I have blatantly ignored writing for many, many months.
The speed of my life has not slowed and with the summer heat and promise lingering on the periphery, writing in this space again will create a sense of practice that I haven’t had in two years.
Thanks to a few social media apps that I have on my phone, I graduated from Champlain College’s MFA in Emergent Media program today two years ago. There is a trend now in social media to look backwards at pictures and posts of your yesterday’s in order to remember and reflect thanks to Facebook’s On This Day feature and the app called Timehop. Nostalgia and sentimentality still captivate me.
Time has been a theme on my mind since the year began. How long will the winter last? Are there other career paths down the road I need to consider? How am I 32? How do weeks pass so quickly and some so slowly? Is this current way of life the best for me? And, then comes the relationship, marriage and children question with women around me: are we supposed to have it all? Love, marriage, children and a career while still leaving room for our dreams and adventures? What if we decide to have children but not get married? Or just have relationships and a kick ass career? What then?
Writing inspiration has arrived and I hope it stays for this season. What the hell else do I have to lose?
I traveled back to Memphis between spring and summer classes. It was a decision I made quickly in March when I heard a friend in Colorado was going to be in town at same time and I wanted to see friends who had lost a dear family member.
Two nights after I flew home, I asked my dad to help retrieve my mother’s barely used bike from the garage. It was a surprise Christmas gift in 2010 that many Memphians gave with the new Greenline newly opened. Anyway, he pumped some air into the tires, adjusted the seat, and I got on.
It jolted me back to my bike riding days on Redfearn Cove in East Memphis. Yes, I’ve taken some spin classes at the local gym, but this was different. I wobbled and didn’t pedal at first. But, I found my balance and rode around our little neighborhood for about twenty minutes.
Bike riding was something I did with the neighborhood kids and my sister, but also begrudgingly with my dad who tried to teach me to ride. It took forever to learn, but now I know I was on schedule. As I got older, the bikes got jammed into the garage with dust gathering–and I moved on.
Ever reflect on certain times in life-maybe childhood, maybe highschool, or a great trip, or a horrible job and say-did that really happen? I’ve had a lot of those thoughts lately about my 29 years. Are they memories I created that happened or just stories told over and over or pictures I’ve seen countless times?
My trip home was like that evening on the bike–wobbling between friends who are creating their own lives without me sharing a lot of it, balancing adulthood and riding in circles around the questions and concerns my parents have for my future.
I know I need to keep peddling forward with my head high, a firm grip, and the wind in my hair.
Summer is coming and I can’t wait to see what it brings.
I’m a big fan of bulletin boards. When I was younger, I would rip out favorite musicians, celeb crushes, ads, far off places, quotes, and tack them all onto this rickety wooden bulletin board above my white desk in my bedroom. It would all change weekly. Some of those things would crawl off the board and surround the wall to one, big masterpiece of my brain. Tumblr has now taken over as my virtual bulletin board.
Why am I talking about a random organizational tool?
The end of the semester is nigh. I haven’t yet, but will after I write this entry, count up all the things school, fellowship, DFA, and personal that I need to do before December 15th. I’m already dreading that configuring. It’s an odd feeling–trying to relax when you know you have so much to do in my studies that I feel bad watching a show, or going to a yoga class. How did life get this way?
While waiting for a few students in the EMC fill out Design for America forms today, a young blonde walked in with a graduate admissions rep to talk to Ken Howell about applying to Champlain and to this program. I was halfway listening, and just continued on my DFA applying way. About thirty minutes later, I was hanging with Patrick and Susan, when Ken walked her over and we were asked to sit and answer her questions. Her name was Hailey and she just graduated from a school in Michigan with a graphics design degree. We gave her real answers and I think she really appreciated what we told her. Even though we’ve only have had three months under our belts, it has seemed longer.
On a related note, Meg Sealey of Career Services emailed a few weeks ago asking any graduate student to come talk to CCollege students about what it means to be in graduate school, the application process, and more. Sure…I’ll do it. I turned out to be the only MFA’er amongst MBA and IT students. A few students attended, and I hope what I told them helped. One of the speakers was Peter Zuk(sp?) from Kaplan and he said something that struck a chord in me that “ you undergraduates have something that is fleeting daily: your youth. Never again will you be as young as you are now, so why not try graduate school?” As I stare down my final year in my twenties, I’m know I’m on a precipice of youth and a bulletin board decorating adult.