I graduate college in 14 days. (ft. random childhood recollection and why poetry makes me cry)
Here's the thing. I don't like school, I really never have. I spent most of my Pre-K years sitting quietly in the burgundy recliner inside of my dad's office. (Perks of going to school at the church your dad works at) I would cry and plead with him to not make me go, and he would make a deal with me: I could skip class if I sat in the burgundy chair, not making a peep. No singing, no talking, no playing- seemingly impossible tasks for a 5 year old. His adult logic was that after ten minutes I would be over it, and be ready to go play with my friends. I don't know why he made this deal with me so much, because it never really worked out in his favor. My painfully stubborn 5 year old self knew what I was capable of, and I would joyfully agree to this arrangement, quietly sitting and watching my dad work on his computer. Most of the time he would take pity after an hour or so, and give me a Far Side comic book to look at or turn on my Disney Classics CD. I would cheerfully and silently eat the honey sandwich that was always packed in my little metal lunchbox, and wait for "A Whole New World" to come on. It was my happy place.
This same process repeated throughout the next 14 years, on and off. I would cry and beg to not go to school, but after a certain point there was no longer a burgundy recliner to patiently and quietly sit in. I had lots to learn, like reading and how to do fractions (still trying to figure out fractions tbh.)
After graduating high school, I never really had the question of "Am I going to college?" (except for the time at 17 when I casually ran the idea of living out of a van and driving around America alone, by Mare and was immediately shut down) and for that I am extremely blessed. It is an opportunity that as a young woman am extremely fortunate to have. Throughout my college journey I changed my major a total of seven (!7!) times. I started out majoring in Nursing and somehow ended up majoring in English / minoring in Creative Writing. While this seems random and a stretch, (it is) the change from Secondary English Education, to a Creative Writing based English study was a harder decision than the initial change from Nursing. There is something so noble about teaching. I loved the idea of sharing my love for language with others. I didn't love the idea of lesson plans and testing. I dreaded the idea of stretching my introverted personality to be responsible for feeding a classroom's attention. I remember sitting in my ESL Curriculum & Test Design class and thinking "I hate this. I don't want to do this every week. I don't want to do this-ever. " and then it clicked; I don't have to.
My parents had been teachers. My friends were going to be teachers. I was hiding behind what I saw others doing. I was settling. I had not come this far, to only go this far. To make a long story a little less long, I changed my major.. I still get a lot of "So. What can you do with that?" or "So you're going to teach? Or..?" and "So...what kind of job can you get with...that?" The questions really never gets old (let's all laugh together), and I'm pretty sure my response changes every time. "Honestly your guess is as good as mine." or "I'm actually just majoring in being poor." and if I'm feeling really bold I'll even say "Well. I want to write." The shock that spills out over the faces of the masses has become a hilarious consistency.
I think people forget that they read things everyday.
Today I typed out "Poetry Portfolio Fall 2017" and legitimately almost started crying. It's my last poetry portfolio as an undergrad. I don't get emotional about school. But here I am, dropping tears all over my laptop. My poor, sensitive, artistic soul just can't help but get all choked up because of how much discovering this passion has simply changed me. (I'm actually scoffing at myself right now) My journey with poetry has been painful and empowering. I've always felt like an artist, but I felt like the first 20 years of my life I was just stumbling around trying to find what my art was. I've been able to use my past, my hurt, my growth and make something out of it. It's made me brave.
I guess what I want to say is (and what I say in just about every dang post), just do the things that hurt. Do the stuff that scares you the most. Abandon the identity that you think you have, and create who you want to be. You will be shocked at what happens, and I think you'll really like it. Do the thing that will get you closer to the next thing.
I don't really know what pushed me to write this today. Things are just uh-changin' and I'm just all emotional and I honestly can't get more excited about some of the big news that I will be sharing with you all here soon.