Tag Archives: community

Big, scary, life-changing news.

I’ve been in Ohio for the past six years–for college, for grad school, and for my very first job. This state has been the backdrop for so many of my biggest accomplishments. But I’m not originally from Ohio. I was actually born in Colorado, but my family moved when I was three years old. We spent six years in California, and then moved again across the country to Maryland, where my family still lives today. And after six years away from my family….I’m headed back.

I’m moving back to Maryland….in three weeks.

welcome to Maryland

This is big for me because Ohio has become my home. I have so many friends here. I have a job here! And I’m headed back to Maryland with out any of those things. Everyone I went to high school with has moved away and I’ve been busy sending out job applications, but everyone knows how hard that process is.

I admit it, I’m scared. Like really scared.

But I have to keep reminding myself that I have a ton of great reasons to move home:

  • Ben is going to grad school at Georgetown.
  • I’ll be close to my family instead of a 7-hour drive away.
  • I’ll be able to save money by living at home for a while.
  • I’ll be able to help out around the house and build a real relationship with my little brother.
  • I have the time to pick the perfect job rather than accept the first one offered to me.
  • I can sort of start over.

And what I am really excited about it being able to really become a part of a running community. I’ll be really close to Annapolis and their running community is amazing. The Annapolis Running Store is where I bought my first pair of real running shoes — the Mizuno Wave Inspires that sparked this new passion and reminded me what it was like to run without pain.

I want to participate in group runs and take yoga classes and join a gym to lift weights. And I want to get back into Tae Kwon Do, which I haven’t done in years because I left my amazing school back in Maryland and no school in Ohio could ever compare. I can really use this time to better myself, make new friends, become a part of something. And I am so excited about it.

leaving Ohio

But I’m sad too. Columbus has been an amazing place to live. I’m a five-minute run from the most beautiful park. I’m a 15 minute walk from all of the Short North bars and restaurants. My commute for my awesome job is exactly 5 minutes. I can watch the biggest fireworks display in the Midwest from my doorstep. And so many of my friends are here.

It’s a lot to leave behind.

But at the same time, I have so much to look forward to.

So that’s it. That’s my big news, my big announcement. In August, I will no longer be a resident of Columbus. I’ll once again be a Marylander, eating steamed crabs and celebrating flag day.

And rather than think of it as a right or wrong choice to leave, I am thinking of it as my next step in life. I was never meant to stay in one place forever and I’m excited to see where I might end up next. Who knows where it will be? All I know is that to get there, I have to make a stop off back in Maryland and then see where my life takes me from there.

How many times have you moved?
Are you from the MD/DC area?
Any tips for me?

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Filed under Living the Dream

First to Read.

First to ReadSo I recently signed up for First to Read, a program through Penguin where I sign up for drawings to receive new books before they are released. Oh Boy, am I excited! It mixes two of my favorite things: Winning and Reading!

Penguin LogoGranted, it’s not like I need more books piling up in my house and the chances of me winning any drawings is slim, but if I do (and I really hope I do), I look forward to posting some honest reviews. One of my new ambitions for this year is to be more engaged in the communities that I inhabit. So far, I’ve joined a writer’s group, I’ve run some races, and now I want to start being a more active book reviewer.

Luckily I have some time before the first round of drawing winners are announced, so I had better get moving through the stack of books I have sitting next to my bed.

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Filed under Books, Living the Dream

My Farewell Reading

As the semester wraps up, it’s starting to become more and more real that I won’t be coming back to Miami next year. It will be the first time in five years where Miami won’t be my home, and I won’t have classes to attend, or homework to complain about. It’s weird.

But the end of the year, though bittersweet, is always accompanied by some great events. Like the “Goodbye Forever” final grad student reading. Not only was it the last reading of the year, but it was the very first time I got up in front of a (very large) crowd and read my own work. For everyone outside of the fiction program, it was the first time they’ve heard or seen something I’ve written. It was exciting, scary, and as soon as it was over, I wanted to do it again.

I’d say I did alright. I practiced a little before hand, but not enough to allow me brief glances at the audience. The whole “eye contact” thing would have been great, but I figured for my first go at it, not flubbing the words would be better. I even got some solid laughs! I may have preempted the biggest joke in the story by chortling at it first, before actually delivering it. Everyone said it was endearing, but I’m going for the hard sell, deadpan delivery next time. It’s what the story deserves.

The other readers were amazing. I got to hear a number of the second years that had also never read before and damn, I am sad to see them go. Check out the names on that flyer because you will see them in print someday. And definitely catch them at a reading if you can, because they are great.

Unusual for a reading, but a great treat, was listening to a short concert put on by Ellery (www.ellerymusic.com), which consists of one of my grad school friends and her lovely husband. I’d never heard them play, but they have had quite the success in recent years and actually only went to grad school to try something different.

I, of course, bought both their CDs and you should too. They are fantastic. And if you ever get to see them live–wow. Just, wow.

It was a great night–sad, but wonderful. There are so many people that I hope I keep in touch with, or at least see again sometime in the future. Somehow it feels like grad school lasted an eternity, and yet my time with these people was way too short.

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Filed under Grad School