Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Breaktime

I needed a bit of a break from my dissertation so I thought perhaps I'd write something for you lovely people on here. The dissertation is going well but it's just intense. I had my last supervision this morning and my dissertation supervisor said he can't imagine anyone being further on in the drafting process, which is reassuring, but I still would like to get ahead with it as I do need to start my 3,000 word essay a.s.a.p. Yawn! Nevertheless, I'm enjoying it.

The good mood persists, which is nice because I think if I were in a bad mood I would be totally drowning under my work instead of feeling nice and capable though a little time-pressured (which is where I am now).

Summer though! Summer is looking promising for so many reasons, which at present I cannot share but I will the moment I can. But I will say this: Chicago is definitely happening, California is looking even more exciting than it already was, I have the opportunity to see the Olympic Torch twice, I have my graduation dates and the time of my ceremony set and I have all sorts of projects up my sleeves. Eeeee! I'm starting to feel like a proper adult now and it's tremendous.

I would like to write a little more but I have to get back to work. Hopefully it won't be a month until my next post!

Listening to: Sponji Reggae by Black Uhuru
Book I just finished: The Elephant War by Gillian Avery
Chicago 21st: PAID FOR :)
Ideal graduate living: £0

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bleary Eyed

It's the 14th so I'm probably supposed to acknowledge Valentine's Day in some way but like... that was it. That's my acknowledgment of it out of the way. I've never had a boyfriend over Valentine's Day and I really don't care about it. I'm not even going out of the way to ~treat myself~ today. I'm a busy girl, man. I have work to do, routines to stick to, tea to drink etc.

The first deadline for my dissertation is coming up next week: a 2,000 word extract we have to hand in next Thursday. The writing process is fairly stressful above all because it goes against my regular working habits of doing all of the reading and all of the research first and then writing. That's just not possible when you're doing a big research project but the temptation is still there.

At the moment I'm reading the NBA honoured 9/11 Commission Report (Norton, 2011 edition) and it's fascinating, sad and a little scary. Reading it really provides me with a sense of how the amount of information we're collecting (both as countries and as individuals) is overwhelming us and it's even more necessary than it has ever been to have structures in place to support that information overload. What kind of frameworks do we build to collect and process the information? Most importantly, who do we trust with this information? There's the rub etc.

It's 8am and I've been awake for two hours, mainly reading but also persuading myself to get out of bed (at the time of writing this I've been out of bed for an hour and sitting in this coffee shop). I should probably stop procrastinating and get back to work.

Listening to: Whatever the weird song they're playing in this coffee shop is by Peculiar Music Artist
Book I just finished: Brendon Chase by B.B and Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Chicago 21st: £224.00 (eep. need to get saving. Although for a number of reasons it's technically + £188 but I'm waiting for it to come through etc. It would be nice to bring it up to £412)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February!

It's been a week since I last posted and in that week I made the final seven videos of my NYR video project and...didn't do much else. I went home, yes, and I got ahead on all of my reading, yes, but there were huge amounts of time when I should have been writing or doing extra dissertation reading or something but instead I sort of collapsed into bed and hid from the cold. Not anymore! It may be 0 degrees outside but it is February and the beginning of 2012. What's that you say? 2012 began in January? Nonsense, how could a year begin with stress and exams? Much better for it to begin with Spring in the foreseeable future and deadlines racing towards me from every direction!

In my last post I noted that "I have to take extra care to be healthy and well and rested and able to jump into every job and do my absolute best" and to be honest with you, for a while it looked like this was not going to be possible. For a while it looked like it was going to be a year of duvets and tissues. I took care to ensure that the only energy I had surrounding me after my dad died was positive energy -- I couldn't deal with negative things or negative people and so in order to protect myself, I removed myself from that. Naïvely I thought that meant I would channel only positivity.

It's not so much that I expected to always be happy, or even to be happy at all, but I suppose I thought it would be much more transformative than it was. In reality, it sort of kept me from suffocating (and so was an important thing to do) and kept me going... but it didn't really nourish me because all I kept giving out was negativity. I kept giving myself negativity too, sort of brattish statements to myself like "I can't do anything" or "I have so much to do that it's all overwhelming and I'm incompetent" or "why do I even bother when I know I'm just going to be sad anyway" blah blah blah. I don't mean to trivialise it -- I was very sad and I am very sad but that doesn't need to be as debilitating as it has been. I'm not ready to fight against all of it, but I'll fight against some of it if it means a little peace of mind.

Blabbering on, as usual. Anyway the point is that it's 0 degrees outside tonight with seriously cold wind and instead of putting on a DVD or reading more of a book, I put on my running leggings and my three layers and hoody and trainers and thick socks (two pairs), grabbed some music, took two very deep puffs of my inhaler and ran for half an hour. This isn't one of those bullshit miracle tales, it hurt like hell. My asthma is bad anyway, let alone in the cold, but I'd taken care to cover my throat and chest in layer upon layer. Generally I've gone from doing pilates over three times a week to doing none at all except the occasional DIY session at home. I've let myself become unfit. Instead of tackling that properly, I've become afraid of confusing getting emotionally better and dealing with everything in a healthy way with becoming a better runner. It sounds like an odd thing to fear but I know a number of people who've gone down that route and it's just sad because in a very British way they're just suppressing everything and then showing it off as the solution to a much more complicated problem.

Even if this is happening, I suppose I'm at the very least aware of it, which must be some sort of plus. And it does clear my head. Anything to get me through the ninety-one days of dissertation and essay writing, really. What do you guys think? Is exercise or any sort of active hobby you have a way of dealing healthily with other problems in your life or just a welcome distraction from them?

Listening to: Last Words by The Real Tuesday Weld
Book I just finished: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Chicago 21st: £224.00 [I cracked open the piggy bank to see my progress -- or, more accurately, opened it with a tin can opener since it wasn't a piggy so much as a tin. Anyway, we're sort of on the way. I'm estimating I'll need around £1,200. I also owe my mum money and I have an overdraft and I will need to rent a flat after graduating. Let's get going!]

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Crackpots and These Women

I don't know if it's just the revolution in the air or the fact that we're all in our twenties and facing the big bad real world, but in recent weeks many of my female friends and I have remarked on how lucky we are to have each other as well as the many other wonderful and inspiring women in our life. Cheesy cheesy cheesy, I know. Nonetheless, I read Hayley's brilliant post the other morning morning, last week I read Ariana's very kind post and a whole host of other situations have once again led me to the conclusion that the women in my life are amazing. They, more than anyone else, make me want to be better, do more, get myself out there and show the world what I've got. They make me believe I've got something in the first place. Never underestimate the power of that in someone's life.

I've many goals for this year, not so much resolutions as things I have it set in my mind that I want to achieve. Obviously I have to be realistic - right now I'm exhausted. I haven't really had a proper break since I came home at the very beginning of August, a combination of there not really being time and not wanting to give someone else more to deal with just because I was feeling run down myself or whatever. I'm better busy, but I rarely accept how much it tires me out.

Jobs-wise, I've begun to apply for many jobs and internships in all sorts of fields, but I'm also looking at how I can support myself freelancing in various ways in the mean time, as well as keeping a couple of part time jobs. Hard work but not excruciating and hard work suits me well. Still, it would be nice to have a slightly more permanent job... I think... but then people keep suggesting I take a year out. Tempting, very tempting. A few weeks of careful thinking has meant that the solution seems to be (for me) taking my time until September (unless a job suddenly appears) and at that point hitting everything hard. I will need to have moved out by then as we will be in a new house and students will need my room -- that's ok, I have plans for that. It's all do-able, really. That's the great revelation of 2012 so far: I am capable, as long as I don't put too much pressure on myself. I'm fantastic at working under pressure but then I inevitably burn out a little bit afterwards and that's what I have to avoid. I have to take extra care to be healthy and well and rested and able to jump into every job and do my absolute best. Luckily, I have wonderful friends to inspire me along the way and just generally be brilliant.

Anyway, I have to get to a seminar now. Write again soon. x

Title is from one of my favourite episodes of The West Wing. What should I track below? Do let me know.

Listening to: Merlin's Time by Al Stewart
Book I just finished: Autumn Term by Antonia Forest
Chicago 21st: £0.00 [purely because I just funded my VidCon trip!]

Welcome to the Twenties

Earlier today I got a (familiar) nasty feeling, although in truth it had been building up for quite some time. Palms sweaty, anxiety levels spike. Suddenly everything feels a little chaotic and immediately I must find things to throw at that chaos. Normally this is easily remedied by dyeing my hair but unfortunately I am trying to wean myself off the blonde stuff to let my hair repair a little and put aside pennies for what I hope will be a 21st birthday week spent with friends in my favourite city in the U.S.A.: Chicago. All things go, all things go.

Anyway so deprived of my top solution to the crappy chaotic state of mind I tried the second one -- one that rarely fails me. Start a new blog. What could possibly go wrong! Appropriately, I have twenty-something blogs (most of them are now locked away under totally private settings) and I generally fail at updating all of them regularly. Recently I've favoured tumblr because it's not really blogging appropriate so if I stick a sneaky post in here or there I don't feel any responsibility to keep posting blog posts in the future. They are more angsty vignettes than blog posts, I suppose.

This, on the other hand, is commitment. Sort of. Here are the things to which I am committed at this point:
  • Blogging at least once a week, preferably more often.
  • Tracking the dodgy state of mind I expect to constantly find myself in upon writing a dissertation, approaching graduation, trying to go on vacation (I don't normally use that word but the -ations were just too nice) and ideally, finding the perfect job. Or lots of perfect jobs, I'm really not picky. I'll take what I can get.
  • Getting in shape for summer. It would be really nice to not have to worry about my body on the beach and just to feel carefree and magical.
  • Organising and developing video projects.
  • Vaguely keeping track of what I'm writing and how much I'm writing (fiction). I'm all about the process and in the manner of a true narcissistic I'd like to establish what my process actually is.

Now that's over and done with, introductions. The bulk of the people reading this will probably know these things, but in case you have oh-so-luckily stumbled across my blog from the Google abyss or wherever, here you go: my name is Rosianna (nicknames include roast, roast potato, Rosipo--there's a theme--Rosi banana, Zanna and of course, Rosi, which everyone on the other side of the pond strangely feels compelled to call me) and I am, as of Wednesday 25th January 2012, twenty years of age and some five or six months. I'm in my last few months of studying BA English at university and I spent my second year of studies abroad at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

I videoblog on the YouTube channel missxrojas and have been doing so for many many years. Apart from the "videoblog" umbrella, I don't fall neatly into any other videomaking category and accordingly call my channel a scrapbook -- it's all a tad bitty but it's full of things that I like and hope other people like. This month I've been working on something called the New Year Revolution, where I post a new video every single day fulfilling the challenges set on the Channel4 website.

As the youngest of three daughters, I'm extremely stubborn and constantly working hard to catch up (or ideally overtake, a girl can dream) with people who've had a few more years on this planet than I have. My dad passed away late last July from a haemorrhagic stroke so I suppose I've been trying to come to terms with that whilst simultaneously refusing to take my foot off the accelerator with the many projects I am signed up to, including being Editorial Director of LeakyNews amongst other things.

Reading and writing are my two biggest interests and I love them like a love song. You can find an inexhaustive list of what I've read recently here on my Goodreads (I do accept all friend requests, I'm just very slow).

Lastly, if you're so inclined, you can always keep up to date with me and my goingson on Twitter.

That's it for now, I have to get back to the books. I'll probably post something else later today and until then, stay excellent. x

P.S. Oh! This blog title! Well it arose both out of a frustration with everyone taking the usernames I wanted and out of a need to make myself feel less like I was standing on the precipice of a cliff and more like I was being handed a flapper dress and being invited into a great party.