UA-39805840-1 No Net Ensnares Me

No Net Ensnares Me

A literary nerd set loose on the internet. You know how it goes.

Made to Thrive

Recently I have not been very happy at my job. For a while, I loved it because it was a brand new industry and I was fascinated by the glimpse inside this bizarre world of trucking. But now, the stress is overtaking the fascination in a big way.

I get to work around 8 am every day, and one day last week, I didn’t, leave until 8 pm. I turned the car radio on, and immediately these lyrics blasted out at me: “We were made to thrive.”

You may not happen to believe this sentiment, but I do, and hearing those words after such a hard day was not an encouraging moment. The same question that comes up again and again in the living rooms and bars occupied by my generation came up in my car. What on earth am I doing? The same response: I have no effing clue.

So, that was a bad day.

I haven’t quit my job in a moment of clarity and courage since then. I haven’t completed a brilliant novel that will earn me millions and save me from ever having to do something that isn’t my calling (I believe in those too. Sort of. It’s complicated.)

But in the week since that spectacularly depressing day, I have collected some moments in my memory that remind me what thriving actually feels like. Today, for example:

I wake up at the time I’m supposed to, meaning I have time to get everything done I need to and still cuddle with my cat. I smile at the guard at my work, and he smiles back. I share a joke with a coworker. Fast forward 9 hours, because this is really not about work, and I arrive at my family’s church. My youngest brother and I head to a friend’s house to go swimming. She and her mother and I watch my brother, whose jerky but somehow still confident movements through the water endear him to us. We have a splash war that ends in a tie when I pick him up and carry him out of the pool. I take him back to our parents’ house and then drive with the windows down to see some more friends (and eat the cookies they offered as a last minute bribe). An old song that I love comes on the radio, and I turn it up, thinking back to when I first heard it, in another car in another state with dear friends. In that moment, I’m still not happy in my job. I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do about it. It will matter tomorrow that I don’t know, but in that moment it doesn’t.

One day, I hope people will look at me and say, “Boy, she sure is thriving. She is doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing with her life.” (Secret: there’s not just one thing.) For now, I will keep thriving in each moment that I can.

uispeccoll:

Miniature Monday!

Today we have a 24 volume set of Shakespeare’s works by the Knickerbocker Leather and Novelty Co., published in New York around 1900. Each is leather bound with gilding.

Shakespeare’s Works. New York: Knickerbocker Leather and Novelty Co.  1900’s.  Charlotte Smith Miniature Collections. 

See all Miniature Monday posts

-Laura H. 

I am 90% sure I saw one of this edition in the rare books room at the Strand ages ago. It was my first visit there and I didn’t have any idea something so cool could exist.

(via justplainintroverted)

Last night a man asked me for a dollar as I left the subway on my way home. I gave him one.

He then proceeded to start talking to me and followed me for ten minutes as I tried to walk home. He ignored my repeated attempts to part ways and made comments about my body, his body and allude to us having sex. He asked personal questions about my life. He asked if I was married. I told him that I had a boyfriend, not because I owed him any answer, but my past experience has shown that these type of men, when hearing you are ‘taken’ often will leave you alone out of respect, not for you of course, but for the man who already ‘has’ you.

He walked all the way to the block I lived, talking away, moving closer to my side while I clutched my keys, splayed out between my fingers in one pocket and my cell phone in the other, mind frantically going over my options to get out of this situation. How to get away from this man without angering him. How to get into my apartment without him seeing where I lived.

When I turned the corner of my block I saw that the bodega was open. I told him I had to go to the store and said, again, good night. He followed me into the store, where with witnesses and the store owner who knows my face I had to courage to tell him to stop following me. That I didn’t want him to know where I lived. To go away.

He called me a bitch.

The store owner made him stay in the store long enough for me to dart across the street, duck into my apartment, and lock the door behind me.

I’ve spent most of today going over in my head what I did wrong to get into this situation.

I was stupid to give him a dollar. To speak to him after. To let him walk with me so far. To be so concerned with being polite.

But what that really boils down to is that I, my entire life, have been told that being a woman in public is asking for attention, and once received it is my fault in some way.

I don’t owe anybody conversation, my number, my time. It’s not a complement.

The truly insidious thing about harassment is that in the moment, the potential violence, quiet, persistent and vague threat combine with a world of people telling you that if something bad happens to you it’s YOUR fault. The conditioning women receive to be ‘nice’, be polite, smile for goodness sake (lest, horrors of all horrors we become that horrendous monster, a bitch). All this is why we accept being uncomfortable, being afraid, why we consider how our keys could be used as a weapon.

The man called me a bitch, and my biggest regret today is that I wasn’t a bigger one.

A friend posted this on Facebook yesterday. Personally, I am so sick of rape culture and what it’s doing to us. (via thearetical)

(via marykatewiles)

justmargaret:

#SASS

DON’T DOUBT THE DAME.

(Source: lejazzhot)

(Source: weloveshortvideos.com, via crossbowsandwalkers)

jbildungsroman:

Ugh, worst song ever. 

if we’re being honest, this was the moment that Emma Stone arrived.

(Source: laurentmelanies, via lulabo)

mrs-mojo-risin-blues:

I want a memorial like this.

mrs-mojo-risin-blues:

I want a memorial like this.

(Source: ununpentium, via tyleroakley)

mikroblogolas:

society teaches women that if they haven’t been kissed by a man or had sex with a man, there must be something wrong with them. men learn that if women don’t want to kiss or have sex with them, there must be something wrong with women (and possibly the government and world), not themselves.

(via malcolmjamalwarlock)

humansofnewyork:

"If you could change one decision you’ve made, what would it be?"
“I’d probably decide to talk to some people that I was afraid to talk to.”
“Who specifically?”
“I don’t know. I never met them.”

humansofnewyork:

"If you could change one decision you’ve made, what would it be?"
“I’d probably decide to talk to some people that I was afraid to talk to.”
“Who specifically?”
“I don’t know. I never met them.”

(via yulinkuang)