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Yesterday, my story came third place in a competition and I won $1,000. But if you know Ayotola and her inner almost-good-enough skirmish, you would know why third place rubs her the wrong way. To be honest, I do not even think my story was good enough (the first two stories were wowzers), so no, it is not my ego. I'm grateful for the money. It is, maybe, a long journey of being almost good enough that is now exhausting.

I read my post from when I first moved here and the anxiety I was feeling about my writing. In nine months, I have placed three stories (You Are Still Here, H and We Should Have Told Mother This). I wrote about Coming To America and found a home for it almost immediately. I also won a scholarship at Hudson Valley Writers Center and was part of a workshop that gave me a new lens to view my novel through. My second semester of teaching was almost perfect. And now, free 1K. All in the first year of my MFA.

First, I put too much pressure on myself. S is trying to make me articulate what is wrong with third place. Everything? Nothing? I don't know. So I decided to write.

Second, and most importantly, I'm grateful. Very. I really am.

Third, an obligatory Times Square portrait:

Here is to a summer of finishing my first book, and avoiding a long spell of self-flagellation if I don't.

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