Quotes from Strayed that strayed in my mind

“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. The healing – the genuine healing, the actual real down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud change- is entirely and absolutely up to you.”

“You get to define the terms of your life.”

“Your light. The one that goes blink, blink, blink inside your chest when you know what you’re doing is right. Listen to it. Trust it. Let it make you stronger than you are.”

“People who decided simply to live their truth, even when doing so wasn’t simple. Each and every one of them had to courage to say, This is who I am even if you’ll crucify me for it.”

“Trust yourself. Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true.”

“Nobody is going to give you a thing. You have to give it to yourself. You have to tell us what you have to say.”

“The only way you’ll find out if you “have it in you” is to get to work and see if you do. The only way to override your “limitations, insecurities, jealousies, and ineptitude” is to produce. You have limitations. You are in some ways inept. This is true of every writer, and it’s especially true of writers who are twenty-six. You will feel insecure and jealous. How much power you give those feelings is entirely up to you.”

“To be genuine means to be actual, to be true, to be sincere and honest.”

“Not to deny your grief, but rather to put into perspective what seems to be most true.”

“Perhaps the first step to getting over this is to acknowledge that what happened was indeed deeply misfortunate.”

“Our minds are small, but our hearts are big. Just about every one of us has fucked up at one point or another.”

“Humans are beautifully imperfect and complex. We’re horny, ass-saving, ego-driven drug fiends, among other, more noble things.”

“It will open up your life.”

“But compassion isn’t about solutions. It’s about giving all the love you’ve got.”

“That life is long, that people both change and remain the same, that every last one of us will need to fuck up and be forgiven, that we’re all just walking and walking and walking and trying to find our way, that all roads lead eventually to the mountaintop.”

“It’s a roiling stew of fear and need and desire and love and the hunger to be loved.”

“I’m not suggesting that one deny negative emotions, but rather that you accept them and move through them by embracing the power we have to keep from wallowing in emotions that don’t serve us well.”

And of these, lies very many cliches. But yet I find myself engulfed in these people’s stories and their honesty and their raw emotion. I feel with them. I feel for them. I relate to them. Strayed doesn’t make you feel sorry for them, or for yourself for feeling the same way as them. She rather turns around and says take control of your life. This, I enjoy. This, I find intriguing.

Internships – hating to love them

Recently, (Tuesday) I applied for an internship for this coming summer (wish me luck, it’s my one of my top choices) and they had a very out-of-the-ordinary application prompt. The question read: Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea. Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they? I found the writing of this prompt entirely challenging at first. But with thorough thought and lots of questioning of myself, I pushed my boundaries and wrote a very out-of-the-ordinary response. I was pleased with it come application submission. After all, an out-of-the-ordinary application prompt requires an out-of-the-ordinary response.

Cliches, and why they ~sometimes~ can make you feel better

Sometimes its more about not feeling alone rather than who is surrounding you. Knowing that there is someone out there who can relate to your same feelings, whether their experience is entirely different, creates a sort of solitude. I typically hate cliches, but Rupi Kaur’s “Milk and Honey” was just the right amount of sweet and predictable that it made her book filled with cliche poems appealing to me.

My Future Plans

I really enjoyed taking the gateway course, it helped me realize my priorities as a storyteller and allowed me the space to create something I was passionate about. I am excited to continue my studies before I take the capstone class my senior year. This project has definitely made me think about all the different ways I could potentially execute my capstone project, but also made me aware that I the more passionate I am about my topic, the easier it will be for me to create it. Next semester, I am taking Writing 200: New Media Writing and I am excited to expand my skills about writing in media further. I look forward to taking capstone and learning from my classmates.

“Reader Pleasing” and how I fell victim

I believe this experience has helped me grow as a writer and as a person. I have done a good amount of personal writing in my life, however, I have come to realize I never truly revealed the real emotions I was feeling. I did a fair amount of “reader pleasing” unconsciously, which I find ironic since that was the exact thing I tried to avoid in this final project. “Reader pleasing” is an occurrence I find to be commonplace in my life, not only in my writing, but sometimes in my life as a whole.

Personal Writing vs. Personal Reading

I find it interesting how prior to doing this project I always read other people’s personal pieces and unconsciously imposed my own personal experience and emotion into their work. Now that I have completed a personal piece myself, I realize you cannot hold a critical eye when reading someone’s personal work. They make their own personal choices that tailor to their emotions.

Thoughts on Writing 220

Before taking this course, I thought of writing as something that had to be formatted as a five paragraph essay in a way that had a strict thesis and not a lot of room to get creative. This course really changed that for me. Ray allowed us to think of writing on our own terms, getting to choose a topic that was personal to our interests allowed us the opportunity to grow as writers. I have learned more in this semester than I have in any other writing class. A lot of the time having looser boundaries makes the assignment a lot harder. I liked how we got to experiment different ways of portraying our message within each of the experiments. I truly believe if I did not have those opportunities, my final project would not look like it does today. Overall, I would highly recommend the writing minor to anyone who is thinking about pursuing it. It has taught me invaluable skills that I will forever be thankful for.

final thoughts on the course

Following this experience, I would like to continue to push my limits in my writing abilities, whether that be for myself personally or professionally. I tend to be someone who backs away from tasks I feel I am not good at. I like to be the best I can be at everything I do, constantly striving for my personal best. Sometimes, though, this puts me at risk of not pursuing feats I don’t feel I can master. Writing was definitely one of those feats when I first arrived at the University of Michigan, however, after three years here and my acceptance and now completion of one semester in the Sweetland Writing Program, I have found myself taking on a feat I did not originally believe I could master. This has been a learning and growing experience for me both personally and educationally and I am grateful I took the leap. I look forward to further involvement and growth within the Sweetland program and am grateful for the opportunity to challenge myself and improve my writing.

Creating a Photo Essay

For my final project, I decided to format my project as a photo essay. I had never constructed a photo essay before and I thought it would allow me to use my design skills in a way that illustrates a narrative that was personal to me. I liked how the pictures played a role in the storytelling: they allowed the reader a visual representation of my story. Having visual images of the campus community allowed me to connect with the community on campus that struggles with anxiety. Overall, I am really glad with how my photo essay turned out, and I am glad I took the risk to push my boundaries on different modes of storytelling.