Samara O'Shea

Archive for July, 2012

Back to School

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Last March I announced that I was about to start a new job. I am now happy to share the details. For the past few months, I’ve been working at Temple University as an administrative assistant, and I’m about to take advantage of their tuition remission benefit. Therefore I am also happy to announce that I’m going back to school in the fall.

I’ve been accepted to the Master of Social Work (MSW) program with a scheduled graduation date of May 2015. I know it’s probably not what you expected. An MFA or advanced degree in journalism is what people expect from me. This path, however, feels 100% right. My end goal is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). A LCSW is a social worker trained in psychotherapy who helps individuals face mental health issues and personal problems aiming to improve overall life satisfaction. In other words, a therapist.

Fear not, I will still be a writer. I will ALWAYS be a writer. This degree is going to round me out in ways I cannot imagine. I’m certain it’ll make me a better writer while giving me a whole new skill set in the process. I’m super duper excited!

And now for the bad news: I’m going to stop blogging. The time has come. I am going to leave LetterLover up because there’s information here I think passersby might find useful. I’m also going to continue the letter-writing service (schedule willing). I’ll still be on Twitter & Facebook. I’ll also try to write for The Huffington Post every few months. I’ll be around—just not here. In three weeks or so I’ll post one final blog welcoming people to the site, inviting them to look around, and explaining where I’ve gone. Thank you all for visiting my little corner of the Internet these past few years! I am endlessly grateful. I have no idea if I’ll blog again after graduation. We’ll see what the world is like in 2015. . .

The Silver Lining

Friday, July 27th, 2012

As the saying goes: Every cloud has a silver lining. The first silver lining (there may be more) of my malware experience is an e-mail I received from the lovely JoAnna Haugen. JoAnna, if you recall, is the creative mind behind The 52 Letters Project. She e-mailed asking for my address—saying she couldn’t retrieve it from my site because of the malicious malware message. If she had retrieved my address directly from the site she would have sent a letter to my PO Box. This is fine except I only get to it every 4 months or so. (I need to get a new PO Box closer to my new home, alas that hasn’t happened yet). In any case, I gave JoAnna my street address and received a charming letter last weekend. I look forward to sitting down this weekend and writing my response. This pleasant exchange wouldn’t have happened until late September (or thereabouts) if not for the malware!

JoAnna’s letter made it all the way from Nevada with this cute little guy (or gal) intact.

And the stationery itself is adorable!

Me and My Malware

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Well that was fun, wasn’t it? Coming to this website and being told it’s an evil, malware-infested place. It was especially strange for me considering I run the site and was being told it had been deemed a digital disaster. The way I figure it, something like this has to happen to me once a year. Remember this time last summer when my e-mail was hacked? Ah, memories.

I don’t know for certain why it happened, but I do have a guess. My latest blog for The Huffington Post (mentioned below) garnered 1,200+ comments. I was very excited about this, but I imagine it also brought in a lot of new traffic to my little letter-writing website. Maybe one of those viewers was an ill-intentioned hacker. I can’t say for certain, but that’s my guess.

It took a while and many e-mails (to my web designer, web host, and URL provider), but we are up and running again. Whew! My biggest fear was the I lost the blog entirely, and everything I’d written here since April 2007 was gone. I really need to print and bind my blog–make it into a nice journal-like book and place it safely on my shelf.

Thank you to everyone who let me know what was going on. I appreciate your concern and, if you’re here, I appreciate you coming back!!

Interview With an Adulterer

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

My latest blog for The Huffington Post is up: Interview With an Adulterer.

This was originally a part of my last HuffPo piece (scroll down two blogs ago), but the editor suggested I divide them into two. A wise idea! I am neither married nor divorced, but I enjoy writing for The Huffington Post Divorce page—it’s a hot spot for comments and discussion.

The Bulls**t of Being Busy

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

There’s a compelling opinion piece in the Times called The ‘Busy’ Trap. It focuses on how being busy is much more of a hinderance than a help to us. And, often times, being busy is an illusion we create ourselves. From the article:

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. ‘Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do,’ wrote Thomas Pynchon in his essay on sloth. Archimedes’ ‘Eureka’ in the bath, Newton’s apple, Jekyll & Hyde and the benzene ring: history is full of stories of inspirations that come in idle moments and dreams. It almost makes you wonder whether loafers, goldbricks and no-accounts aren’t responsible for more of the world’s great ideas, inventions and masterpieces than the hardworking.”