Hustle, Hustle, Hustle Hard! *

Courtesy of Google Images

*Say title like the Ace Hood song

Awwww shucky ducky! I just clicked ‘accept’ in my application portal to verify I will begin grad school this coming fall, so now something theoretical has become quite real: I’m going to begin an MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing. Imagine my pointer finger poised, Grinch-like over the mouse button, hovering ever so slightly before the resounding click sealing my fate as a pending grad student. For the first time in months I’m feeling foot loose and fancy free, the caul of a not quite fulfilling stagnant professional life lifted to reveal shiny new opportunities.

I have all kinds of mixed feelings: extreme excitement as well as anxiety. I’m so excited because I worked my arse off to put together a solid writing portfolio for this program. What some of you may not know is that this time last year I didn’t even have this blog and I hadn’t written anything just for the hell of it beyond journal entries. My trip to LA last year for my friend’s birthday was the catalyst for all that is happening right now. In addition to getting a pep-talk and a lead for a newly created (now industry fave) website where I could submit my work (thanks B!), I also started a piece while there, that morphed from ‘why the heck did I move from Los Angeles back to Maryland’ narrative and blossomed into a memoir about my late father. As I write this it’s sinking in that my little weekend cross-country trip to Cali inspired me to set off on this path that has now yielded my admission to University of Baltimore. I’ve been celebrating all weekend long, but I’ve also started to have niggling feelings of doubt and anxiety.  My anxiety stems from the ‘oh shit’ it’s been 15 years and about $30,000 in undergrad debt since I’ve been in a degree program and here come the questions… How am I going to balance school and work? I mean it’s really important to me that I do a fantastic job in school, no squandering opportunities! How am I going to pay for this, if I’m pretty much to my financial limit right now? How many years am I going to be doing this- after all I can’t attend full-time? Ultimately I know I’ll do well and I’ll graduate just fine and eventually pay off those pesky student loans, but in the meantime there’s a lot of work to be done which is why I’m feeling like this summer needs to be reminiscent of the summer immediately following my high school graduation (note how I did not say post-college graduation, too many life questions at that time). Post-high school and pre-college I had no worries about what I was doing for the next four years, plus for the first time in my life I was choosing the next chapter of my life, kinda like now.  I plan to party like it’s 1999, although now that I think on it, I don’t think I partied like it was 1999 when it really was 1999 but that’s a whole other topic. I plan to get it in, get it done, see everybody, hit LA again, hit NYC a couple of times, run up in mad cook-outs, see some fireworks, enjoy some happy hours, watch my nieces play, love on the b.f. and really mentally relax, all in preparation for dusting off the ol’ brain and getting ready to reinvigorate my mind and delve into some creative non-fiction…now for figuring out just the right amount of financial aid to accept…

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