Where I’ve Been and Ultimately Why I’m a Fake Rap Fan

Let me preface this with something: “fake rap fan” is a term that I picked up in college, basically meaning that you think you are cool and into stuff (not necessarily rap), but really you are lame and can’t hang.

So, where have I been these past months? In graduate school! Which on the surface sounds like a lame reason to stop what you are passionate about, but let me tell you a little secret: grad school is fucking hard. It’s challenging, and not in the actual production of work, but in how you feel about your work.

In a 2009 interview, Ira Glass said something to the effect of, “as a beginner, there is going to be a period of time where you hate everything you create.” That’s what graduate school is like for me. I feel like I’ve gone through a meat grinder and the bits of quirk, humor and personality in my writing have been casualties of the carnivore that is graduate school. I’m in a program that focuses on writing for media and journalism, which has sucked my soul out of my butt. I’ve shit my soul out essentially.

When your everyday is writing stuff that doesn’t jazz you, it’s hard to find the drive to write stuff that you do like. It’s strange, I love writing and I love all kinds of writing, but since being at school I’ve felt stifled and exhausted. I have the ideas, they are percolating in my mind along with to-do lists and a running calculation of how much money I have to my name at any given moment, but by the time I get home I just want to switch off and watch the reboot of 90210 (which is such a bad show).

That’s just school stuff. I’ve been pretty frank about my mental health on this blog, but let me gloss over it for you. I’m sad and that coupled with anxiety has not made my transition to school/adult life breezy. Do you know how easy it is to stay in your apartment for the entire weekend watching Charmed? (Seriously, what’s with my bad television choices?) It is far too simple for me to not interact with humans for an extended period of time.

Which leads me to being a fake rap fan. I’m currently a fake rap fan of having my shit together. For the past 23 years of my life, I’ve planned a loose idea of where I wanted to be and how I would get there. Now, I’m on the precipice of my plans. I didn’t calculate this far out into my future, I just thought that by this time I would be ~an adult~ and just wing it. But in a couple of months I need to have a job and a new apartment. Yikes!!

I’m hoping that if I fake my rap fandom enough, the fates will smile upon me and give me some clarity on the situation that is my life. That’s my plan so far. I think it’s going to be a good plan until it’s not and then I’ll find a new one! (And by fake my rap fandom I mean throw my resume everywhere until it ends up at a Subway and I start drowning my sorrows in an Italian Herbs and Cheese foot-long). Is that how it works though? This would be the perfect opportunity for Future Alaina to come to me in a vision and have a conversation like this:

(Future Alaina): Alaaaaaaiiinnnaaaaaa (in this she’s coming to me like A Christmas Carol, all ghostly)

(Dreaming Alaina): Woah, who are you!?

FA: I’m you, from the ~~fuuutuuuure~~

DA: Oh wow. We look good.

FA: Thank you, I think so. But I have something to tell you.

DA: Did we finally meet Orlando Bloom?

FA: Oh honey, I wish. Listen, you know that overwhelming feeling of worry and that debilitating sensation that you are a hardcore fake rap fan?

DA: Do I ever!

FA: Yeah, don’t worry about it! It’s just slowly ruining your life and making you freak out for no reason. We end up fine!

DA: We don’t end up a sandwich artist?

FA: No dude, we OWN a Subway.

DA: Nice.

FA: So just, chill. You are too young for this nonsense. Just live your life and take as much advantage of Dad’s healthcare as you can. K byyyyyyyeeeeee.

And then, I wouldn’t feel as nervous as I do. I’ve had so many people tell me that this is the toughest period of my life or the best part of my twenties, and I’m foolishly trying to decide what it is now instead of waiting till I’m older to realize it. But, hindsight is a Justin Timberlake album that I don’t have yet.