Peet’s came out with their fall beverages, so that means it’s officially fall. I’m determined to live my best fall life, because why not? It’s such a beautiful time of the year: the crackled leaves, the “spicy” candle scents, the coziness, the touch of spooky in the air from back-to-school dread. My sister and I recently baked banana bread and sprinkled pumpkin spice, oats, and brown sugar on top. Now, I just need the weather to dip below 70 degrees so I can start wearing fall clothes.
I have definitely put off writing this third month, post-grad life update, because there is so much I can cover that will throw me into an existential spiral. It makes me wonder why we pinpoint certain moments to be essential to our lives, even though that can be so contextual. Decades later, I’ll hopefully be able to sum up this post-grad time period in a few words. I hope to at least remember that I was struggling to define my goals while also working toward them in whatever capacity. That’s good enough for me.
INTERNSHIPS – It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and that makes sense. I just started my third week with my 1947 Partition Archive digital content internship. It’s been amazing reading and editing oral history interview summaries about Partition survivors and reading the commonalities between experiences, even though there are so many ethnic groups and religions represented. It’s really helping me understand my own background and why it feels so vital for me to study the generational impact of Partition in grad school.
Last week, I went to Berkeley for an in-person interview with Avalon Travel (a publishing company under Hachette Book Group). As I was waiting in the lobby and looking at the books on display, it felt like working in publishing as a career path felt right in my soul. The next day, I got a call that I was selected as a fall editorial intern with Avalon Travel! I’m excited to start working there in a couple of weeks, and I hope I continue to have those soul-touching moments of clarity. Pieces are slowly falling into place, although it sometimes feels strange that I’ll be spending this fall as an intern. That probably stems from the fact that post-graduates are always under pressure to get a full-time job. Like, I don’t think my dad entirely gets the point of me having an internship, even though it’s so applicable to today’s job market.
WRITING – I went for a walk a couple of weeks ago with my sister and I got to talk through my book and refine ideas with her. There was so much good creative energy during that conversation, but still, I took a break from writing for at least 2 weeks. Yesterday, I started hand-writing my novel in a secondary character’s perspective to explore what she brings to the book and that was exciting (we love a good wise Nani’ama character). I hope to keep hand-writing my novel so that it’s an incentive to edit less and just keep going. It also brings me back to those middle school days where I used to journal for hours and filled a notebook with a story. My goal is to write a little every day, without necessarily thinking about a word count or time of day to write. I feel like that’s a good first step for me to re-commit to writing.
Yesterday, my sister said, “Oh, Pam, I’m excited to pick up your book in the on-hold section of the library so I can see that slip of paper that says ‘ON HOLD FOR FERHEEN ABBASI’ right next to your name on the cover of the book.” I laughed and told her that she’s silly, but it warmed my heart. She is so supportive of me and knows that I’ll get there someday. It’s good to be reminded that people believe in you and push you forward, even when you lose sight of that energy and excitement toward your passions. I always remind myself that my love for writing will shift and mold to different stages of my life as it has been doing for the past 15-ish years that I could write. Publishing a novel doesn’t necessarily have to be the end goal—even though it would be really cool.
RANDOM THOUGHTS – I’m at a point in my life where I feel like I have more questions floating in my head rather than answers. That’s incredibly real, and you might be feeling that way, too. It’s frustrating, but sometimes I try to let it be exciting. Those questions are what are driving me forward to keep exploring and following good omens. To me, a good omen is when you’re somewhere and you feel fully present and content (yeah, I definitely love The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho). They could last for 5 minutes, but those moments still stick with me. There is so much going on in the world, in my family, within my head, and sometimes, I feel absolutely shitty and that’s okay. I’m learning to embrace my feelings and not be so quick to compare myself or my trajectory to other people. I feel like our twenties are full of comparisons; we mark our lives in the boundaries of others to see if we’re doing okay or making it in the world, even when all of that is incredibly contextual and relative to who we are as individuals. Despite everything, we’re doing the best we can. –S.A.
“The archives were cut like honeycombs and golden light clung to them, dousing every tome, painting, treatise and poem the soft gold of ghee freshly skimmed from boiling butter.”– ROSHANI CHOKSHI