don’t let the door hit ya
I didn’t intend to write anything today. At the end of every year, I take it as an opportunity to take stock of the year that was and plan for the year that could be. It’s a reflective, quiet time for me.
Each year, I tell myself I will legit celebrate it next year–but each year–I find myself at home…yelling happy new year out the window–laptop ready–writing.
2016. A doozy. One for the record books, certainly. On the last day, it still continued its crapitude–taking yet another person from a friend of mine–someone I knew since I was a little girl. Someone who deserved more than she got.
For the last day or two, I’ve been inundated by ideas for things to write–things to say and share here…all in the same vein of that other big idea I had earlier this year about where to go with this blog and with my writing life over the next few years.
And I have something big to announce…a decision I just made randomly last night–without any real discussion. But one that has tugged at me for years–especially this year.
From the time I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to write. But I was taught by the world that–to be a writer–I needed to make money at it. I needed to make it something it wasn’t–for me. I needed to count words and write within these guidelines–this way. So, part of me gave up on it. But I still wrote, in the ways I could, to stay sane. Writing has always been therapy for me, and it’s a big reason I decided to be an art therapist. To share that method of healing with other people.
This year, though–especially since the election–I’ve been moved to write more. Not just to share whatever babbling comes out here–but to get back to my roots–to the things that literally saved my life. Things I feel are desperately needed in the world–especially now. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting an MFA in writing for a long time, but I never found schools I liked–where I could justify spending all that money. It never felt like I should give that to myself. Mostly because I was still operating under that ridiculous idea society handed me when I was 10. That writing wasn’t a real occupation and certainly not one for me.
I have stability in my life for the first time in a long time. I have built a successful career that I don’t feel ambivalent about–that, while not my forever career–will sustain me in making my life more mine than it’s ever been. I’ve always studied practical things–in hopes of creating careers–which never really worked. And part of me always has regretted not devoting myself to something I loved from the moment I started.
I think I’m going to apply to my alma mater’s MFA program. It’s new, but solid–and fits my life now. I don’t have to give up my entire life to devote myself to it. I can stay where I am and still do it. Bonus: it means going home 2 weeks a year–something that feels so necessary to my creative and spiritual peace right now.
There is no end goal here, really. I don’t want to quit my job and be a writer. That’s not what this is about. It’s about finding a community to write with. It’s about being the best I can be at what I do. It’s about recommitting myself to saying things others are too afraid to say. I could do this on my own, but I’ve learned over the years that I’ve done too much alone. So, I want support. I need support. This is a gift I’m giving to myself–one that will help me be a better me and a better therapist, eventually.
I will still pursue counseling as a profession when this is done. But I have lots of pre-reqs to take and lots of volunteering to do before I can apply to any program. This gives me time and incentive to take care of me with the tools that work best for me.