TONA……

So much to catch up on.

The last time I was here I was on the cusp of a great endeavor.

I can now discuss that endeavor!!!!

I got accepted to grad school!! Thats what I was doing, was filling out my application and there were a lot of steps, and it was happening during a personally tumultuous time! But, I got it done, I got it in and I got accepted. It was official in February, but my life has been insane so I haven’t been able to post it here! I’m so proud of myself. I can’t remember if I talked about it or not, but I had gotten accepted to University of Denver’s program, but I couldn’t afford it. It was really expensive, I’ve actually blocked out the cost lol. But I also wasn’t ready to give up my dream, so I applied to another program.

There’s so much to say. So much that has happened, I don’t know where to start.

I need to get financial aid stuff filled out, because while this school is affordable, its not just sitting around in my bank account. I’m going to need help to be able to go.

I’m probably going to jump all over the place right now so buckle up.

The act of applying to grad school was an event itself. I had to submit a scholarly research essay. That terrified me on many levels. One, I’ve been a creative, autobiographical writer for 22 years, research is…sciency…and clinical and a different part of my brain. I was scared, while my brain has healed a lot since my attack in 2016…its still healing and sometimes fear can make it stop working. But I worked through tge fear and the doubt and did it anyway. I just went on the concept of, “I won’t know if I don’t try.” So I picked a subject and I started writing.

BI I go on I should say that we were told to pick a topic child abuse, homelessness, poverty, racism that we were passionate about and write a scholarly research essay on it. It could only be five pages!

So…after some anxiety, worried pacing and snapping at my family (trauma/brain injury response) I completely isolated myself in my room and got to work. Originally I had picked cross cultural adoption as it pertained to ICWA.

I gathered my research, sat down and wrote.

It was awful. It was like turning on an old faucet and only rust came out. Sputtering at that. Little evil voices in the back of my head were snarkily saying…”See, you’re not good anymore. “No one wants to hear what you have to say” “You’re not a writer anymore.” “Mary who?” “You don’t have it anymore.”

I told them all to fuck off and kept writing. Because even if they were right, I HAD to know first, I HAD to try. I couldn’t just give up without even trying. This little personality trait I have, is one of the things I’m proud of. I’m tenacious as hell and I NEVER give up without trying first!

So. I wrote that essay. I was all proud of it too!, I printed it out and rushed to read it to my soul person. (More on that later)

And guess what?

It FUCKING SUCKED! It seriously was the worst writing I’ve done in a long time. And it was too long. A kindergartener could have done better [Like the clever SVU reference?lol]

So,I cried, literally. And then sat back down and started over. From scratch. I ditched my original idea and thought about who the hell I was and why I was pursuing this degree.

And the lightbulb went off. I gathered my research and rewrote my paper.

It was awesome! I brought in my colleague from my professor days. He was the other English teacher with me and my office mate. He helped me clean up the tiny messes and taught me how to do a works cited page APA style. A style I’d never written in, in my whole career but was soon going to know well.

The second essay, was incredible. I’m still so proud of it. Like I tell my students and those who come to my writing workshops and groups……you have to allow yourself to have a shitty first draft. So I did, and my second draft was gorgeous!

I sent it off and the rest is history.

I’m proud of myself for allowing myself that process. It makes me super aware of how far I’ve come. Two years ago, I couldn’t have even thought about grad school, living everyday was all I could handle.

There’s so much more to say about this, but that is the highlight for me.

I tried, I was terrified, but I did it anyway and I got in.

Since this has happened I’ve had another major life change which I’ll get into. But I’m working harder on celebrating my victories, instead of just checking the box and moving on to the next thing.

I’ve been so very blessed to be able to have the life I do. I’ve gotten to do EVERYTHING I set out to do. I’m so grateful to Tunkasila for these incredible things.

I’m super excited about school starting and I can hardly wait to learn all kinds of things!

Ok I’m going to post this then I’ll write about the other things.. the not so fun things..because everything has two sides.but that is still what makes life awesome. We have to take the good with the bad. 🙂

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