Leggings on the bottom, a brown sweater on top, hair in messy bun form and sneakers… As proven by this statement and the picture above, I’m a plain person; not the vanilla kind but, but you know, I could easily be a Ben & Jerry’s classic like “Americone Dream.” There is interesting stuff about me, but they are never in your face.
That day, when I was standing at Lemonjello’s in front of my understanding boss, I was trying to explain this to her that I do not know what to say in my next blog post, hence I haven’t been writing all that often lately. As I was scrambling with words, she smiled at me, “write about getting the Department of State internship”. I slowly nodded my head and said, “okay”. So far, not many of my peers have found it interesting, as a good chunk of them still do not even know what the State Department does. Therefore this didn’t strike me as a good story, and it still doesn’t… But during my high school life or at college, I would have loved to hear from someone on how they got accepted to the program. That being said, this post is for you fellow political science/international relations nerd, hope you enjoy it…
To be honest, while growing up, I have always had this vision of an important college kid: Harvard graduate dad, Yale alum mom, hand-carved staircase, and marble floors in the mini mansion they live in. The kid who receives the State Department acceptance letter probably opens the envelope with a special knife that was inherited through the generations and the kid is wearing silk pajamas. The joy was shared with dad’s business partners over a fancy dinner and mother told every DAR member in her chapter how proud she was about the kid’s achievement.
Neither of my parents attended Ivy League schools (or a college in the United States in general) and I hate silky pajamas. First of all there is no character to the fabric.
Mine happened while I was trying to find the electronic receipt of my car insurance in my trash email account, as I was sitting in my fuzzy robe that my mom got me and sipping coffee from my Istanbul mug my dad got me. I called my parents on Skype, lost the connection twice and finally told them the news after connecting through FaceTime.
The application process was fairly simple: just a couple of essays, an extended resume that needs to be uploaded on the USAJobs system, and transcripts. One of the essays had to be less than 500 words, and as a socially awkward person getting my point across in such a small frame was a little troubling. During the summer, there were many nights I spent staring at a blank word document after working 11 hours in front of another computer screen. I love writing, but I did not know what to write about… Then it hit me.
I wrote about writing. It is, after all, one of my many passions along with journalism, politics, international relations, donuts, public policy, Hitchcock movies and anything about 50’s-60’s era.
There is something about doing what you are passionate about. Without even knowing, you excel at it and there isn’t any space to gloat because you are so caught up in everything you enjoy doing. Once you get a hang of things, there is positive feedback for your work and you, as humble as you are, continuously ask people, “really? You really like my work?”, not believing that this random girl at your school stopped you to say “OMG! I loved your article on Thought Catalog!”
That is why I am okay with looking terrible on Tuesday mornings. The night before, I was probably up until 3:30 a.m., trying to finish up the production for the school newspaper and getting my pages ready to print with the other editors. Not even once I felt the need to complain about any of it the next day, or get angry with myself for staying up so late that shower became a second thought right after sleep.
So at the end, when someone says, “how on earth did you do it,” I just want to tell them the truth; I really don’t know, I just did what I love doing.