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6 pages

I was working on my grad school applications and I realized something. I have six more pages to complete in my thirty page piece of sample work that I’m going to submit for the application. I am going through all the work I’m submitting, making sure it’s something I am completely satisfied with and double checking grammar and all that fun stuff, slowly losing my concentration and inspiration when someone told me to ‘finish strong’.

Six pages. Hmm, that sounds familiar. The last six miles. Of what? Oh, that! The marathon! It’s when things start to break down, when you really feel your legs starting to get tired underneath you, and when  you really question what your doing. When did you decide this was a good idea? Is this pain worth it? Am I going to get accepted anywhere? Will I really make it another whole six miles? Will people really take me seriously?

So I began to write the last six pages of ‘work’. The last six pages that will seemingly determine if  I get into grad school to pursue something that I truly love to do. Sometimes you just have to accept who you are and realize that other people will either accept you for you, or won’t like you for who you are. Bottom line is though all you can be is yourself. I’m a huge believer in this and sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle of life. You are your biggest critic. I am my biggest critic and this is true in both writing and running. Though I didn’t hit my four hour time goal in CIM, I was still a little sad about it and may have cried into my McDonald’s shake on Tuesday when eating my feelings about the race. Yet, reminding yourself that you gotta get back up, and try again. I’m the same way with my writing. I am constantly changing little things and wondering how I can get my point across better.

Most of the writing I’m submitting is much like my Love letter to 13.1 post, or my Why I hate Bicyclists post, or Glowing like a firefly post or the I should know this by now post. I do have a pretty heavy piece that is the longest piece I’m submitting that really delves into the idea and thoughts of a dying person, and the people around them watching it all happen, based mostly on my relationship with my mom when she was sick. That is the piece that I’m most proud of.

So as I’m writing copy and content for my job, and writing sample work, personal statements, and essays for applications my brain is a little on overload in the writing department. So why do I keep writing this blog? The bottom line is that I love it. I still view this blog as my personal diary. When I feel down, I go back and read my Long Beach race recap and it brings me to tears because of how happy it makes me. I have read over past posts and laughed at what I did, or what I wrote about. I don’t try to write for anyone else besides myself and that’s how I’ve come to realize how much I love writing. It’s still weird that people want to read what I write, or deem my writing worthy of their 5 minutes, because I know writing is all subjective to the reader. Yet, I am so thankful for everyone who comments, encourages me, emails me, and contacts me through this. I also am so incredibly glad to have met the people I have through here. My life would truly not be where it is without you guys.

I think that the subjective part of the process is the scariest part of applying for me. Does a program think that I am ready for their writing program? Do they want to vest interest in me as a writer? I guess it was the same thing for me running a marathon though. Was it something I really wanted? Did I really want to invest the time and dedication it takes to train to run 26.2 miles? Was I really ready to run those last 6.2 miles? Could I really run that far and make it to the finish? Training, the trips to the bathroom, the time, the miles, everything was worth it. I wanted it and I did it.

So as I finish up my applications I am hopeful that I’ll get accepted but in the words of the wonderful character on the MTV show The Hills, Justin Bobby, “Time and truth will tell all.”

And I might be the only person who would compare grad school applications to The Hills.


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  • Reply lindsay

    hahaha omg justin bobby. haha. only you! :)

    knock those last 6 pages out! i know grad school won’t be able to resist your awesomeness. stay the course.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:44 am
  • Reply Marlene

    Excellent analogy with the last 6 pages and the last 6 miles. Good luck with the application!

    I, for one, am glad that you continue to write here on the blog. I always enjoy what you have to say.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:31 am
  • Reply Patience

    Great post and Good Luck on your applications. You are an awesome writer so I am certain you will get accepted :)

    December 11, 2009 at 7:54 am
  • Reply Emily

    I enjoy reading your blog a lot. I’m sure your passion for writing will be apparent in your grad school applications and that makes all the difference. And yay for comparing grad school apps and The Hills.

    December 11, 2009 at 8:01 am
  • Reply x-country2

    That grad school would be lucky to have you attend.

    December 11, 2009 at 8:33 am
  • Reply CharmCityKim

    Good luck with the application process!

    I think you’re a great writer. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be a repeat reader. :-) Just keep that in mind if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed with the essay. You have a TON of readers because you write from the heart.

    December 11, 2009 at 8:42 am
  • Reply Julie @savvyeats

    You’ve come this far, you can slam out another 6 pages!

    I, for one, love to read your writing. And really, what grad school wouldn’t?

    December 11, 2009 at 9:13 am
  • Reply Julia

    If it counts for anything, I really enjoy your writing and if I was the admissions officer I’d definitely accept you! Best of luck!

    December 11, 2009 at 9:22 am
  • Reply Milltini

    Hi sweet girl! I’ll be thinking of (and channeling your awesome energy) tomorrow when I run my first official race! Its going to be freezing…20 degrees!! Yikes! Better bundle. Anyway, I love your writing and I think you are a shoe in for grad school ;-)

    December 11, 2009 at 9:52 am
  • Reply J

    You are a very good writer and I think thats why I and many other people follow your blog and continue to read your posts! You have a special way with words and I hope that you get accepted into this program!!

    December 11, 2009 at 10:15 am
  • Reply Liana

    I LOVE the way you write. I’ve just started reading your blog this week, but you’re so matter-of-fact. Real. I don’t know you, but I can tell you tell it like it is. Who else would share that harrowing CIM experience so openly? Funny, descriptive, informative, educational. I have gotten so much joy reading your older posts, too. Keep it up, and good luck with grad school apps. I believe we attract like-people. You’re a grad school magnet!

    December 11, 2009 at 10:55 am
  • Reply TorontoGirloutWest

    I TOTALLY know how you feel! I went through the same thing when applying to law schools. Particularly with the writing sample.

    Like you, I chose to write about something extremely private. I told the tale of my war-torn childhood.

    While I was applying I lived in Paris. I can remember countless hours spent at the internet cafe. Writing. And sometimes sucking back tears. It kind of forced me to revisit stuff I like to keep supressed.

    In the end I was left with something so personal I didn’t know if I wanted to be evaluated based on that. I almost didn’t send it in. But thankfully I changed my mind at the last minute and the rest is history.

    And you – will do just fine! More than fine! You’re a great writer and I’m sure grad schools will think so too!!!! :o)

    December 11, 2009 at 11:25 am
  • Reply Ally

    You can finish strong! How exciting that you’re applying for grad school–good luck on the application process, that’s very exciting! You have a great talent for writing and I’m sure you’ll find your place at the right program for you. Cheesy, but, I believe it!

    December 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm
  • Reply Lara

    Keep at it, honey, you’ll get there. And yes, they’ll see who you are through your writing. Deep breath, keep your legs under you, you’re almost there.

    December 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    What a great way to look at this (the 6 miles thing not the Hills quote) LOL! :) Good luck girl!

    December 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm
  • Reply Madeline

    Good luck! Annnd double check when you put your name down on the online apps. I am so used to putting my last name first that I didn’t realize that one school did it the other way…so I applied to Berkeley with reversed first and last names. Embarrassing. When will you hear back from the creative writing programs? Are you sticking to schools in CA?

    December 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm
  • Reply Pure2Raw Twins

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I think you are a great writer and runner, keep up the great work! Good luck with the grad letter : )

    December 11, 2009 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Miss E

    OK I love that you quoted Justin Bobby :) Good luck, friend! xoxo

    December 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm
  • Reply Billy Burger

    you had me til the end. still, best of luck.

    justin bobby. weirdo.

    -B.A.B. (Big Asian Brother)

    December 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm
  • Reply Amy

    It’s so true. It’s very subjective– but any school is going to recognize that you have a passion for writing. I think you should keep writing this blog. As Ann Lamott (one of my writing heroes) says, “writers write.” She’s a firm believer you need to write something each day in order to improve- whether you are feeling it or not. It’s hard to do but worthwhile.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    your blogs always entertain me! however, i think your just as hilarious and awesome in person! :) xoxo

    December 11, 2009 at 9:06 pm
  • Reply Ms.V

    oooo which school?

    grad school is a blast, and you’ll fit RIGHT in…!

    December 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm
  • Reply Sydney Hunter

    Awesome post!!!!! We start to compare everything in life to the marathon…then again, as Oprah says, “running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” Keep up the hard work!

    December 11, 2009 at 11:58 pm
  • Reply Glenn Jones

    Best of luck on your apps. I *really* enjoyed grad school. It was so much better than undergrad. In fact, I enjoyed it so much,. I almost stayed for a PhD. Then I came to my senses…..

    December 12, 2009 at 11:08 am
  • Reply Spike

    not to dog Justin Bobby, but I think a slightly more famous writer put it better when he said “truth will out.”

    December 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply Rachael

    Justin Bobby got sorta hot in the last couple seasons … I’m just sayin’

    Good luck to you and your writing. Grad school will be the best thing ever :)

    Just an FYI

    I’m having a holiday running care package giveaway on my blog ending soon! All you have to do is come up with a fun/clever/creative name for my new Garmin running buddy on this post:
    I didn’t want you to be left out :)

    December 12, 2009 at 12:52 pm
  • Reply Alisa

    Any grad school would be stupid NOT to take you!

    Hope you got through those last 6 pages and got those apps in!

    December 12, 2009 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Marci

    Good luck with your application process! I just had a chance to backread your magazine feature, wow, congratulations, you look so cute in all the pictures!

    December 12, 2009 at 10:33 pm
  • Reply Brittany

    I love that you have quoted Justin Bobby

    December 13, 2009 at 8:54 am
  • Reply Brittany

    oh Justin Bobby…

    December 13, 2009 at 8:55 am
  • Reply Caroline

    haha I love that you just quoted Justin Bobby. Good luck with your applications!

    December 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm
  • Reply Mrs. Smith

    I LOVE that you quoted Justin Bobby in relation to grad school applications! That made my day!

    December 14, 2009 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Tara

    Am I the only person who hasn’t watched The Hills??? haha You’ll be a great grad student and any school would be honored to have you! ♥

    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 am
  • Reply The Waspy Redhead

    Good luck! You’re a wonderful writer so I’m sure they will be bowled over to have you.

    December 14, 2009 at 11:19 am
  • Reply Stuart

    Good luck with Grad school, so glad to have that behind me, which ones are you thinking about?

    December 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm
  • Reply aron

    loved this post <3

    December 15, 2009 at 5:09 pm
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