Dear Patient Readers: Personal Growth Corner

Dear Patient Readers,

On February 24, I expressed that I would be taking a week off from writing any posts to deal with the imbalanced, brain chemicals that were interfering from my actual living. It’s now March 14, nineteen days after I said that. I’m acutely aware that this is more than a week.

Besides the Mt. Olympia Low that I suffered, I got sick and guess how I got sick? Yup. By not taking care of myself. To summarize two weeks of misery: fever, no appetite, smoker’s cough, and saturnine. And to no surprise, I had another Low because lying in bed for four days and watching even more Gilmore Girls (my wheelhouse) is a 100% guarantee that you will feel like shit and declare that you’re just meat expiring.

Something interesting did happen while I was recovering. I was accepted into the English graduate program in Western Washington University, the fat bold lettering of CONGRATULATIONS louder than the thrumming of blood and pent up bodily fluids in my head.

I got in. Me. Erica Brown. I never actually believed I would. I’m not being humble or self-deprecating. These are feelings I carry with me to keep my hopes contained. I’ve been rejected before. I mean, if you haven’t, then you’re not a person. You’re an alien inhabiting your own planet (but, hey, let’s be friends!) But let me clarify: I’m not going to Western Washington University. I’m not enrolling into their English Graduate program. I’ve decided not to go.

Before everyone gasps and thinks I wasted a great deal of energy and time on this, I don’t think so. I did something scary. I went after something with a very high chance of being rejected. The last time I did that was never. I’ve avoided programs because of this fear. I bowed out of going to an Ivy League school because of the pass or fail admission process. I changed majors to avoid the pass or fail exit portfolio (but turns out, this worked in my favor because I’m actually a better writer than an artist.) I’ve lived under this stiffening pressure of the exclusive need to succeed because failure was like the roof and floor collapsing all at once. I’d have to start over. Rethink all my choices. Rebuild that stupid roof and floor to have a place to stand again. I’ve always been perceived as this person with their shit together, an adult who says what’s on her mind, calm, abnormally impassive, but generally knew what she wanted out of life. Psh, please. I’m 27, folks. I’m talented, artsy, dog lover, and an amazing baker, but I seriously am not some kind of prophet of my own life. I’m figuring stuff out too. While I love the idea of going to English grad school—that’s about it. My support team (who I want to thank because they had to listen to me for the last week flip flop on this decision) has insisted that I’m smart, which I am, and how well I would do in grad school, the people I would meet, and the things I would get to study, but there are so many things I want to do that aren’t contingent on earning a degree, which, by the way, has a scary paucity of academic jobs for anyone interested in being a Professor. I’ve spent most of my life admittedly sheltered. The summer I graduated high school, I went to community college and then to the university. I worked two part-time jobs during school and in the summer. I made just enough to pay for gas and groceries. I had no life except school, and, frankly, to throw myself back into that doesn’t align with what I feel now. I still think education is important, but I was cocooning myself in it and preventing myself from experiences. I don’t have the passion or fortitude for the academics and that’s okay. I’ve got stamina for other things. Writing and reading are my great loves and having an M.A. isn’t some kind of icing to me, but, if it were, it would be worth $60,000, plus interest. It’s just padding for something I really don’t feel I need. I’ve learned more outside in the ‘real’ world than I’ve learned in school.

When I finally realized this, everything in me snapped back into place. My gut was happy again—eh, sort of. Did I mention that I was sick during this whole deliberation? McDonalds. Wendys. I waited another several days to make sure it was the upset stomach talking.

Thank you for your patience dear readers and for putting up with some of my narcissism. Now I’ll get back to writing that post because this has definitely left me red in the cheeks, chagrined from the late revelation. After all, I am a book blogger. Yay books!!


Your Local Resident Book Hermit




GRE Boot Camp: Posts Hiatus


Greeting Followers!

The first thing I want to say to all of you is how appreciative I am for you guys deciding to take an interest in my book blog. I reached over a hundred followers some weeks ago, and I could hardly believe it! Thank you!

I started this book blog because, like so many others book bloggers, I love books, and it just made sense to me that I should create a place where I can discuss, analyze, and, yes, sometimes rant about the books I’ve read or things going on in the book world.

Unfortunately I don’t have any book-related posts for you guys this week. I am currently undergoing preparation and studying for the ego-crushing GRE, the Graduate Record Exam, so that I can go to graduate school in the near future. After months of studying for the test, it’s less than two weeks away, and I’ve arrived at the point of my preparation that I’m officially dubbing Boot Camp.

I’m cramming words like disabuse, defray, and vicissitude into my cranium because these are, apparently, words we should all theoretically know and use in everyday conversation. Not to mention, we need to be able to distinguish between malapropistic words and words, such as ‘wanting’ which means ‘lacking’ and ‘fell’ which means ‘terribly evil.’


Here’s the funny part: according to the standardized testing evaluation, my weakest area is reading comprehension.

Again, what??!

And it’s apparently one of the hardest areas to improve on. Yayyyyyyyy.

In preparation for The First GRE, I’m putting in more hours into practice tests, flashcards, etc., which sadly means I need to temporarily put any book-related posts on hold.

I’ll resume posting on Wednesday, June 10 and will hopefully have ready for you a post reviewing a Classic.

One last shameless promotion: If you feel so inclined, follow me @myhermitsanctum and get updates about my recent posts and/or book-related links.

Thanks again for following!