Sunday, September 21, 2014

leaping


I've mentioned this before, but I knew there was a void in my life before I applied for my master's program.  I haven't ever been one of those women who only dreams of babies.  I mean, I knew there would be babies, and I knew I would love them, but that wasn't the only thing I pictured.  Even now, when people make jokes about having a second, I feel myself flinch--not just because of how inappropriate the jokes are, but because I know with my whole heart that I'm not ready, and I think when I am ready again, it will probably be for the last time and that's a little bittersweet, too.  What I'm saying is that I love my job as Joony's mom.  I love taking care and helping him to grow and learn new things, I cry a lot because it's passing by too fast, I just adore him to pieces.  I also know that there are other things for me to be doing.  When I think about the things I want to fill my days with when he's older, I know I don't want to pick up a random job or hobby--I want to do things that make me happy, things that I feel to be important.

When I made the decision to start applying to MFA programs, it felt so right that I couldn't believe I'd let three years pass since graduation (I mean, I could believe it--I found out I was pregnant a month after graduation, so I'd been preoccupied).  Actually starting classes felt very far away though, so I enjoyed feeling bookish when I told people I was going to grad school, that I was researching universities, that I was assembling application materials, waiting for word back from my top choice.  When I found out I got in, I was shocked and excited and proud, and still had a few months to go, so I got to bask in that and not really think about the reality of being a student again.

David started his MBA program at the beginning of September, a full month before mine starts at the beginning of October, and watching him spend his nights frantically working through assignments has been a wake-up call.  Registering for my classes (Flash Nonfiction! Narrative Journalism! Am I dreaming?!) was a wake-up call.  And now, being two weeks away, I'm mostly feeling scared.  I haven't been reading and writing regularly since my days at BYUI, where I honestly felt like a bit of a big fish (maybe a medium sized fish?) in a very small, very comfortable pond where I knew all the other fish. It feels intimidating to know I'll be sending work in to be read by people I haven't ever met, professors who are published authors (um, one of my classes is taught by Tony D'Souza).  I'm starting to doubt myself and feel like maybe I jumped in too fast, maybe I should have waited...for what? Three more years to pass?  Obviously now is the right time, when I have a couple more years before a maybe Baby #2.  The time is now, I'm ready, I want to be educated, I want to be well-read, I want to be writing, and I don't want to be so scared by it all.  When I think about the big picture, though, I think the scared is what is going to make it so cool.

After I graduated high school, I was sitting around my parent's basement being a general loser, working random part-times, when my mom kicked me out (okay, that sounds harsh.  She told me I wasn't welcome anymore, and then drove me to Idaho and helped me get settled and stocked my refrigerator and helped me apply for BYUI--the only school I could get into with my 2.0 from high school).  I felt so angry and so scared, but looking back, I feel proud that I snagged a full-time job and paid my rent and figured out how to do my own laundry and got motivated to go to college and do more. In college, I applied for writer's retreats and teacher's assistant positions that I never really thought I'd get, but I took the leap and stuck the landing and they were the coolest experiences.   The night before I had Joony, I tearfully googled how to give a baby a bath. I'm dead serious, I was so worried I wouldn't figure out, and now I just toss that grimy toddler into a tub without a second thought (the baths are nothing, I wish Google was helpful with the tantrum situation). I guess I'm just giving myself a pep talk here--it's called a comfort zone because it's comfortable, and nothing changes, and sometimes it takes a huge scary leap to get out of it.
Well, anyways, thanks for all the encouragement on my original post about going back to school.  They helped when I started feeling iffy, and I've been reading them again as I get ready to start classes in two weeks, and they gave me the confidence to write this post.  It's fun to still have this space even though I haven't felt like posting outfits lately--maybe sometime soon?

11 comments:

  1. What a great post! Very inspiring. I wish you the best of luck on your newest venture, sounds like it's what you want and need. Don't worry about peoples comments on Baby #2 (I get them regularly too, and my #1 is only 18mths old!), you'll know when the right time for that is too. Good luck and best wishes x

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  2. You are amazing and will do so well in grad school!!!! It's so impressive that you are pursuing this and following your dreams! You are inspiring!

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  3. Maybe grad school is your Baby #2 for now. Personal growth, nurturing your thirst for more education, being creative, scary but exciting even though you've kinda sorta been there before. The program will probably start and you'll love it and laugh at how you ever doubted yourself and your ability to do it.

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    1. Thank you so much, Anne-Marie! This was so on-point and exactly what I needed to hear. You are awesome.

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  4. I love that quote picture at the end. And you got this! I'm amazed, I feel like I would fail grad school IF I could ever even get in. But your last thoughts made me wonder what comfort zones I'm too... comfortable in. I want to leap too!

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  5. You got this! Huzzah for leaping! In the end, despite all of the pride you will feel in yourself for being so kick-ass, you will be able to look at your baby(ies) and tell them "you can do anything you want to do" and they will BELIEVE YOU because YOU DID.
    I love you!

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  6. YES! you are amazing. just. amazing. inspiring and smart and OMGPRETTY. i'm so happy for you for taking this brave leap of faith to follow your dreams. you'll be fantastic!

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  7. Very excited for you!! I was very confused when I got into grad school. Why on earth did they pick me? What could I have possibly said that tricked them into liking me enough to give me a spot? But that's not really the point. Other people made that decision, and you deserve to be there for any number of reasons. Live it, and love it. Congratulations and good luck!

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  8. I love your honesty and I LOVE your writing.

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  9. You're awesome! I needed to read this today - leaps are meant to be taken! If not now, then when??

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I think you're smart, pretty, & entitled to your own opinion.

I'd love it if the feeling was mutual!