Life Lessons

So get this: It’s my last week of classes. Potentially forever.

I feel like I should be getting weepy or nostalgic or at least panicking or something. Instead I find myself wanting to skip class and creating funny themed days for the ones I actually go to. (Hint: Thursday is “Funny Accents/Graduation Cap Day.” It will be epic. Or as I’ll say then, “It-sa gonna be ep-ic!” Yes, that’s Italian. And mildly racist.)

Today’s theme was “My Life is Running Off the Tracks,” as you can note by the most recent life lesson:

Life lesson #40: The train might run off the tracks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride.

And therefore, funny hats/accents day. You’re welcome.

Life lesson #38: Shameless self-promotion is still a little shameful. (Hey kids! Check out justinelorelleblanchard.com!) See?

I am, in general, not a braggart. I hate cover letters because they make you explain why you’re the most awesome applicant. I was hesitant about starting a blog because who the hell cares what I think? I’m bad at accepting compliments; I always tack something onto my “thanks” that undercuts why I’m deserving of compliment. (“Oh this dress? Oh thanks! It was, like, a dollar at Target.”)

The problem is, I’m in an industry where simply doing good work and hoping someone notices just doesn’t cut it. You have to sell yourself, and you have to sell hard.

If you clicked on the link in the life lesson above, you can see where this is going.

My school is on this kick of getting all the students to buy their domain name and create a site to post their résumés, clips, etc. And so, being a good little student, that’s what I did. Gag.

It’s not that I’m not proud of the site. In some ways, I am. I mean, it looks ok. When you click on stuff, it generally takes you where I intended it to. It’s more the idea of “look at me! look at me!” that I’m averse to. But hey, a starving journalist’s gotta do what a starving journalist’s gotta do.

So who wants to hire me?

Life lesson #32: Tis better to dance with shoes than without.

As I write this, Susan is sitting next to me eating banana bread and nursing her wounded feet.

(Well, not at exactly the same time…)

A trip to Mizzou to visit friends from our internship program last summer quickly escalated into two dance parties. At some point in the night, Susan got cocky, kicked off her flats, and continued to boogie. What does she have to show for it?

A hole the size of a pencil eraser by her left baby toe.

Susan also chucked her phone (the one means we had for contacting the girl we were supposed to be staying with) into the oblivion of ratty couches at a friend’s house at one point. The point that she refers to as, “The moment last night stopped being fun…”

The point is, it’s important to protect yourself. It’s all fun and games until someone’s roommate stomps on your foot and leaves you bloody and limping.

Life lesson #28: There’s always enough money for caffeine.

I think I might be a wizard.

All the Harry Potter freaks need to calm down—not that kind of wizard. My wizardry is much more specific. I have the magic power to always find an extra three dollars or $1.25 when my energy level starts to dip to dangerous levels.

I don’t know how I do it. I mean, clearly I’m not a wealthy person. And since I still don’t have that second job, it’s not possible that my bank account is increasing.

So what’s the catch?

Oh yeah. I sometimes ignore the fact that I have no money.

justine-blanchard

I’m going to blame my reckless spending on sleep deprivation. It’s a vicious cycle.

About six times in my youth I decided it would be fun to start a diary. I think it may have had something to do with all the Dear America books I read.

I’d have fanciful visions of documenting my most important moments in life, and then some day a group of archaeologists would find it and glean the wisdom I had to offer about my era.

What actually happened is that I would write daily for about a week, then drop off to about once every two months (always apologizing for the time spent away…I think you know where I’m going with this..) before fading away completely until the next new year when diaries were on sale at Barnes & Noble.

It never made sense to me. I’m a writer. I love writing more than anything else in the world. Why was this so hard for me? (That’s what she said.)

Yeah, my lack of attention span probably had something to do with it.

But the truth is, my life is boring. Even I got bored writing about it. Sad.

Fortunately, I think I’ve come up with a way to make myself blog regularly. (Because apparently I need to?) I’m going to incorporate something I’ve been doing in my Twitter for a while: life lessons. I’m already up to #27 (I skipped one and two…I love a good intrigue), but maybe someday I’ll go back for the rest. Here’s the start:

Life lesson #27: Be ethical. Because I may not always do the right thing, but I always wish I had.

My mock trial team will tell you that this is my standard soap box topic, but I truly believe in doing the right thing even when it will hurt you. There are enough shitty people in the world. Be better than that just because you can be. Please.

Don’t worry, they’re not always so preachy.