Giving Up, Giving In, and Discipline


I feel like I should change the name of this blog from “Girl vs. Pittsburgh” to “Girl vs. Her Own Self.” Obviously, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything on here. I can blame graduate school, but really I lost confidence in myself and my writing. I lost confidence in the dream I once had of becoming a writer. And I’ve been struggling with a lot. Life has been full of good things, like classes (both good and bad), my friends, my family, my job, and my boyfriend of a little over three months. However, I’ve also been struggling with do I really want to leave the Pittsburgh area now that I’m here, am I going to get a job as a librarian, friends that I thought were friends but probably weren’t, what does it really mean to be a woman, and why don’t I just sit down, pick up a pen, and begin writing?

Believing you are blessed with talent is one thing, but actually practicing that talent is something else. I don’t believe you keep a talent without practicing it. And I have not been practicing at all. Like I said, grad school is an easy culprit, but the real culprit, the REAL reason I haven’t been writing is myself, my lack of confidence, and my lack of discipline. I gave up. But now I am giving in to the dream I once had.

Discipline has not been easy. My boyfriend asks me, “Did you write today?” I am always embarrassed when I have to say no. Again, I can blame school, work, my summer practicum, etc., but the real person to blame is myself. I am not making the time for it. That is MY fault.

My best friend is Sarahbeth Caplin, a talented self-published author. Sarahbeth writes everyday. Of course she’s amazing. Don’t concert violinists practice everyday? Baseball players? They don’t sit back and rest on that one hit they made back in college in 2009. They constantly work to make themselves better.

Right now I am sitting on a lumpy pillow of the things I wrote as a teenager. If I ever want to be the writer I want to be, I need to quit sitting around, and begin writing again. Get a little ink on my hands. That’s the only way you become better.


Surprise Yourself But Don’t Rush It


I have been trying to make this my mantra since last week because I feel like I don’t do enough “for the first time.” Honestly, probably the last time I did something for the first time was back in February when I joined the new group with whom I now attend Sunday Mass. I made new friends and now I am becoming “part of that world” (sorry to burst Ariel’s bubble – hahahahaha, get it? – but it takes more than three days).

Just last week, a job passed through my inbox for which I thought I would be reasonably qualified. But I didn’t apply. Why shouldn’t I? It was a chance to move, do something different, to surprise myself! Why wouldn’t I want to apply for this job?

Because I still have some unfinished business here in Pittsburgh. I can feel it. I also know that everything will come in its time and rushing won’t make things any easier. I want a full-time job? Great. But think about how much time I’m spending now on grad school. It would be almost impossible for me to go to school full-time and hold down a full-time job. I just made new friends here. I’m not ready to give those up yet. Also, I still feel like there is a lot I can learn at my present job that will benefit me after I have my Master’s degree.

There’s no rule that says I must be a full adult at my age. I’m still relatively young. Sure, several of my friends are living the “I got a full-time job right out of college” life, and that’s okay. Our lives are all meant to take different paths and we will all get there eventually. That’s the beauty of our world. It takes all kinds of people to move and transform it.

If I am a librarian, and God is inside me, then it must mean that God is a librarian, too. He’s also a doctor, a computer wizard, a nurse, a mother, a father, a foodie, a writer, a baseball player, a restaurant owner, and a waitress. God is everything and in everyone. So, who cares if I’m taking a different path to be a librarian? We all are meant to take different paths to get where we are meant to be in life, but that doesn’t make us any less important. Material things mean nothing if you don’t appreciate the good in your life.

So, for now the bus stops here for me. I’m okay with sticking around a little while, enjoying the view, and learning some more about myself before moving on.

I Research


I’m a librarian, so it makes perfect sense to me that I would research stuff. In real books. Not on the internet. So that’s what I did today.

I found a couple pictorial books of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, but the books were so old that the photo quality didn’t really make me want to dive into downtown.

So I narrowed my search down to four books (one of them is fiction – I do love a good story, so chances are you’ll get a book review on that). One of them is called Food Lovers Guide to Pittsburgh. I do like food.  One is a children’s book called Pittsburgh and the State of Pennsylvania: Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know. Fairly recent and published in 2011 (I promise I’m not a child, but the photos are so bright and eye-grabbing…also it gave me an idea for tomorrow’s post).

Sorry, I’m not very interesting today. I’ll just get back to researching and let you know what I find!

24 Photos


WQED Pittsburgh posted a link on their Facebook page today: 24 Photos of Pittsburgh that Make You Want to Move There ( The photos are beautiful. And they do make me wonder why I ever left.

But then I see the photo of the people in Steelers jerseys at a bar and the reason why I left hits me like bricks: rebellion against the avid, suffocating sports culture. When I met my friends in Ohio, some didn’t like Pittsburgh because of the Steelers. Okay, that’s understandable when you’re a Cleveland fan. But, once again, there’s a whole city to love, but all anyone focuses on is the sports.

I went through my own personal collection of 24 photos to find something worth loving and this is what I found:

2014-03-29 01.03.45 2014-03-29 01.07.05 2014-03-29 01.07.28 2014-03-29 01.09.36 IMG_5198 IMG_5262 IMG_5265 IMG_5272 IMG_5293 Pirates vs St Louis 30 Jul 2013 1 Pirates vs St Louis 30 Jul 2013 16 Pirates vs St Louis 30 Jul 2013 36 Pirates vs St Louis 30 Jul 2013 44 Pirates vs St Louis 30 Jul 2013 45 Zoo 2013 52 106 2014-06-24 03.05.10 2014-06-24 03.34.56 2014-06-24 02.43.11 2014-06-24 02.23.28 2014-06-24 01.48.53 2014-06-23 23.11.03 2014-06-24 01.51.37 2014-06-24 01.51.46

True, a lot of these are of the same image: the city itself. For some reason, I never tire of taking photos of the Pittsburgh skyline. But the fact that I have so many photos of the same thing tells me I need to dig a little deeper. Where should my next adventure be?