Daughters of Fathers // Family Week Day 1

I’m my father’s daughter.

We don’t look that similar; the only feature I inherited from him was my hair (which, thank you). My nose, my eyes, my freckles– all my mom.

As far as personality goes? All him.

We’re quiet people. After my sister moved out and it was just and him (and my cat, Ziggy), the house was so quiet. It’s so nice to sit in silence with someone and still feel close. I also got my dad into scented candles (Yankee Candle is very important to me), so our house always smelled like fall. Yeah, even in the summer. Hey, I like what I like. His love of history I got too, though he probably forced his hand with that one. Every night we would watch the nightly news (David Muir is our favorite), then Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy to round things out.

I inherited some of his bad habits, too. Not great with the whole “expressing your feelings” thing.

I meet a lot of people with bad relationship with their fathers and nothing could make me sadder. My dad is a cool guy and I wish I could share my experience growing up with him (he did kind of adopt my best friend). More than anyone, he tells me what I need to hear when I’m complaining. He believes in tough love and doesn’t hesitate to tell me to just deal with the problems I’ve made for myself. But when I really need it he’s there with a hug, and the fact that he doesn’t give them out often makes them more significant.

He’s a total softie on the inside though. His favorite movies are Spirited Away and Up.

Speaking of favorite movies. He says something to me, everytime I go off with reluctance (work, the SATs, a boring social experience): have fun storming the castle! Of course, that’s an improvised line from The Princess Bride, another favorite movie of ours. One day I have plans to get that tattooed on my body as my first big piece.

I’m far from Daddy’s Little Princess. My dad’s probably never treated anyone like a princess. When I was little and we played Mario Kart and Mario Party together on our beat-up Nintendo 64 (we still have it, by the way), he would never let me win. Self-reliance, that’s what I was taught.


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On my Writing Process

I write different ways for different things. I do the vast majority of of casual and academic writing at the school’s Tech Center on one of the fancy Mac desktops that I can use for free. Or for thousands of dollars, if you want to bring my tuition into it (I don’t).

For the blog, I guess you could say I’m a cerebral writer. I keep a list of topics around so I don’t forget things. Most of the time, however, I just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Peak writing time for the blog is Saturday afternoons– there’s football on Sunday, so if the Pats are playing at 1 or 4 it’s difficult to get a solid chunk of time in. Sometimes I write two or three full posts then.

I write very quickly. The average blog post takes maybe an hour to write, if it’s long. With the blog I don’t outline, I don’t plan, I barely even think. Just write. I find this process to be very freeing and a good fit for a tight schedule. Easy as that, when I have nothing else to say I just stop. That part is annoying. I always think the ending to my posts are too brief, that there needs to be more of a wrap up. 

So basically, what you see is what you get. You can probably tell I read a lot of Kerouac and Ginsberg in high school (ok fine, I still read a lot of Kerouac and Ginsberg).  

My academic papers are pretty different. Multiple times my style has been described as neat. I like it when a paper wraps up nicely– so do professors. It depends on the class and the professor, but sometimes you can get away with adding personality to my writing. That’s something that has to be played by ear, though.

In high school I took both AP Lang and Lit and did a lot of writing for both of these classes. I also liked the teachers who taught those classes. My current academic process is a direct reflection of the writing I did then. Heavy outlines separate from the paper (please do yourself a favor and include quotes and sources in the outline), but I also outline while writing. You see, I get bored writing about one thing at a time, so I like to jump around in longform. I have to write outlines, or I’ll forget where I was going with a train of thought. A huge help in keeping a paper unified without writing it completely in order.

Sound confusing? It is. It also happens to be something uniquely me. I’m of the opinion that you can’t be a really good (academic) writer until you come up with a format that works really well for you and that targets your strengths and weaknesses. That thing they teach in high school? It’s one size fit all, which means it fits exactly no one.

Friends like on Disney Channel

friend

This is a picture of my older sister Hannah (left) and my best friend Sam (right) at our high school graduation last June. Without a doubt, they are my two best friends– and that’s been the status quo for almost nine years. Obviously my sister and I have been siblings for as long as we’ve both lived, but Sam and I met all the way back in fifth grade. Oh the yellow school bus– breeding ground of infectious disease and friendship everywhere.

Here a picture says a thousand words; not only are Sam and I close, but she’s close with my entire family. My sister is her sister. When introducing her to my extended family, my dad called her “his other daughter.” It’s the kind of friendship that only happen in fiction– and something I could have never expected to happen to me.

I don’t make friends easily. Just not something that comes naturally. I can be social when I want or need to be, but I just don’t feel the pull towards other people. Lament the paradox of the extroverted-introvert. But in high school, I had a tight-knit group of friends, and four weeks into my college experience, I’ve yet to make a truly solid connection with anyone (not to say that the girls on my floor aren’t wonderful, because they most certainly are).

This is the truth: it’s hard to make friends when, deep down, you don’t want to.

I have friends. They just happen to be scattered about the north east. It’s incredibly difficult to make connections with people when subconsciously you’re holding yourself back. My friends back home already understand me and my mannerisms. As one of them says, “we’re Xbox-Kinnected.” But I can’t have that here in Philadelphia until I let people in. That’s just how it works.

I want to make friends. I want to make Philly belong to me like Boston, like Maine belongs to me. But I’ve yet to find the balance of belonging to two separate places. Somehow, I think I’ve gotten it into my head that you can’t love two things. I love Sam, and I love my sister. I would never give those things up, never in a million years.

The thing is? I don’t have to– I just have to make myself realize that.

WHO AM I?

Ok, there’s no need to be so melodramatic.

Any Scrubs fans? No? Ok nevermind then.

The basic point of this is some boring introduction on me (the writer of this blog) and some basic facts about me. Not that interesting, right? But unfortunately necessary. So what’s up?

My name is Abigail, an undergraduate Advertising student with a double minor in English and Art History. I live in Philadelphia, but I’m a transplant from wonderful, cold, and cranky New England, a place that I miss terribly every day and cannot wait to get back to. College students aren’t supposed to say that, though, right? We’re all supposed love being away from home and not miss it one bit. In my experience, that’s mostly crap. But I’m trying to be brave, so here I am almost 400 miles from where I was born and raised in small-town Maine. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, I guess.

I have one mom and one dad, both of whom raised me to be aggressively independent and an avid reader. I also have one older sister, a girl I love more than anyone else on this earth, but who– annoyingly– lives nine hours away. My cat is named Ziggy, who I raised from an itty-bitty kitten but he had to stay in Maine to kill rodents. Typical– everyone you love always leaves you to hunt rats underneath your house.

The point of this blog is that I want to be a writer, and in order to be good, you need to write. A lot. Even better if you have your own blog. Even better if you’re published (I’m working on that bit still). I write about things that interest me. Mostly, that means literature, but it will also include papers I’ve written for this or that and adapted, or opinion pieces. Who knows– sky’s the limit. Clearly. I’m not an astronaut/billionaire/both. My goal is to make entries between 300-500 words and post MWF, though considering my lack of experience in blog writing I have no clue whether or not that will work. I guess we’ll find out!

Well then– welcome to this strange and wonderful thing we call blogging.