For the past several posts I’ve been talking about “how to not die” in honor of the ten-year anniversary of my rock climbing accident. Part five is almost done. Today, however, I want to take a brief break from my story to share some breaking news:
I just got rejected. Again.
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that, back in December, I applied for graduate school at . I thought getting my masters in journalism would be a step towards something I desperately want—which is, of course, to write.
I looked at many programs. There were thoughts of MFAs in Creative Nonfiction (an elusive degree that doesn’t exist in many locations), MAs in International Affairs (I do want to go abroad again), and, what seemed most practical, journalism.
In the end, I decided on journalism.
I worked hard on my application. I was pleased with what I wrote. I didn’t apply to many programs. After living in Asia for three years, I didn’t have the heart to move from California to Chicago. Or New York. Or Missouri. (If I’m going to move that far, I might as well go overseas again . . . Don’t tempt me.)
I got an interview. I was excited. This was further than I’d gotten the first time I applied. (That was before I moved to Taiwan.)
But, in the end, it wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t enough.
Or was I?
I was disappointed when I got the news. But, strangely, I wasn’t devastated. In my heart of hearts I know I’m every bit as good as any other writer who got into Berkeley this year. I just didn’t have the connections or a good enough portfolio at the time of deadline to PROVE to people I’ve never met that I am worthy of their program.
I’ve been thinking, too, about the pedestal on which we place certain organizations. “Oooh, you went to Harvard?” “I’m a graduate of Yale.” We oooh and ahhh at these highfalutin names, but, really, if you attend these schools, are you necessarily that much better off?
Writing comes from deep within, and I’ve decided I’m done trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. Society tells us we should do all kinds of things. We should get married and have babies, or, if we don’t, we should get into pretentious schools with well-known names and become famous and make lots of money.
Well, I don’t care about money. And I’m not worried about fame. And I’m certainly not ready for kids.
And I’m perfectly okay with that.
All I want is to write. And, apparently, I’m going to do it starting from the ground up.
*image credit: proactivewriter.com
- how to not die: the fall (jesscy.com)
- how to not die: the rescue (jesscy.com)
- how to not die: the i.c.u. (jesscy.com)
- how to not die: the missing piece (jesscy.com)
- Top-rated Colleges in California (college.answers.com)