Breaking News

I am a paper snob.
I work at two newspapers, I do not own an e-reader, and I journal in a notebook. However, even I must admit that when it comes to breaking news, despite all my pretentious, old-fashioned instincts, I have become dependent on Twitter.

I marvel at the speed that international news is delivered to the palm of my hand. When legendary sci-fi author Terry Pratchett passed away, I knew within six minutes of the announcement leaking out to the world by, of course, his Twitter account. I was amazed. Just 20 years ago when you died, it would probably take until several hours later or possibly the next day for the public to know, and now, billions of people can know in mere minutes. There are countless online news websites that are updated every minute of the day, and social media can spread news faster than I could even write it down.

As a journalist (and snob), I admit that this radical change of how news is delivered and absorbed is daunting. I am stuck between my love of the smell of newsprint and the thrill of seeing my own words on a page, and the fact that I run three blogs and that my work portfolio for my first job outside of college will be a website, and not a folder of clippings.
I know that online news is not just the way of the future—it’s already the way of the present. The thing is, I still love reading papers, but simply for different reasons than online news appeals to me. Papers are fantastic for profiles, features, and in-depth information on stories you can get in brief articles or 140-character blurbs. Papers have character, unique thought, and a design completely different than a web page. And frankly, there is something very satisfyingly permanent about seeing your name in print, whether in a story or a byline.

I will continue to read and work for print publications until either they or I cease to exist, whichever comes first. But I now accept the internet as my primary breaking news source with open arms. My mind can be at peace knowing that print newspapers and online news sources are not in competition, they are simply two different animals. And I am both a dog and a cat person.

Girl-on-girl Love

Today, I spotted Why It’s So Important That Women Empower Other Women, and I thought I’d address the subject, because the idea of women supporting each other has become so important to me.

It has taken a really, really long time (much of it spent on Tumblr) for me to realize that one woman’s beauty is not a lack of your own. The same goes for accomplishments.

Girls and women will succeed by lifting each other up, not cutting each other down. Life is not a competition, and you can gain so much from admiring and supporting someone else without using their best features to bring yourself or others down. I mean it. 

Cynthia Kane puts this in words in her article Seeing Other Women as Allies Rather Than Enemies: a How-to better than can:

“I’ve definitely been the type to see a beautiful woman walk into a room and feel less-than, have a friend receive a better grade and feel stupid, or, honestly, see any woman doing anything spectacular at all and feel not only jealous, but also the nagging feeling that I could never accomplish the same things.

When I looked at other women’s accomplishments, I felt worse about myself.

I would first note the gaps and weaknesses in my own life, and then start picking and finding ways to break down the women who were – as far as I could tell – responsible for making me feel this way.

Criticizing was my defense mechanism.

And even though I thought it would make me feel good, all it really did was make me feel depleted and disappointed in myself.

I think that this – girl-on-girl hate – is a phenomenon that many of us can relate to. We get so many messages telling us that only some women are successful, that only certain women are beautiful, that we need to fight to get to the top where there are limited spots that we turn on one another.

Even just by looking at many television shows, movies, and magazines – especially ones aimed at women, we can see how women are pitted against one another. And we act that out in reality, too.

It’s the best joke the patriarchy ever played on us.

It’s easy to cut each other down, to make comparisons, and to criticize. It’s what we’ve been taught to do.

But think for a minute about what our lives would look and feel like if instead, we were supportive – if we celebrated instead of lamented.

Maybe we could learn to see other women’s ways of being or accomplishments as models for what we could achieve – or as examples of our glorious diversity as opposed to reflections of what we lack.”

If we built more confidence up in girls from an early age, the “I’m only friends with guys because girls cause drama” mentality can go right into the trash can where it belongs.

Instead of competing with other women at work or in the classroom, playground, or wherever you are, collaborate with them. Compliment them. Instead of either feeling inadequate or setting someone else back, you’ll both get further (and feel better).

Back in black

Dear Followers,

I am honestly, truly, completely shocked that 66 of you have stuck around this whole time despite my inactivity. I truly appreciate it because I definitely want to get back into blogging, hopefully to slowly get down a path towards being able to write freelance after college until I can land a job at a respectable publication. Probably will post a lot of feminist rants and photos and things. May or may not lose a few of you along the way. We’ll have to see.

I could write a “what’s new with me” list, but what’s the point, really? You guys don’t care that I got a job at a real newspaper where I live (a name I’ll withhold for the time being), got a promotion to layout editor at my school’s paper, or that I’m back in black because, as the great and inspiring Jim Gaffigan once said, “I’m wearing black because it’s easier than working out.”

Re-invention

I am constantly re-inventing myself, and it makes me wonder if I’ll ever totally find who I am/who I want to be, or if it will be a constantly changing idea. Does everyone experience this type of thing? I have friends who seem so concretely sure of who they are. They are like beautiful little rocks. They seem to know who they are, what they like, and they stand next to those aspects of themselves with steadfast clarity.

Then there’s me, sitting over there, constantly getting rid of/re-wearing clothes, trying to act differently, be different, to see what honestly reflects who I am. Unfortunately, who I am right now and who I want to be are two different women, and I’m not sure how to bridge that gap. If I try to act more how I wish I was rather than who I truly am, does that make me a hypocrite, or am I just learning and slowly making this acting more of a reality?

This brings me to aesthetics. I am perfectly aware that appearance isn’t everything. That being said, the way I dress is one of my absolute favorite ways to express myself. My outfit definitely affects my confidence level, which is why despite what I might put off, I usually think these things through pretty thoroughly. There are several online communities (and some in real life) who all dress/present themselves with the same type of aesthetic, and I want to belong to one of them. Somewhere. But I’m not sure exactly where I fit in there, either.

The other problem is, I’ll become really attracted to a certain kind of aesthetic, and identify heavily with it for a few months or even just a few weeks, but then it’s like I’ve pressed the refresh button and I’m suddenly off on a different path.

The main thing I wonder is what I asked earlier in this post: does everyone experience this? Or is my life just…overly-transitional? 

R&R

Left school for the weekend despite being invited to things, events happening, and having work to do, I needed to get away from it all for a little bit. I was doing fine, even considering telling my parents “sorry, I’ll have to come home another time” because of everything that was going on, but then on Thursday I just started feeling…ill.  

I hate that since my life has gotten to the ideal place that I’ve wanted it to be in for awhile, yet I can’t seem to handle it. I have a lot of different friends, I’m an editor on the school paper, and literally just landed my ideal part time job working on an actual, real newspaper. My weight could be better, but I’ve been getting a lot of positive attention for my looks lately, which is definitely weird. I am not at all used to getting compliments based solely on my appearance from strangers. In fact, it pretty much never happened until I got back to college three weeks ago.

This is such an in-between place in life, even more so than high school, I think. In high school you’re still a kid, for the most part you kind of know what your next step will be, and you still live under someone else’s control. In college/around college age (at least for myself and many other people I know), you’re caught in a strange place. You still identify with teenagers and teen culture, you’re not totally financially independent but you’re almost…transitioning into it. You’re in a learning environment, yet many professors will treat you more like an equal than a kid they’re babysitting. You start looking for real jobs, wondering about your career, wondering about if casual dating could become a serious relationship, or maybe not.

It is kind of overwhelming. I’m an adult. I can vote, I do not live with my parents, I have a real job in a real office. Yet I still go to school. I still only can work part-time because of school, so I’m still dependent on my parents financially, yet I no longer have to follow their rules or constantly try to meet their expectations. 

I wonder where I’m going.

Welcome Back, Sarah

For anyone here on wordpress who still follows me, I suppose you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted in several months.

It’s really my fault entirely, I could say “I was busy” and whatnot but honestly it was more like “I’m uninspired despite the fact that interesting things are happening to me” and “I’m going through a body image crisis that’s going to last a couple months which will have repercussions that last for a solidly long time.” 

I seriously hope you all haven’t abandoned me. I’m going to be posting a lot more now.

Cross my heart.

xx

In-Between

I am in such an in-between stage in my life, it’s so strange. Now that my second semester of college is ending, I’m kind of..finished, mentally. I will continue to do all my work and such, but I suppose I’m just sort of..finished.

The way time is passing along, it will be next semester in no time. We’re already picking classes out, I already have a new roommate and room for next year (such an upgrade from my current room, so that’s nice). I just have this weird, anticipatory feeling in my chest that I can’t seem to shake. It’s the feeling of want. I want so many things, and it’s bothering me, because I don’t want to want them.

I want to move on to new classes.

I want to start looking for summer jobs.

I want to expand my friendships.

I want to move into my new room with Aaliyah.

I want to lose the 20 pounds I gained over the past six months (so badly).

I want to have graduated college already and move on.

I want to write something that will get me noticed.

I want to move up in the world.

I want to constantly buy thrifted clothes even though that’s not financially feasible.

I want Alex by my side (so, so badly).

Alex is something I struggle with wanting more than anything else. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only person who is wishing really badly for another person to be by their side in the middle of the night, but I know I’m not. One visit to tumblr will reveal a whole ocean of people whose other halves or broken ends are floating around out there in other beds.

He’s my biggest in-between of all: we’re so far but so close, and my life seems to be marked off by the days we’re together, and measured by the thin tape that spreads slowly over months that we’re apart. I’ve lost the words on how to make him real when he’s not here.