Rule #1 for good blogging: Be consistent. It doesn’t matter how often you blog or when. Just pick a frequency and stick with it.
I have heard this tip — from those bloggers who actually have followers — a thousand times. It makes sense; avid readers like to know when a new post is coming so they don’t have to incessantly check their favorite blogs for content. Unfortunately, by this rule, I am a horrible blogger.
It’s the same reason why I can’t “journal” (sort of). People recommend writing in a journal or a diary as a way to relieve stress and vent and spew judgmental words that are socially unacceptable to say out loud. Or, journal-ing can be a way to document your life so you can look back on the petty problems you had when you were 12 and reminisce about those good old days when you were…also unhappy. Needless to say, I’m not a fan. Great idea in theory, but I need a sounding board, someone to respond to my unlawful accusations and bring me back to my mostly rational self. And 2. (Where was 1, you ask? Oh, you can infer), because journal-ing and blogging and spewing to inanimate objects is ineffective for me, I end up being inconsistent. My 12-year-old journal entries are sporadic—once every 6 months and then yearly and then nothing. Pour le blog, c’est la meme chose. When I’m not interviewing or writing or researching or textbook-reading or taking pictures or recording audio or going to class or going to work or having meetings or planning events or calling far more people than I’ve ever wanted to talk to, my first instinct is not blogging. I’ll sleep, thanks. Or spend time with the friends I never get to see because the world expects us to move at such a frenetic pace that intimate relationships have become cassette tapes: dug out every once in a while when you remember that you own them or to reconnect with something that used to be an inherent part of you. See. Spewing judgments.
I’m not sure why I’m suddenly so angry. Perhaps it’s because I really never see my friends anymore. Or that I don’t have as much talent as I have effort. Or that my efforts aren’t always rewarded. But then again, that happens to everyone. Maybe I’m frustrated because I can’t reduce my epic-long strands of thought to 140 characters, and that’s what this world has become. A movie producer whom I interviewed the other day gave the best description of Twitter I’ve ever heard: moths on crack. We flutter around temporarily shiny objects, like Kim Kardashian’s divorce or allegations of harassment against Herman Cain, like they’re the oxygen that allows us to breathe. But those lights become dim so quickly. We see a brighter light that might provide more heat or insight. Without truly stopping to consider if this new light will have a positive impact on us, we move toward that deceivingly brighter light. We don’t know any other way.
I’m not excluding myself from this group. I literally don’t know how to relax or what to do with my free time other than more work. I jump from activity to activity, like a moth on crack. But that’s the problem: it’s expected. In France, they see the world differently. Residents have 35-hour workweeks and 5 mandatory weeks of vacation. They recognize the need for mental cleansing. Here, in the U.S., they like my resume. I get good grades; I write constantly; I have student leadership positions. But am I happy? Not really.
Sigh. That’s all for today. Maybe I’ll write an inordinately happy post in another month.
Check out my newest articles for Street Sense and College Mag:
Or Street Sense from one of the vendors throughout Washington, DC, wearing neon vests! I write news briefs of stories related to homelessness that occur throughout America and the world as well as profiles of locations that provide food or assistance in the Metro area (these are only in the actual edition, not online). A new print edition comes out this Wednesday, July 20!
Kalachakra Peace Talks with the Dalai Lama, Whoopi Goldberg, Tibetan dancers, and lots and lots of monks
Time is a weird thing. For me, this summer feels like no other: both slow and fast all the time.
Like right now. I can’t believe it’s been four days since Saturday, when I got up at 6 a.m. to be 10 feet away from the Dalai Lama at the U.S. Capitol (pictures to be posted soon). I have never felt the concept of diversity so much as that morning. Monks everywhere, all unsurprisingly in traditional dress, but also one with a baseball cap and a video camera and another with a pink and purple plaid backpack. Tibetan women in beautiful, shimmering silk blouses and odd striped linen skirts that seemed to clash utterly with their resplendent top halves. A blonde bimbo-looking woman who was a devoted Buddhist and had flown all the way from Ohio just to hear the Dalai Lama speak. A woman who worked in Bhutan and had met Gandhi’s grandson (Note: I am an obsessive Gandhi fan. I’ve read way too much about him, and the ever-present silver ring on my right ring finger is inscribed with his famous quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”). People fanned themselves with authentic folding fans that you could tell had been purchased in some far-off land. Many had sanskrit tattoos and prayer books. One monk had an interesting talisman that he swung around while he chanted and read. In short, it was an incredible atmosphere.
The Dalai Lama himself was surprisingly funny but utterly down-to-earth as expected. I was amazed when I left at 11:30 a.m. how many people were just showing up. In my opinion, the West Lawn should have been packed far earlier.
I got home just in time to give a tour of the UMD campus. A group called Summer Study takes high school students to a bunch of colleges in the country so they can figure out where they want to go. Though it was incredibly hot and humid, it went pretty well. The group asked a lot of questions, and a good number were interested. The next day’s tour for more kids in the same program was not as successful. The kids were younger, some just out of middle school, and, to put it nicely, snotty little pricks. One kid asked me what the cost of tuition was, and when I told him, he scoffed, saying this school was way too cheap. I believe smoke came out of my ears.
Fast forward to Tuesday, when I went to a movie premiere called “The Other City,” which explored the HIV/AIDS epidemic in DC. The showing was put on by La Clinica del Pueblo, a clinic committed to providing healthcare for low-income Hispanics. The film was amazing, and there was a great turnout. I’ll be writing a piece about it for Street Sense, so I’ll post the link when it’s up.
Now I’m back at The Diamondback, copy editing, which I never thought I’d be doing again. At the beginning of the summer, I’d said I could work once a week for the summer edition, but at the time, they didn’t need me. Turns out they do. Hey, extra money and a familiar environment. I’m good with that.
Though it seems like a lot has happened in the past few days, I also can’t believe it’s only Wednesday. UGH. I’d rather be in Boston, which is my destination for next weekend. But I have an intern mixer downtown and Harry Potter 7: Part II tomorrow as well as a possible art festival this weekend so more to come.
And maybe I should learn a little from the past days and enjoy what’s going on around me. The outer world is beautiful, but much of that beauty comes from within the people who populate it, spreading their joy to others. Whether it be Tibetan monks or those suffering from HIV/AIDS, we all have a story to tell. And they’re all spiritually, heart-wrenchingly, humanly beautiful.
I didn’t feel like sleeping last night. So I did this instead. Future ad for the University of Maryland? Heck yes.