written september 2021
it is my senior year of college. i have been telling people “yeah i've done life in the opposite order” and taking pride in the fact that for the first time in my life i have a five year plan.
this morning on a video date with a friend i said, “i don't know if i want the life that i am telling people that i want... actually, i know that i don’t.”
i am not looking at grad schools. i am looking at cottages in rural pennsylvania. i am dreaming of working in a bookstore. or in a nonprofit community space. and coming home to a life that i have no desire to escape from. a life that i adore — my dog, a backyard, a garden. a record player that is always spinning when i am cooking. the back door is open.
i am not acquiring debt from college and for this i am incredibly grateful. i do not regret choosing to go back to college at twenty-six. these years of education have expanded my mind and urged me to choose myself in ways that i never have. a degree in psychology is great and all, but i know the true value is in how i have allowed my mind to roam within and beyond the theories and lessons i have been taught.
by this i mean :: i fell in love with instrumental music while spending hours dissecting articles. i learned how to pack everything i need for a day in a bag i carry on my back — school books, yes. also a cozy sweater to hide in, headphones, my sticker-ridden water bottle, and the notebook that i pull out in class when phrases like “gravity is a mutual attraction” send my mind spinning.
obtaining and enjoying a standard education taught me that i am an artist, a poet, a scholar, a driven woman, a responsible human. that i can be all of these things, and more, and carry as many other traits that i care to. that, in this life, the only rules that exist are self-inflicted or allowed.
i write this as i sit in a campus library with a mask on my face. i used an ID card to enter this building, parked in the garage that i have a permit for and walked when a crosswalk told me to.
yet, i have gained the power within me to know that i could throw caution to the wind and let it all go, if i desired to.
but i will complete my education, because that is what i am choosing.
and then, i will choose what is next :: my home, a van, a place i desire to live in.
for every single, possible lesson there is a season. i soak it all in. absorbent. i let myself be wrung out and begin again.