For my readers:

I don’t have a large group of followers. I am not a well-known blogger. But that means absolutely nothing to me. Each and every one of you mean something to me. 

When I started this blog I wanted to inspire through the written word and maybe get some things off my chest. I wanted to write more and I wanted to help others write more. What amazes me is how many people actually listened. And responded. And continually kept me going.

My blog isn’t flashy; I rarely include pictures, it’s a huge work in progress but I’m still learning. And despite all that, you all stayed with me. You shared my triumphs and my sorrows and often tried to help me along the way. And for that, I cannot thank you enough.

If I have helped, inspired, or related to a single person in the past 3 1/2 years I’ve had this blog then I have done my job. Keep writing. What you say is important. Your voice matters. Write.  I beg you to keep the written word alive. Find value in the words of others and your own. Write love letters, thank you cards, little reminders, whatever it may be. Words can be the most powerful weapons in the world if we allow them to. So please, WRITE!

This blog has helped me chronicle my journey in a way I never expected. However, I am about to embark on a new journey. By the time this is published, I will have just finished up my last final in my college career and will be counting down the hours until I walk across the stage. I will no longer be able to call myself an English major. But on the good days, I will be able to call myself a writer. 

I hope that you too feel like you have earned the right to call yourself a writer. Even though this blog has run it’s course, I am far from finished. Please visit my new blog, “Confessions of a 20-Something” and follow along if you so wish. I greatly appreciate all of you and everything this blog has provided me over the years.

I love you all.

-Marina

“I write so that people can see the entire universe through the lens of me. I write because I must. And most of all, I write to let those stranded in the darkness know that they are not alone.”

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Four short years later…

Four short years ago, I came to college knowing exactly what I wanted to do.

And four short years later, I am leaving college with no idea of what I want to do.

Four short years ago, I packed up my childhood bedroom and started this journey. I was going to a town I was unfamiliar with and leaving all my friends and family behind for people who were strangers. I had a dream and plans to make that dream a reality.

Four short years later, I am packing up my first apartment and starting a new journey. I am going into a world I am fairly unfamiliar with and trying desperately to hold on to the friends I have made in this process. I have many dreams and very few plans to make them realities.

Four short years ago, I had a boy in my life who I thought was so great. He was mysterious and rebellious. And ultimately, he made me feel like shit. He was never in the wrong and somehow everything came back to my insecurities. The insecurities that he only worsened with his behavior and attitudes.

Four short years later, I have a man in my life who is downright amazing. He is kind and warm-hearted. And ultimately, he makes me feel like I am worthy. He recognizes when he is in the wrong and forgives me when I am. He tries to ease my insecurities and understands that I have scars and imperfections.

Four short years ago, I never thought to worry about my parents. They were old, yes, but they weren’t aging. They were there to worry about me.

Four short years later, I have learned to sometimes worry about my parents. They are old, yes, and they too are aging. As I am growing up, they are growing old. And I have learned to appreciate them so much more than I ever could have before.

Four short years ago, I was a different person than I am today.

Four short years later, I am a better person. I have grown as a writer and as a woman. I am less judgmental and less self-absorbed. I am more empathetic, more attuned to others, and even more eager to learn about the world around me.

For short years have passed and I am a better version of myself than I was then.

The Real World?

I’ve decided that there is absolutely no way to truly prepare anyone for “adulthood” or entering the real world. You go to high school to prepare for college. When you’re in college you’re preparing to get a job, or to go to another school where you will prepare to get a job. And then you’re just done. You’re thrown over the fence where they keep all the hungry, snarling dogs and you wonder if you’re actually going to make it out alive.

When we’re in college we are in a little bubble of essays, and exams and eating bad food because that’s all we can afford. And then we are no longer in our bubble. We don’t get to stick our foot in the water and see how it feels. We don’t get to step outside and then quickly come back in. Nope, we are catapulted from our nice, comfortable bubble and told “Good luck” and “Congratulations!” And we’re supposed to just know what to do.  The problem is, we’ve been in schools our whole lives, supposedly preparing for this moment. While we were in those schools we were too busy filling out scantrons and cramming for tests and just trying to make it through the busy week that we didn’t have time to take a step back and really ask what are purpose is in doing all of this? And to ask, “Do I actually feel ready to go into the real world?” “Will the fact that I aced this test mean a damn thing to my future employer?” Or maybe the most important question we can ask ourselves is “Is this really how I want to spend my life?”


Is this really how I want to spend my life?

I just turned in the last essay I will write in my college career. And while it feels as though a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I also feel a little heavy hearted.

My relationship with writing has been tumultuous at times. And over the past four years, I have questioned why I am doing this, if I’m any good at it, and more importantly, if I care whether I’m good or not? I have beaten my head against the table trying to reach page limits or word limits or works cited. And I have laid my head down on the same table, just trying to write the words that I was too afraid to say aloud.

Writing has been the bane of my existence and the saving grace in my life. 

And now, I am no longer forced to write. I have no more assignments that require my voice to come through or my thoughts to have some sort of cohesion to them. I have thrown essays away when I saw the grade, only to fish them out later and have a conversation with the teacher. As angry as I was that they could dare give me lower than an A on a essay, those are the teachers I learned the most from. They helped me improve; and more importantly, they humbled me. My writing is better because of the teachers that pissed me off.

The last post for this blog is already being drafted. I find myself having to stop and take breaks to make sure I am really saying what I want to say. I also take breaks to keep from having too many emotions escape. I never thought that I would fall in love with writing the way that I have. 

Pen and paper will always listen. Even if you don’t think you need to talk. When tears come streaming down my face, I turn to pen and paper. Pen and paper will catch your falling tears.

I don’t think I ever fully realized my love for writing until now. When life breaks my heart, or the LSAT breaks me down, I write. And I let myself feel. Even when I reread posts like that I can feel a lump in my throat and a tear forming in my eyes. But that’s what you need to do. That is why I write.

I don’t think I am so passionate about the written word until someone tries to devalue or belittle it. Until someone says, “English, what are you going to do with that degree?!” And even though I know what the job market looks like, I continue to defend my decision and I still believe I made the right choice. Because despite the lack of appreciation for writers and a beautifully composed, emotional piece of writing, I fell in love with writing because of my degree. Despite all our ups and downs, I fell in love with writing.

Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.

An Open Letter To The Professors Who Care

Wonderfully written, hits the nail on the head!

Thought Catalog

Good Will HuntingGood Will Hunting

Dear Professor,

Not all of my professors care as much as you. Some of them are not nearly as thoughtful simply because they don’t think about it. Worse, there are some professors who know how to be caring and actively choose not to be. Some of them talk just to talk, and some of them are the bullies that they tell their classes not to be. But that’s not you. You are here to teach. And you’ve taught me so much more than what’s on your syllabus.

Thank you for having calculators for us students who studied hard and made an honest mistake, forgetting them on our desks at home.

Sometimes we make mistakes that aren’t reflective of our knowledge on a subject. We are human, like you, and we forget things. When this happens, we are often recited a guilt-ridden and self-esteem-lowering lecture by other stern-faced professors. But…

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7 Thoughts I’ve had this Week

I realize that I have neglected my blog and my faithful readers for quite some time now. And I am very, very sorry!

I have been thinking about the next chapter of my life and how I am going to continue writing my story. I will let you all in on my secret plan very soon! But for now, I will give you some of the thoughts I have had over the past week.

1. I realized that I yearn for a successful marriage much more than I yearn for a successful career. Now before everyone gets all feministy on me, let me tell you why I think this is the case. It came as a shock to me when I realized this, as I have always had big career goals for myself. What I realized is that in today’s society, it is so much harder to have a successful marriage than it is to have a successful career. And at the end of the day, your career won’t keep you warm at night. It won’t listen to you vent when life gets to be too much, and it won’t be at your funeral when you die. A successful marriage, in my opinion, means a happy, and successful family which is ultimately what I want. If I die never having a successful marriage and/or a happy family life, I will feel as though much of my life was a waste. If I die never having a successful career, I don’t think I will be as disappointed in myself.

2. If there are multiple people in a “selfie” shouldn’t it be called a “selvsie?”

3. I can’t believe that I’m graduating college in less than two months.

4. What am I going to do with my life? How am I going to pay off my student loans? How can I make money for this damn blog of mine? Will I ever be able to buy my own house?

5. Babies are so much smarter than us.

6. I really wish I knew what my cat is thinking.

7. Why is it so cold out? I packed most of my winter clothes already? I guess I’ll just have to stay home and watch Netflix all day.

6 Times When She Wants You To Fight For Her

Love it. I’ve written something similar that’s still in Draft mode.

Thought Catalog

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The problem with love nowadays is that our pride always has to come first. We brush things off when we’d rather hold them close. We play it cool when we’d rather lose our shit. We let our thoughts get ahead of our hearts and we are so desperate to avoid neediness that we’ve forgotten what it means to actually try for one another. To stick our necks out for each other. To fight to work things out, even when the odds are stacked against us. Despite what it may seem like at the time, the situations that make us want to run in the other direction are often the exact ones we ought to see through. If you’re with the kind of woman worth having, here are a few times when she needs you to stick around and fight.

1. When you’ve had a blowout

She wants you…

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Rushing Through

I am 22 years old and I want too much. I want so much for my life.

I graduate in 3 1/2 months and I have no idea what I’m going to use my degree for. I don’t know what I want to do to make money. But I know what I want to do.

I want to see the world. I want to go to the big cities that make me feel alive. The cities that make me feel right at home. The cities where getting lost doesn’t feel uncomfortable. The cities where my fashion sense can actually be appreciated. The cities where people don’t know your name so you can escape and be totally invisible.

I want to go the small towns that make me feel accepted. The towns that welcome any newcomers. The towns that are so small it’s nearly impossible to get lost. The towns where my fashion sense would make people wonder where I came from. The towns where everybody knows you and won’t let you escape or be invisible.

I want to see everything there is to see. I want to feel the warmth of the sun and a cool breeze through my hair at the same time that someone else is getting snowed on. I want to marvel at the green hills of Ireland and the mountains of Switzerland. I want to share these sights with my family and some day with my children. Because I want them to yearn like I do. With one condition: I want them to feel as though what they are yearning for is within their reach.

I want to own a little bakery that people visit every Sunday. That my kids will have memories of. I want the smell of bread and brownies and cakes bring a flood of memories to people. I want to share my family recipes and love of baking with people who will enjoy it. I want to do the things that I’m too afraid to try.

I want to believe that the things I yearn for are within my reach.

I think about how I have spent the past four years of my life, and I wonder if it was the right thing to do. If it’s right for anyone to do. We’re told we can’t make it in the world anymore without a college degree. So then we shove as many students as we can into colleges and we all come out with degrees. And then we’re told that that degree doesn’t make much of a difference anymore because everyone has one. So what were we doing with those four years then?

Maybe I should have taken my student loan money and used it to see what I want to see. To do what I want to do. Maybe I would have learned more about life and about myself and about failures and success had I not spent four years in a classroom listening to someone tell me what’s important. Maybe they should have told us to figure out for ourselves what is important.

I hope that this doesn’t come off as ungrateful. I have said many times before that I am privileged to go to college and get the education that I have received. All I am saying is that there are plenty of other forms of privilege we should recognize. And plenty of other reasons to feel grateful in our lives.

Most of us come to college at only 19 years old and they tell us we need to decide what we’re going to do with our lives now. 3 months ago, we had to ask if we could use the bathroom but now we’re given that huge responsibility? Why are we always in such a rush? Then we pick a major and we rush along in hopes to graduate on time so that we can rush into the real world to find a job so that we can get into a routine that go through mindlessly every single day. Why do we do that to our young adults? Why do we do that to ourselves?

We only get one life and I’m tired of rushing through mine.