Thursday, August 30, 2007

How Nancy Drew Saved My Summer

Last week, the editor of the Emory Wheel asked me if I could contribute a mini-column (200-300 words) to the paper about how I spent my summer "vacation".

The piece appeared in the Emory paper on Tuesday; what follows here is that piece...with pictures.

a mini-column:

A week after I graduated from Emory, I sat at my parents’ kitchen table, grinding my knuckles into my forehead. I was miserable. I had nothing to do. Life had been school, summer, school, summer for so long, but suddenly there was no school, and my summer dream of a career-making internship at Turner Broadcasting was a no-go. I had no money and no back-up plan. All I had was home. I had nothing to do.

Some of my friends moved to big cities, while others traveled overseas and posted their pictures on Facebook. They fled their parents’ houses for a world that boomed with new energy I could imagine, but not quite feel.

But then I started working at a used bookstore. It wasn’t a full-time job and it didn’t exactly pay the bills, but it was mine. I clinked open registers and counted sales, shelved books and vacuumed floors.

I met a sweaty bearded man who loved Nancy Drew and a rural father who loved books on sexual positions, despite his five children and pregnant wife. Spurred by a passion for creative writing, I blogged under self-imposed deadlines. My life was not on pause after all.

I would have never guessed last year that I’d spend the summer after graduation in a used bookstore, or the fall thereafter mulling an offer to teach English in South Korea. That new energy I wanted? I found it, and I don’t want a back-up plan anymore.*

* The Emory Wheel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your big mistake was going to the Waffle House. If you had gone to Denny's, you would have been surrounded by the simple, garden-variety drunks. These folks are far less complicated than the drunk lesbian with biceps the size of your thigh.