So I’m In Sedona

All right, so there’s a possibility that I’m criminally awful at keeping up with an actual written blog. I mean, I’ve a thing for waiting for some major event or bit of news to update, so everything feels impactful and all that BS.

But it’s really sad to realize that I haven’t updated in months, not because nothing’s happened, but because I’m a lazy bastard. I am the queen of the lazy bastards, which is unfortunate, because I’m fairly certain there’s a number of tasks and occupations I’d be fairly good at if I wouldn’t rather stare at a computer screen.

Blech.

So here’s a hopeful post, a wishing post, an attempt to make myself accountable to you—whoever you are—and to myself.

I need to get back to eating better, and I need to apply myself.

I either need to find a job—most likely in retail—or look into how, exactly, one goes about becoming a teacher. (I can clean up my language, I swear.)

The last post that I, myself, generated was about studying for finals. Not even. It was a playlist I put up to add content and feel better about desperately avoiding finals.

Well, I’ve since graduated. Technically.

As it turns out, it was entirely up to me to notice that the one class I dropped in my college career had left me four credits short. I was informed of this unfortunate fact roughly one week before graduation, and was told I wouldn’t actually be graduating.

I would walk, certainly, but I couldn’t expect them to give me a diploma.

I had finished all of my required credits. For all intents and purpose, I should have been done. But they needed me to pay for a summer session to make sure that I completed all of my hours. It didn’t matter what class I took.

That might have been all right—an inconvenience, at worst—if I hadn’t already taken a chunk of classes in the art department already, leaving the relaxing ‘artistic’ options right out.

I couldn’t retake anything. I had to pick something new.

And the most appealing option there was in Russian history. At the mention of dates and important historical events—and this is ignorant, I know—I tend to foam at the mouth and get all glassy-eyed.

I doodle pictures of jellyfish.

Even when I’m paying attention I doodle pictures of jellyfish. Of course, when I’m lost in my own head, there tend to be a lot more of them. With faces. And vulgar phrases like, “You give me sand dollar, me jellylove you long time.”

See?

Vulgar.

Completely insensitive. And I’m sorry.

There was a pointy-chinned alien fox thing once, with huge eyes, yelling, “You can’t make me go out there! There are dingoes out there! Great, horny dingoes!”

Understand that I would have been drawing that kind of undignified mess for an entire summer where Dr. B or some other poor soul wasted their time trying to teach me something meaningful about Russian history.

It would have been outright shameful.

Fortunately, my mother had recently gotten involved with book writing retreats. The operator of the retreats was interested in bringing me on as an editor, and as she briefed me on the latest happenings in the land of the published authors, the words For Credit Internship flashed in my mind.

I had been a hound in the few days previous.

I sat next to Eleanor as our professor described a week-long study abroad trip into the wilderness to learn a bit about the ecosystem and ornithology. Apparently, most of the students signing up were A) Sciences students interested in field credit or B) female students with no interest in science whatsoever.

The man is intelligent and well-spoken, a very interesting professor, but let’s face it—if you’re attractive, female students are going to giggle about it. We weren’t above the masses, but we kept our talk strictly to aesthetic appreciation.

So imagine her surprise when I leaned across our desktop, grabbed the opposite edge with freshly-painted claws, and purred, “And how many credits did you say that would be for?” in much the same way a gold-digger might question a man’s annual income.

(It was a lucky thing that it lacked the credit amount I needed. I would have been a mess at camping. I tried to help pitch a tent at a Relay for Life, and we hit somebody in the face with a backfiring pole. We ended up weighing it down from the inside because the structure just wouldn’t stay. )

So, a month or so later, here I am in Sedona, Arizona, home of the beautiful red rocks.

My mother jokes that it’s full of ‘my people’—alternating between ‘weird’, ‘creative’, and ‘friendly’, depending on her inflection.

And let me tell you, people are friendly here. My mother cut someone off in traffic, and the woman pulled up beside her, genuinely concerned, to tell her that her turn indicator seemed to be broken.

They care.

Allow me to pose a scenario from personal experience.

In Fort Lauderdale you enter a Publix, gather your needed items, and proceed to check out.

The cashier glances at the script taped to their register and asks how your day is going. You say, “Could be worse. You?” They blink, look back at the script and ask, “Did you find everything you needed?”

You think, A compassionate human being to share my life with.

You say, “You moved the eggs, but I found them.”

They say, “Yeah. We remodeled. Have a nice day.”

In Atlanta you enter a Kroger, gather your needed items, and proceed to check out.

The cashier beams at you and asks how your day is going. You say, “I’m well enough. How are you?”

He briefly describes how the remodel is affecting work, and genuinely hopes that it wasn’t too disturbing for you.

He gives you a sticker covered in smiley faces that says, ‘I’ve been Krogering!’ and wishes you a good afternoon.

In Sedona you enter a Safeway, gather your needed items, and proceed to check out.

The cashier smiles and asks how you’re doing. You say, “Well, I’m new here.”

He asks, “You are? How do you like it so far?”

You say, “Everyone’s so nice!”

“That’s because everyone wants to be here.” He explains, and then tells you a bit about how he met his wife and they decided to move to sunny Sedona.

You say, “Wow! I hope that happens for me some day!”

And he smiles and says, “Oh, it will.”

He then apologizes for holding you up, tells you he hopes to see you again soon, and hands over your things.

There was nothing insincere in the exchange, and that actually strikes you as odd.

People here are nice, all right?

It’s almost impossible to articulate, and sometimes it makes me feel a bit unnerved.

I’m not used to so many people I’ve never met being genuinely interested in me just because I’m a human being. I’m not sure if I’ll be staying, but it’s certainly a wonderful place to be alive.

Sleepy, yes, but so, so sweet.

In the interim, I’m working at the internship, trying to learn all that I can before I have to write the three papers that will hopefully win me a college diploma.

My advisor and all of the respective offices involved were ridiculously accommodating and helpful once I finally realized what was going wrong and how to fix it. I do hope that I can make them proud.

I’m still very worried about entering a career path and finding a job. Right now, I’m very interested in education.

I’ve always loved kids, and I’d love the chance to become an early education or arts teacher. Maybe attempt creative writing.

Mostly, I just want to help people—make them smile.

We’ll see what I can do.

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