Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!
As I sat down trying to come up with something to write for today’s post, I’ve realized just how heavy I’ve turned TNTH into. I mean, it’s not something I’m complaining about, but I felt like it was time to switch it up a bit and write something that was fun and light-hearted.
My definition of fun and light-hearted is me looking back at old TNTH posts and see just how stupid some of my writing was a year ago. Again, I’ll probably read this post in October 2019 and say the same thing about 2018 Liz.
Nevertheless, I did something similar to this during Blogust where I reacted to an old poem I wrote when I was eighteen. It was fun reacting to my old writing then, so let’s bring it back with some TNTH posts!
This may be cringe, so fair warning.
Ah, cue in insecure Liz who hated her short haircut after damaging it with bleach for 5 months straight. But in all seriousness though: I remember this post being written because it was influenced by a couple of comments I was getting about my short hair at the time and it was just really bothering me. I had just gotten a haircut because my hair was fried from the bleach damage over the last couple of months, and there were some people who questioned my femininity because it was so short. I find it funny now because my hair wasn’t even that short, I mean the hair-do I’m rocking now is a lot shorter and those same comments don’t bother me as much as it did last year. Of course, I wrote this post because I had also witnessed a couple of other girls who cut their hair short get the same type of commentary, and it was just disgusting how in 2017, hair was still a defining factor of femininity. So, I ranted about it in a SAS post.
I enjoyed writing this post because I feel like sometimes as women, we forget that femininity is honestly what we want it to be. We define it in ways that it works for us, not through old-fashioned and traditional beliefs that are constantly being challenged by women of society who are sick of being viewed just one way. A year later, I still find myself to be quite feminine even if my style and “look” don’t look like it. I just feel like a lot of women my age don’t portray that “traditional femininity” that society wants us to be. I mean, we are living through a time where women are cutting their hair short all over the world, we are testing limits out here!
I look back at this post and kinda laugh. Not because it was ridiculous (well, it is a little bit, if I’m being honest), but because I remember what triggered me into writing this. I remember where I was and how this came about a year ago: I was in the middle of my second-to-last semester of grad school, and I began to feel a type of way about the MA Program as a whole. I was stressed out, anxious as fuck, and planning for the semester ahead scared the shit out of me because that meant I had to start really working on my MA Thesis. At the time, I was taking a Hybrid literature class which was downright awful if you ask me while taking an independent study of my thesis writing seminar that at the time seemed pointless as hell. At the time, I proposed something to my MA director for the Spring semester and pretty much had to bring me a couple of notches down and I felt frustrated as fuck, to say the least. So I did what I do best: I write and rant.
It’s funny how my MA Thesis discusses a lot about this separation between those who are “readers” and those who are “writers” and how writers typically aren’t considered as important in academia. It felt very fitting that I was experiencing this division still in grad school because I thought I had some sort of say at this level of my studies, but I digress.
Listen, some of the shit in this article is true and still applies to the MA program even after I graduated. Being a TA for a graduate class allows me to see the program as a program and not as a student who has to follow it in order to graduate. At the time, I was frustrated that I had to follow a guideline for a degree that did not favor its writing students. I got my Master’s degree in English with a Rhetoric/Writing Comp concentration, but I was forced to take 5 literature courses because let’s face it: the MA English program is a literature program, not a writing one. Many other colleges whose students were writing majors didn’t have to take literature courses at that level anymore, and at the time it felt really favored and discouraging. Still to this day and after being a student within that MA program, I still strongly believe that literature takes precedence in the program, and those who are writers and want to study writing have to sacrifice a couple of things in order to graduate. I know I did, and to some degree: it fucking sucked.
Liz, Liz, Liz, if only you took the advice to your own words all the way back in October. I say that because this was possibly one of the first posts I’ve ever written on TNTH about my anxiety, and this time last year was when it began to get a lot worse than before. I called it “high-functioning anxiety” thinking that it meant that I had really bad anxiety when in reality, “high-functioning” in regards to mental health is how well can you function with said disorder. In that case, I’d be a high-functioning person who experienced anxiety, but it did not mean what I thought it meant.
A lot of this post was yet again about the hardships I was experiencing within my grad school program and how I was feeling as a person. During this time of my studies, I was considering dropping out because I didn’t feel like I was good enough anymore to belong in the program, and the stress was finally getting to the point where it became unbearable. My school life was in shambles, which then cause a lot of areas in my life to fall into shambles as well.
I have a love/hate relationship with this post, to be honest. I’m proud that I finally spoke out about something I was afraid of admitting to myself and to others, but I wished I’d kicked myself harder and actually started to realize just how unhealthy I was becoming and got the help that I clearly needed at the time. Instead, I waited 7 more months to finally “surrender” and seek professional help. To be quite honest with you guys, I really do wonder how my life would’ve been like for the majority of 2018 if I decided to seek help back in October when my anxiety was just developing into a more concerning case. Would my Spring semester had been smoother? Would any of the self-doubts and the battles I had with myself and people happen? Seeing how much progress I’ve made since I first reached out for help, I can’t help but wonder these things and wonder just how different life would’ve been for me, especially throughout this year. Nevertheless, I’m grateful to have the privilege and strength to seek out help when I did.
On that note, that’s all for now!
If you’d like to read any more of some old TNTH posts from last year, make sure to visit the Archive Land section on the side of the page! (or, click this link to read other October 2017 TNTH posts.)