on business.

by la rebelde

I’ve been away from Los Angeles for a while. All “on business” as they say. My favorite part about traveling “on business” is that I get to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. (Obviously, “business” is not the central thing.) I’d forgotten what it was like to be around amigas/os constantly. When I was in small-midwestern-college-town, I was almost a social butterfly! I say almost because I wasn’t trying to be social—I just enjoyed hanging out with friends. It was a work-hard-play-hard kind of lifestyle—studying until 11 or 12 and hitting up my favorite lounge bar for a tequila gimlet (my favorite drink, in case you were wondering) before going home. Very different from the life I lead in LA, where amigas/os are harder to come by. Now, back in my apartment, I’m reminded of what it’s like to be alone again.

Well, I’m not completely alone, actually. My good amiga has been crashing in my study while she completes her comprehensive exams, which she has a week to do. It’s nice to know someone else is around, even if just for a few days. And just like several of my LA friends before her, she’ll be moving up north, to the bay area, in a couple weeks. I’m happy for her, but sad to see her go.

I spent this last semester exceedingly worried about my funding situation for the next school year (which also meant I put unnecessary stress on myself to write faster, but that’s another post altogether). I poured over fellowship and grant applications, hoping that I’d get one so that I could stay in Los Angeles. So that I wouldn’t have to go back to small-midwestern-college-town where white liberals abound and where I too easily fall into the (un)comfortable space of invisibility—privileged invisibility. So that I could feel more settled and postpone the inevitable academic process of uprooting my home and my life just one more year. So that I could continue getting to know the spaces and, more importantly, the communities who live in the legacy of the histories that I’m trying to learn about.

After much thought and agony—and a pile of rejection letters—I decided it would be worth taking out loans and possibly teaching so that I could stay in LA. And then I got one! I haven’t gotten the official letter yet, but I got a fellowship that will pay for my food and shelter for one more year. I should be happier than I am, because, hell, I’m a privileged-ass person in this world. But I’m anxious about what lies in store for the next year—whether I’ll find new friends and a larger community. And whether I’ll be able to bust out this pinche dissertation, so I can (hopefully?) move on to a post-doc or a job situation. I guess time will tell. In the meantime, I shall write.

12 Comments to “on business.”

  1. Congratulations! Mabuhay! It’s good to be able to stay in one place while you’re writing and take short “business” trips, rather than move.

  2. That’s great! I hate worrying about funding. Maybe we should be friends so you’re not so alone in LA. :D

  3. Yay for the fellowship news!

  4. Woo-hoo!
    Look out for my colleague Genny at the Spiffy-ton!

  5. yay! thinking of you!

  6. felicidades on the fellowship!!! it is always fun to add those to the cv :)

  7. Great news – Congratulations! Good luck with your writing. You can DO it! Love you,

  8. Congratulations on your fellowship!

  9. congrats! isn’t it funny how we always manage to get through? like someone’s watching out for us. :-)

  10. Thanks everyone! Someone definitely is looking out for me.

  11. I guess I’m a latecomer to this news. Way to go, Isa!

  12. Congratulations! Belated, though it may be. I wish your “on business” travel would bring you to Alaska…I miss your wit.

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