful for reaching my big goal, for my newfound financial and romantic stability, but I just… wasn’t. Which of course made me feel guilty, which made it harder to be happy… just your typical, run of the mill guilt spiral.

By all accounts, the Fall 2018 semester at my institution was unusually difficult, and I’m relieved to say that things have settled down tremendously since Spring 2019 emerged. I’m finally in the groove at work to the point where I’m able to look at my personal life and maybe make some changes.

This brings us back to the whole New Year’s thing, and of course, to why I’m starting this blog.

Like many people, I set goals for myself for the new year. In 2018, I decided to become a runner… and I did!

This is me after running my second 10K in 2018

Inspired by that success and the newfound notion of not giving up on myself, I set some 2019 goals:

  • Run a half marathon
  • Keep a journal (Consistently. For real this time)
  • Make a real effort to meet new friends
  • Get back to a healthy weight
The nagging question everyone asks once you finish an MFA program is “are you writing?” Looking back at those goals after a mini reunion with some of my MFA peeps, I realized there was one glaring absence in how I envisioned 2019–where was the writing? 
The problem is this. I’d written an exhaustive thesis about my very favorite subject: love. More specifically, untangling why romantic comedies and popular portrayals of love set me (and others like me) up for repeated failures. I’d dug deep into the core, gone to therapy so I wouldn’t lose my mind in the process, and, well… I guess I kind of figured it out?

Suddenly finding myself in a relationship that did not, in fact, provide me with constant misery to write about later left me at a loss. What on earth will I write about now? 

So that’s why I’m here, making my words on the internet. To keep myself writing. To keep myself accountable for my goals by sharing the journey, and, I hope, hearing about others trying to be healthier, happier versions of themselves. Because I personally don’t want a new me in 2019. I just want to be the fullest, best me I can be. I hope you do, too. 

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