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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Looming Loomy Thing that Looms

In a lot of things, I find that my strategy is akin to a football Hail Mary—just put it out there and see what happens.  I use it in football, sure, other games of sport, games of board, with women, pretty much with anything that I can rebound from I’d rather risk it all for the chance of everything rather than find contentment in mediocrity.  But there’s a sizable difference between losing Park Place to your mom when gambling it all in Monopoly and moving in with your mom when mortgaging your future on a career in writing.  In either event thinking about a hotel might be the best option.

Go directly to jail.  Do not pass 'Go'.  Do not collect $200.

This week I went back and read my past year’s worth of blog posts, and aside from noticing an increased laxness in spelling and penchant for rambling—sorry—I saw that my fear was well documented.  Originally, it was fear of not getting accepted into grad school and being forced to abandon a dream.  But then upon acceptance it morphed into fear of the consequences of not getting into the right program, and then that turned into a fear of a future that held an MA in English and nothing else. 

What a scared, little prick I am

But my decision has come down to a higher motivation.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been steadily harassing the director of Mizzou’s creative writing program, essentially imploring him to tell me what I should do, hoping that he’d process my life story and command that I do either A or B.  He’s been great, very patient, but ultimately little help because he’s always thrown the decision back to me.  Jerkwad.  However, this past week, in his muddy Kentucky accent, he gave me this ear-worm that has stuck with me;

“You have to decide what’s greater; your excitement to be in the program and the promise it offers, or your fear of the consequences it brings.”

At the beginning of my blog I had such excitement, such romantic and naive hope of simply getting into a program.  And despite setbacks and concerns I pressed onward with steadfast bravery or stupidity, I’m not sure which, because more than just getting in I was excited about the prospect of doing something that I loved.  And amidst all of my fears and worrying, I had lost track of that excitement. 

With that in mind, I’d like to take this time to announce that I’ll be taking my talents to South Beach, the south beach of the Missouri River and accept Mizzou’s offer into its Masters in English, with a concentration in creative writing, program.  I just sent out the e-mail.

In my first blog posts I wrote, Applying to grad school requires a certain break from sanity.  It has to.”  That still rings true, but I think I’ve found that it requires that same break from sanity to believe you can make a future with an MA in English with a Creative Writing concentration.  When throwing a Hail Mary, you can’t be afraid of tossing an interception, or a dropped pass, or anything bad that might happen because as unlikely as it might be, you've got to be focused on throwing a touchdown.  And that’s a great feeling. 

Wow, way too many sports clichés in this one.  Don’t worry, I’m a grad student now.  I won't have time to think of any references from here on.  

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