Sometimes we look back at moments in our lives and realize there was a particular occurance or decision or person that had a huge impact. Something so significant, it altered the course of our path and perhaps put us going in a new direction. Many times we don’t even realize those moments until weeks, months, or even years pass. For me there have been several and when I think about those times, it somehow seems that fate had a heavy hand in my life.
If I were writing a blog that was about my history, now would be the perfect time to tell the story of that one raccoon that dramatically altered the course of my life… in a BIG way. However, since this is mostly about what is happening in the here and now and not about what happened to me when I was 18, I’ll skip that one and go right into the phone call I had at 1:55PM today, November 11, 2017.
The call was from Jenna, at UNO. She let me know that I’ve been accepted into the MFA program. If I want a spot in the spring term, it’s mine. Wow.
The conversation lasted less than five minutes and she’s going to send me a detailed packet of information via email early next week, then “Thanks, I’ll talk to you soon” and “click”. Again.. Wow.
At the time of the call I was at Simon’s house planting spring bulbs. He wasn’t home. I paced up and down his small living and dining area and cried. Then I jumped up and down like a 8 year old and then i walked over to look out the front window and cried some more. Yup.. I guess you can add that to the list of things that will bring me to tears. A wave of emotion filled with happiness and pride and satisfaction. I did it!
Like I stated, most of those life changing events in my past seemed to be up to fate, or someone else, or just me rolling with the path of least resistance. I never had dreams and aspirations. I never had big life goals. By the time I was 33 I was 10 years deep in my career and positive that was it. I was a software analyst with a computer science degree and I was positive I’d never go back to school, because my path was set and I didn’t need it.
If there’s anything I’ve learned these past two really tough years, it’s that I deserve more and I deserve better. I deserve to dream and I have every right to pursue whatever that is, despite fate or what anyone else might think about it. It’s my life and I’m calling the shots.
I’ve been writing my entire life. My poetry is a huge part of who I am. It’s a part of my soul and my process. This choice, this path is what is the right thing for me. It’s what I want and what I need and starting something new might be scary and there are still obstacles in my path, but I have confidence in myself and my abilities and I’ll be able to make it work.
People are going to ask me why.
My only response right now “why not?!!”
Last December I had a casual conversation with the spouse of a colleague at the company Christmas party. That interaction planted a tiny seed which sprouted when I was working out on an elliptical machine in a shitty airport hotel in Portland Oregon. I had an epiphany about my life.
That idea grew over the next few months while I was living a work-free life of leisure. On 9/26 I had a moment of complete clarity and that is when I made the decision to apply for the MFA program. There’s no way I could deny the power of the force inside me pointing the way.
Ok.. so maybe today’s phone call wasn’t the thing that changed everything, but the fact that it happened and the way I felt about it is pure validation. I’m really doing this. Wow wow!!
PS. This is the poem I included with the two page “Statement of Purpose” that was required by the application…
Why I Write
I write because the very essence of my soul demands it.
Hearts are weak, soft, and are hurt easy.
They bleed, and then cease to exist.
The soul is liquid forever
Moving at its own pace through existence.
Mingling with others, and then splitting apart
Tirelessly spilling into new territory.
Fearlessly cutting the terrain beneath it into cracks,
And yes, even canyons.
The fluidity of it is perfection.
And there’s no need to lead the way, it knows.
So denying it what it demands is folly.
My heart feels and seeks after inspiration.
But words are the implements of my souls grand design.