Monday, February 1, 2016

like lightning in a bottle

Tonight I went to Starbucks, got a coconut milk hot chocolate (holycrapsogood), and sat down to write. The perfect storm of dim lighting, chilly weather outside, and a week-long need to sit and create all combined and I was able to float up into that magical artist trance. My fingers moved and moved and my brain was buzzing and all time and outside influence had no meaning. It was meditative and peaceful and I felt so alive in the middle of it all. That is who I am. I'm a writer, and I'm prioritizing my life right now around this thing that I need to be doing. I drove home with my mind buzzing with all these feelings about figuring out how to be a mom, which is a thing but not the only thing that I am, and a student and a writer. It's hard to assign the right words when it's all a jumble of thoughts and emotion. But I wanted to record my thoughts at this specific time in my life, less than two months away from my master's degree, about motherhood and school and making it all happen.
In my church education for women is, in my experience, labeled as something that's good because "Someday your husband might not be able to work! So you should be prepared! But motherhood is the first and most important thing!" Those are all true statements, but they don't really cover this other huge aspect. For me, education (and I don't just mean formal education here) is all about realizing and developing talents and passions, finding the ways that we as unique individuals can best contribute to the world. I finished my bachelor's degree before I had my son and chose to go back even while he's little. I wanted to talk about that, about passion and drive and sacrifice and loving both my field of study and my family and pursuing both of those at the same time.
School for me is all about making sacrifices. I want this so badly that I decided to give up nap times and date nights and Netflix after bedtime for this dream. I've never doubted that it's worth it, something more than a few people have expressed surprise over. If I didn't want this with my whole soul, it wouldn't be worth the sacrifice. I decided to do this thing early in 2014 and I haven't looked back--no ifs, just when. I hope this doesn't sound obnoxious. I'm not trying to brag here, only to say that this level of wanting is what has made it worth it to balance motherhood and school. When I hear someone say they're not going for what they want, I hear that they actually don't want it enough to sacrifice to make it happen. And I think that's great! It's a wonderful thing to identify and honor limits. It would be stupid to divert attention from your family for something you're not wholly invested in. I'm wholly invested in this MFA, though, and I want it enough to figure out how to be a good mom while I'm also figuring out how to write a thesis. Right now my life feels full and busy, but it's with my beautiful son and my work as a writer. I love both of those things so completely that I just know I can find a way to work it all out. I feel so lucky to get to be both of these things. There was a time in my life when both motherhood and an MFA felt like faraway dreams that I only heard about other people doing. To be in the thick of it in my own life is so good it's overwhelming at times.

So now I'm off to dive back into my thesis! How are there only two more months left in this?


  1. ^ what she said. I'm at the place where I'm not sure if the sacrifice is worth it. I think someone in here I know it's worth it, but I can't get that to seem real enough to act on it. Yet.

  2. I love that you wrote this!!!! I'm starting to work toward getting my masters in art therapy, and this is so encouraging. I feel fortunate to know other young Mormon moms who are pursuing higher education. I found this one website that was like a support organization for working Mormon moms but I don't remember what it was. But you could get assigned a mentor to help encourage and guide your journey! Cool, right? I will try to remember it.

    1. I found the website that I was talking about (which you may already know about):

  3. Love this!!! I can feel your high as you wrote it! So proud of you!

  4. Love this!!! I can feel your high as you wrote it! So proud of you!

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  6. Amazing post ! I love it and the photos. Really nice looking


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