not so fast, school girl
Returning to school has been on my mind a lot, lately. I think it’s because my job has been particularly soul-crushing. Today was another rough day, and I kept thinking, “If I just had something more that I was at least working on, I would feel a lot less grumpy about what is going on.”
And I miss school, oddly enough, though I’m really not sure how I’d dig deep to find the time and energy to really devote to it.
I’ve already decided a low-residency MFA is in the cards, next. I had a rough day and decided to actually maybe apply to next year’s cohort. I did more research–confirmed things internally–and then noticed the price tag. It’s about 3x what I paid each semester for my other Master’s even before residency housing costs and travel. That’s a lot on my paltry salary–especially considering I had a lot of dental bills this year that took my savings and living in CA is not cheap. So, extra funds are not exactly at the ready. I’d have to save for a while to have enough for 5-6 semesters. I don’t have the option of student loans, so it’s literally all out of pocket. When I was earning bonuses, this would have been doable. But now that I’m in work limbo till this client launches–it’s not exactly realistic. Especially since they screwed us on our bonus structure last month. I could probably do it if I got a better job or saved for months, but it would mean a lot of belt tightening.
There are other obstacles, of course. I have no cheerleaders anymore. No people who simply believe in me. No one who tells me they read my shit and hated it–or liked it–or have something to say about it. And writing to a silent audience (like here) is fucking hard.
One has to do with that other Master’s–that I feel like I need to close the chapter on before going for something new.
There’s time. The program requires 20-25 hours of work every week during non-residency time. Tough since a lot of that would be writing–which is hard for me after hours of talking to people and writing up submissions. My brain is literally slush at the end of my day. Hence, why I rarely find energy to even cook or work out or do anything other than sleep and take care of cats.
A lot of that is struggling with some health challenges, as always, that I really need to focus on just to be my best me. Just to bring who I am to this program. I also have a lot of mental health stuff I’m working on because of the move.
I’m still unpacking (GOD) and not sure if I’m going to stay too long.
And my cat requires pretty intensive care. I’m home a lot because leaving her for hours isn’t a great idea. And I have to be home at certain consistent times to give her meds. Which isn’t realistic for residencies. I’d have to bring her (and her brothers) with me and then sneak away at her med time–or board her the whole time. My wisdom tooth ordeal taught me that I can’t rely on people to take care of the cats if I’m unable to do so. I’d have to pay someone, and I don’t exactly trust people with her care. I’d be really distracted and worried, to say the least.
So, there are a lot of obstacles. Maybe too many. And I know this was supposed to be about me–but these are things that would outweigh any joy this program brought to me. While I’d love to do it, I don’t think it’s self-loving.
As I was making that decision tonight–the decision to postpone to a time when I have more support, funds, and energy–I came to another conclusion: I don’t need an MFA to do these things. That’s one thing I love about writing. Anyone can do it. So, I will just have to do stuff on my own terms and time. And make that part of my self-care. And it will help me build a portfolio and etc.
And in the meantime, I can also look into ways to make more money so that affording such a program is actually doable and not a pipe-dream. I’ve been wanting to do that anyway.
So, now, there’s another question–do I pursue therapy school instead? There are a few options–none of which feel right exactly. I could wait and finish up that last Master’s finally–or I could just skip that and push ahead. Finishing my other Master’s would give me a little breathing room to explore that and let me save money too. There is one therapy program out of Chicago that’s a part-time program that seems like the best bet–but not sure of the cost. I probably should look into it more. My dental bs sidetracked me for a while. Or maybe I should just focus on me for a few more months and ask the Universe for more time. There’s also the idea that a pesky personal deadline is fast approaching in 2 years. Well, 1 year 2 1/2 months. But that may never happen. I may not want it to then, but it feels right–right now–though I am in no way in a position to accept that.
I guess the point of all of this is that I want everything. EVERYTHING. But I’m not ready–or able–to get the everything I want. This has ALWAYS been my conundrum, as a precocious child who asked too many questions; as an ambitious young lady who wouldn’t take no as an answer; as a heartbroken woman who was just sick of this shit. I want it all. But there are always too many obstacles. I wish my inner teen–the fighter–could move a few of those boulders out of the way. She had so much drive. Where did it go? I’m just tired. But I still want it all.
So, how do I get there?
I dunno. But I’m reading a lot of Danielle Laporte this week. Maybe she knows. I hope so.
I know there’s a way to make all of these things possible. I know I have to be patient and creative.
I got out of fucking Westwood when everyone said I wouldn’t. I can do this. I did all the things they said I couldn’t. How did I get there?
I just kept fucking going. Why is that so hard right now?
Oh, yea–life is soul-crushing.
Time to change that story.
And take a nap.
It was a damn long day, and people really really suck.
But I can keep writing. I can keep searching for reasons to stay.
Say hi. Sometimes, I need people.
(Yes–that’s me reaching out. Don’t freak out).
((Yes, I’m talking to you)).