Finding Your Way + Fellowship Applications

Being broke and job hunting suck.

I’ve been at it for about 6 months and the way my life is set up, I’m even being turned down for crappy jobs. Jobs that would never even allow me the financial stability to move out and support myself.

Besides cursing myself for not becoming a doctor or something that actually PAYS $$$, I’ve been considering other paths.

After my horrific MFA experience at Purdue, I was so traumatized and stressed out, I just wanted to get the fk out of that town. Fellowships had crossed my mind but my mother discouraged me from applying because she claimed the town this fellowship in was racist. I’ll save that for another blog post, but I was discouraged from pursuing a lot of really good opportunities. Do NOT take career advice from people who don’t work in your field. Especially when those people are not offering you anything better.

But it’s a brand new year and I’m realizing I need to do what’s best for me, by any means necessary. Being in this house is not good for me. It’s been a draining experience, I’m uncomfortable all the time, I’m isolated because of the area we live in, I’m not getting the help I need to further my career or myself as a person, I’m able to buy food for myself and I have protection from the elements, but that’s about it. And that’s not enough for me.

Something’s gotta change and this job hunting tomfoolery is just not working out the way I’d hoped.

When something in your life isn’t going right, you can either keep at it or find a new approach.

The other day one of my best friends from grad school sent me the info for a fellowship application. It was FREE, too. I contacted some of my recommenders and decided to apply, even though fellowships are even more selective than MFA programs.

Then I though to myself, why not apply to all the fellowships I can? A chance for a year or more to get paid and work on my next novel(s) in a new city, all of which are much better than where I’m at now.

Still, as I fill out these applications, I’m being realistic with myself. Statistically speaking, it’s more than likely that I won’t be chosen for any of these fellowships.

If that happens, oh well.

And I don’t mean that in a “who-gives-a-shit” kind of way. I give quite a few shits or I wouldn’t bother applying. However, a new attitude I’m adopting as a writer and as a person is that what’s meant for me will always be for me.

If I’m meant to do a fellowship and I put in the time and effort on these applications, I’ll get one. If I don’t get one, that just means there’s something else I’m supposed to be doing.

If you believe that everyone has their own destiny, their own path they’re meant to go down, some easier, some harder than others, then it’s a little harder to be ticked off when something doesn’t go the way you want.

Maybe what we think we wanted isn’t what we need. Maybe we didn’t get it because it would have led us down a completely wrong path. Maybe that wrong path would have been fun, but if it’s not taking me where I need to go, I’ll pass.

I don’t know what will come of all of this. If I do win a fellowship, this time next year I could be in my own place, with the time and financial support to write all day and no one around to say negative things or bother me or stress me out.

Maybe I’ll have an agent and I’ll have signed my first book deal.

Or maybe neither of those things will happen.

But what I do know is this: Whatever happens, I’m gonna figure it out.

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